Alex Thomas – Thomas Car Wash

Logan Cockerham: When people ask about your business, how do you describe what you do?

Alex Thomas: I am an exterior automobile technician. I wash cars.

Logan Cockerham: So how long have you been in business?

Alex Thomas: My grandfather and his brother started it in 1946. We were the first car wash in Kentucky, we were the 14th in America, and probably the world. We now have 5 sites, four in Louisville, and one in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

Logan Cockerham: And how many employees do you have?

Alex Thomas: A little over 50. Anywhere from 47 to 55, depending on the season.

Logan Cockerham: Who is your target audience? Who do you help?

Alex Thomas: Oh, good question.  Anyone who needs to wash their car. We have a monthly subscription plan which is really nice, especially for people on a budget who still like to have a nice little luxury that they can always use.

We see families ranging from three to five cars in the household who bring their cars in. It’s usually the dad bringing in all the cars for the wife and kids.

Logan Cockerham: What problems are you solving for your customers?

Alex Thomas: People need to clean their car. Our biggest competition, outside of out of state competitors in the market, is the home washer in the driveway.  

Logan Cockerham: What has been your biggest learning from the Pandemic and how’s your thinking changed in your approach to business over the last two years?

Alex Thomas: I try to spend more time with the family. I try to set a limit and get a lot of work done when I’m here instead of bringing that work home with me.

Logan Cockerham: What’s one mistake you’ve made or lesson learned that other business owners and entrepreneurs can learn from, regardless of their  industry?

Alex Thomas: I know I’m in a unique position, but growing up in a family business, I was young and full of piss and vinegar, and I would disagree with some of the stuff my dad did often. Looking back, I would get out of my own way and realize how right my father was.

Logan Cockerham: Last question, Alex. All topics are wide open. What is most inspiring to you today?

Alex Thomas: That’s a great question. I just joined a business owner peer accountability group. This is obviously fresh in my mind, but I’m in a group with people who are operating larger businesses than I am, and they are struggling with the same problems. I think it’s humbling to know that I’m not the only one, and that we are all humans striving for success.  

To learn more about Thomas Car Wash, visit their website.