People | 23 Mar 2020 | By Sun International
The glow of entrepreneurial success
A debilitating car accident marked the end of 59-year-old Jan Johannes Marcus's work as a courier driver, but ushered in his journey as an entrepreneur. After decades of working in the transportation industry, Marcus founded the Golden Glow Carwash as part of Sun International Golden Valley Casino's Supplier and Enterprise Development (SED) programme in Worcester, Western Cape. The grandfather of four has no plans to retire and works hard to ensure his business sustains eight steady jobs.
"This business helped me regain my confidence and gave me hope after my accident," explains Marcus.
When he resigned from his driving job in 2010, he dabbled in garden services, until stumbling across the opportunity to open a carwash at the casino six years later.
"I heard that the CSI committee of the Golden Valley Casino was looking for business proposals to run a carwash. I presented my business plan and was the successful candidate. We started with a mobile carwash in the parking lot and were later allocated a permanent area. Sun International helped me start the business and funded the start-up costs," he says.
Being associated with a brand like Sun International greatly benefited Golden Glow Carwash, with Marcus receiving business advice from the SED team.
"Operating from the premises of Golden Valley Casino strengthens the association and sets very high standards for us to achieve. It also sets Golden Glow Carwash apart from the other carwashes in town, as people expect great service from us," says Marcus, while noting the challenge of high staff turnover – most of his employees consider working in a carwash a stepping stone to something better.
To mitigate risks such as an economic downturn and to ensure customers feel special, Golden Glow Carwash offers an "old-school barbershop" personalised experience.
"Being your own boss requires a lot more effort than a regular job, but it is much more rewarding. As a coloured male in South Africa, it is difficult to establish yourself as a serious businessman – you are expected to be a "labourer". This challenge and my love for neat and clean cars have motivated me to deliver an extra-special service, which I turned into a successful business," adds Marcus.
His plans for the business include becoming 100% self-sustainable, increasing market share within Worcester and expanding its offering to cover car-cleaning detergents.
Unique selling point: "We are situated at the Golden Valley Casino, so you can take advantage of the gaming, entertainment and leisure activities, while you wait for your car to be cleaned."
Power tip: "Opportunities are everywhere. Look around and you will be surprised to find that the door to achieving your goals is right in front of you."