Teen-ager Lance Winslow
'just can't help' making a bundle
Lance Winslow, at 19, already has several soaring business enterprises, including aircraft cleaning and sales, and a seasonal Christmas card mailing venture. He also holds down 22 units of classes at Ventura College - business courses, of course.
At the rate he's going, 19-year-old Lance Winslow of Camarillo could make his first million by age 25.
The young entrepreneur, who entered the world of private enterprise at 12, now owns five businesses and is expanding at least two of them. "Everything I do seems to turn to money. Just can't help it, I guess," he said.
Each venture grew from his first business - an aircraft cleaning service at Camarillo Airport.
"Ever since I was a kid, I'd hang out at the (Camarillo) airport and bum rides," said Winslow who dreamed of becoming a pilot. "One time a guy offered me $5 to clean his plane so I started my first business charging $5 a week per plane."
He quickly found regular customers with his first business, Speedy Waxers, which service 50 clients a week. "I was bringing in maybe $200 to $500 a week, depending on the season," said Winslow who gave his fellow students at Rio Mesa High School the jobs to handle the busy months.
Since then, he's sold advertising and aircraft. Christmas cards are his newest venture.
The Ventura College student is successful enough to soon open yet another business - a computerized multi-listing service for aircraft.
At 14, he sold his aircraft cleaning business for $1,600. "The economy was starting to hurt and I had real cashflow problems," said Winslow, adding people were paying their bills 30 days late.
"But now the economy seems to be picking up and I'm making a fast comeback," after starting a new cleaning business, Aero Speed Waxing. "I'm brining in about $2,520 a week with 84 customers."
Incorporating his aircraft waxing business and building it up by buying more equipment are his immediate goals. Streamlining his operations is another effort to increase success.
But, cleaning planes wasn't enough at age 17 and the energetic Rio Mesa student started selling planes as well. "People say it's hard to sell planes, but I think it's a piece of cake. I just know a lot of people who are looking for aircraft and we've got the planes here to show 'em."
He sold his first plane when he was 14 for $12,000 and earned a 2 percent commission. From then on he decided to make more money selling planes.
By the end of summer 1980, Winslow pocketed $2,500 and flew to a big air show in Oshkosh, Wis. That was his vacation.
On his next sale, Winslow made $500. "The sales are really good in June for the warm weather and then again November and December for company tax write-offs," he explained.
On Nov. 27, Winslow showed about eight planes to several serious buyers. He sold an '81 Skyhawk the same afternoon. "Sometimes I can close a deal in one day and make $200 on the spot - cash," he said, adding that about half his customers do pay cash.
To make it worth the effort, Winslow now handles sales of $10,000 and up and earns a 2½ percent commission.
Besides selling planes, he sells advertising for Pacific Flyer Aviation News in exchange for free advertising slots.
"You don't get anything for free," he explains, "you have to work really hard and figure out how to do everything you're already doing better - better than anybody else."
With business mostly on his mind, the freshman class senator also takes 22 units a Ventura College - business courses. His busy schedule squeezes in time to attend classes three days a week.
"My salesmanship class is great; I even got 10 people working on commission selling my Christmas cards." He started his newest business with $600, sending cards to his clients and prospective customers from his aircraft cleaning business.
Winslow said selling the cards is a great tool for testing different advertising techniques and learning what brings people back to me."
Winslow recently ran an ad saying "I love my customers..." The response was fantastic, he said.
Article reprinted from The Camarillo Daily News, December 4, 1983.