If you are in Bizerte and your car is in need of repair or cleaning, visit Monia Ben Hsan’s auto center. You will not only receive excellent support and customer service, but you will also support a local businesswoman!

Monia’s idea to upgrade her brother’s car wash business first came to her while visiting Tunis, where she saw first-hand the vast number of busy car wash and auto repair shops. She recognized this as a business opportunity in her home region of Bizerte and spoke with her brother about partnering with him and managing the business.

Once in her new role, however, the financial challenges of running the business kept mounting and Monia quickly realized she needed formal training and support. While searching for resources, a friend referred Monia to the local WES Center in Bizerte called Youth and Skills WES Center for Women’s Business Development. At the Center, Monia enrolled in Financial Education and Entrepreneurship workshops and, with the support of the WES Center staff, created a business plan and refined her bookkeeping practices.

The WES Center training and additional services helped Monia to understand the importance of customer service, and her business plan includes incentives for repeat customers, such as offering gift cards. The increased focus on customer satisfaction is paying off; as one loyal customer states, “I choose to come to the station for the simple reason that Ms. Monia and her employees are very helpful. Above all, the price is good and the service provided is of high quality and efficient. Everyone is satisfied.”

Monia’s experience at the WES Center also gave her insight to the value of supporting employees and fostering a supportive work environment. In Monia’s current role, she manages the shop and handles all administrative tasks, while her three employees are responsible for washing and repairing cars. All of the employees express their appreciation for Monia’s business acumen and the respect she has for her employees. One of her staff members used to be a tattoo artist and barista, while another worked at a competitor car wash. The most veteran employee is the mechanic. He enjoys working at Monia’s auto center and explains, “We all get along at work. I’m at ease as if we were a family and this [was] my own [business].”

The auto center now attracts an average of ten customers a day during the peak summer months. Equipped with financial management tools and a new found appreciation of her staff, Monia is excited about growing the auto center. She plans to expand by selling spare parts, hiring more employees and buying a tow truck to increase her revenue in the winter months, when fewer people have thier cars washed.

 

Monia is one of many women supported by the Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) program and local WES Centers for Women’s Business Development to pursue their business dreams. Read the stories of other WES businesswomen by visiting our website.