Small Business Success Stories

Jonno’s Car Wash

Without a doubt, water is the topic of the moment. For many businesses the water shortage has caused problems as they face battles for exemptions to use the precious resource in their daily operations.


For Jonathon Sciola of Jonno’s Car Wash, there has been no such issue – in fact the water shortage has given this business the advantage over many competitors and has seen his waterless carwash business skyrocket! And this success is all because he was observant of external forces on his business and then flexible enough to respond.

Jonno’s Car Wash commenced in 2004 after Jonathon completed the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) through Box Hill BEC. Initially the business was a traditional water-based mobile car wash with a residential focus. Although Jonathon had a Bachelor of Business, he found that it didn’t give him the knowledge he needed to run a small business, but the Certificate IV in Small Business Management studied as part of the program and the advice given by Box Hill staff, did. In addition, Jonathon found the mentoring support through NEIS to be extremely valuable.

Through the mentoring process, Jonathon turned the focus of his business towards the corporate sector, visiting workplaces and washing numerous cars in one location, rather than one car at numerous locations. At the end of his period on NEIS he had achieved his goals and had a comfortable income and large loyal customer base, but he didn’t know what to do to take the business to the next growth level. He needed ideas and again turned to Box Hill BEC for assistance.

This time he participated in Box Hill’s Business Breakthrough Program, a program developed by the BEC in 2003. Business Breakthrough involves five workshops and five mentoring  - the workshops cover the different ways a business can grow, the various considerations and planning issues whilst the mentoring assists with the tailoring of this to the individual businesses needs, the development of an individualised growth strategy/plan and its implementation in the business. Here Jonathon again received the inspiration which helped his business to grow.

“The Box Hill mentors taught me to keep my eyes on environmental and economic factors that would affect my business,” said Jonathon. “I identified that the water shortage and water restrictions were going to be a concern to my business and so found a waterless product to clean cars.”

“It has been so successful in helping my business to grow that I now supply waterless car wash chemicals to 35% of Melbourne's car dealers, including many Mercedes, BMW and Ford dealerships.”

Over the past six months since instigating the waterless wash, business for Jonno’s Carwash has boomed. He promotes the waterless aspect to the business – car owners can now be guilt-free for having a car that is clean and maintaining value. Jonathon has distributors selling the product for him throughout Melbourne and is hiring contractors to physically wash cars for him. He is moving from being a sole trader to a proprietary company and has found a venture capitalist to invest in the business. There are exciting times ahead for Jonathon and Jonno’s Car Wash… the perfect example of a business succeeding with the assistance of a BEC (in both start-up and growth cycles!)





Whitehorse Business Award Winners Again


Box Hill Institute won the 2007 Yarra Valley Award for Excellence in a Large Business at the Whitehorse Business Group’s Annual Excellence in Business Awards on 23 March.

The Institute won the same award jointly with Epworth Eastern in 2006 and won the equivalent award in 2004 and 2005.

In addition, the Institute this year sponsored the Box Hill Institute Award for Excellence in Small Business which went to Four Wheel Drives while Lifestyle Furniture was Highly Commended.

In addition, the awards recognised four local businesses that have participated in Box Hill Institute’s small business programs:


JCI Whitehorse Maroondah Young Achiever Award

Winner – Jonathan Sciola (Mitcham) from Jonno’s Car Wash completed the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) and Business Breakthrough programs.Highly Commended – Carol-Ann Starnes (Doncaster) from FUN Maths & English Tutoring completed the NEIS program.


The Nesso Award for Micro & Home Based Business

Highly Commended – Michael Ceppi (Blackburn) from JoBlo completed the Business Breakthrough program and was winner of last year’s MYOB Award for Excellence in a Start-up Business with another business Coffee By the Baldman.


The Award for Excellence for a Start-Up Business

Finalist – Peggi Yip (Mont Albert North) from iQuest Finance completed the NEIS program.


Box Hill Institute Chief Executive Officer John Maddock congratulated all Institute staff, students and industry partners for their hard work and contribution to the awards.

“To win this award four years in a row, including last year when we shared it with Epworth Eastern, shows our great consistency in providing quality vocational education and training to the community,” he said.

“Box Hill Institute has received the Large Business award for our excellence in business management, strategic alliances and leadership achievements and contribution to City of Whitehorse.”

He also congratulated the small business winners, commendations and finalists who have benefited from Box Hill Institute’s excellent small business programs.

“As the home of the Specialist Centre for Services to Small to Medium Enterprises, I am delighted that we have a hand in producing such high achievers in the business world and look forward to seeing their future success,” he said.



Hurstbridge business wins prestigious green award

A Hurstbridge small business has won the 2010 ECO-Buy Green Supplier of the Year award.

Going Green Solutions won the prestigious award at Melbourne’s Malthouse Theatre last week. The award was presented by Bernie Hobbs, a popular judge on ABC Television’s New Inventors program.

Proprietors Sean and Lucinda Flynn said it was “wonderful” to receive some recognition for their lifelong commitment to helping people live a more sustainable lifestyle.

“We started our business from home out of a desire to find products to match our personal commitment to a more sustainable lifestyle,” Director Lucinda Flynn said.

“That has since evolved into a successful retail and wholesale business in Hurstbridge that supplies both households and businesses Australia-wide, who want to switch to environmentally-friendly products for their home, events and workplaces.”

This is the second year of the ECO-Buy awards. The not-for-profit group is funded by the Department of Sustainability and Environment and Sustainability Victoria to encourage uptake of environmental purchasing.

Ms Flynn expects the ECO-Buy award to increase the profile of Going Green Solutions as a reputable supplier of “green” products among local and state government buyers.

Already, Going Green is one of Victoria’s largest suppliers of compostable catering ware and has supplied many of Melbourne’s major event companies including the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre, The Big Group and Domaine Chandon Winery.

Going Green may have big corporate customers but it has managed to maintain its focus at the household level.

“We investigate the little things that make a big difference. We try to use every product we sell so we can speak really knowledgably about them” Mr Flynn said.

“We constantly look for green products in areas that people haven’t even thought of. A recent addition to our range has been biodegradable cling wrap in a household pack complete with a cutter – all of which is compostable.”

Going Green is a preferred supplier on the ECO-Green database that offers a comprehensive online directory of independently assessed green products.

Going Green sells a range of products at its retail shop in Hurstbridge that include: paper products, recycled office products, energy-efficient electrical solutions, solar products, do-it-yourself insulation kits, plant-based cleaning and laundry products and a range of green gifts.


For further information and media interviews


Sean or Lucinda Flynn

(03) 9718 0126 or  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it







Tel (03) 8892 2002