The recession has been very difficult on many companies in the auto sector. Not long ago, I was discussing this with someone who owned a detail shop, that is to say he ran an auto detailing company. He noted that his wholesale business was down by 75% due to the fact that the car dealerships weren’t selling any cars and they didn’t need any new car preps, and they didn’t have any customers requesting detailing as part of their purchase.
Likewise, he indicated to me that no one was trading in their old cars to buy new cars, so there was no used car detailing to be spoken for at the wholesale level. When I asked him about the “Clunkers for Cash” program, he told me when people traded in those Clunkers they went straight to the salvage yard to be crushed, not put back on the lot like other used car trade-ins. Had they been put back on the lot for sale, he might’ve had a chance to get the car dealership to pay him to do some wholesale detailing on each one.
“How about the retail detail business?”
Well, he told me that people were saving their money, and “in fear of a pandemic economic depression or something,” thus, they were not spending money, and he had to let several of his independent contractor detailers go. He said he hated to make the recession locally any worse, by laying-off his workers, but he had no choice because he didn’t have enough business.
He said he was lucky because he could rent out two of his bays out and sublet them to a couple of young kids that were building street car racer aftermarket kits, and if he hadn’t been able to do that he probably would’ve had to close his shop because he wasn’t making any money at all.
Now, however he sees light at the end of the tunnel and understands that the economy is now out of recession, and he and I were strategizing on how to market his business to bring the customers back. We determined that it was important to canvass the wealthier areas within a 10 mile radius of his location, and also to target single people between the ages of 25 and 40.
We also determined that it was important to give quick service, or mini-details to get people in and trying his business out. Both of these strategies have worked for my company in the past; The Detail Guys. Indeed, that is what I would recommend to you, if you are trying to figure out ways to market your fixed site auto detailing company in 2010 please consider this.