Exciting things are happening across Indian Country, from new business ventures to government contracts, U.S. Department of Agriculture funding for community projects and other opportunities for Native American entrepreneurs. One venture recently opened in Shawnee, Oklahoma is Peltier Mobile Auto Detail Service. We caught up with owner Tracy Peltier earlier this month for an interview about his new venture.
Describe Peltier Mobile Auto Detail Service. What do you provide and what makes it different from other similar businesses in the industry?
“We are mobile and serve Shawnee, Seminole and surrounding areas offering mobile auto detailing. Most other detailing businesses in Shawnee are fixed locations, but we are mobile and can come to our customer’s home or work.”
What market does your business serve? Are you exclusive to just Native Americans?
“Anyone with a car, truck, SUV, motorcycle, RV, bus or limo can be our customer. We also offer fleet services for larger companies with company vehicles and other services such as headlight restoration, paint color correction, paint chip repair, carpet, upholstery and engine cleaning. We are also Native-owned and operated and serve the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s employees and members.”
What is your price range for the services you offer?
“Basic detailing packages start at $60 for small to midsized cars and go up to $100 for trucks and large SUVs.”
When did you first know you wanted to go into business for yourself? What challenges did you face in getting your business started?
“We were researching ‘turnkey businesses’ and found a mobile business that is very rare in this area. Our biggest challenge was finding operating capital — we would not have been able to start it up with our own finances.”
Why come to the Citizen Potawatomi Community Development Corporation rather than a lending institution like a traditional bank?
“I am a CPN tribal member and we have five CPN tribal member children. The CPCDC is very easy to work with and have a friendly staff that wants to help Native American small-business owners. I knew the CPCDC could help our startup and we were excited to apply with the idea.
“The CPCDC helped us secure operating capital and money to buy trailer, pay for training, equipment and supplies.
“From the time we first talked with them to providing us a solution to our challenges, the support was immediate.”
What impact has the help from CPCDC had on your business in the immediate and long term?
“They helped us purchase everything needed to get the business up and going. When we applied, they had us write a business plan, which helped us to better understand the financial aspects of the business we were getting into.”
Looking back at it, would you choose to use CPCDC again?
“Absolutely. My wife and I wanted to start this business to have something in the future to grow and possibly pass on to our children. This market currently is wide-open and we feel that the CPCDC helped us get a head start. With the help of our hard work and readiness to succeed, we feel we are now on the right path.
“We would recommend any Native to the CPCDC to startup a business. They are a friendly staff and open to new ideas. They also will teach you the financial side of your business, which in the long run will help keep your business financially strong for years to come.”