An automobile detailing business gives the pride and satisfaction of owning your own business. This profession requires hard work but is very rewarding. Auto detailers wax and polish the paint, chrome the wheels and clean the seats until the car shines like a new vehicle.
There is considerable difference between full-time professional automobile detailing and amateur detailing. Even the equipment is different. Professional detailing businessmen take great care in selecting supplies because they are consumed at a fast clip. They also pay great attention to price and quality. This is the only way they can beat competition.
Sales skills: You need to spend a lot of time selling your services. Also you need to inspect the customer’s car in his/her presence and point out problems with paint, stains or interiors, and offer to take care of them. This will not only make your customers come back to you but also spread the good word. You also need to promote your automobile detailing business through fliers.
Another good business practice is to offer maintenance contracts consisting of a weekly car wash and two waxes every month. This will help you:
- Get a nice check up front.
- Have a steady customer
- Be seen often in an area, which is good for business.
You can conduct a demonstration for the local car club members. Snacks and drinks can be thrown in to make sure that they turn up for demonstration. This may encourage several car owners to entrust the car washing to you. Everyone likes a smart, clean vehicle; no one, however, likes to spend hours cleaning it.
Start up costs: The automobile detailing business is the perfect business for people with small budgets because it can be started with a small investment. Also you may start with detailing cars in the dealers’ showrooms and then move to detailing private cars.
A common way to start an automobile detailing business is to go to customers’ homes and workplaces in a truck, trailer or van and clean their car at their location. You may use the local water supply or carry your own. Working from a fixed site though, you may offer better services. This may include pick and drop facility. However, it is important that your own vehicle or your location should look clean. Otherwise, it will be difficult to convince customers that you can make their cars look sparklingly clean and new.
Big cities like Las Vegas, Houston, Atlanta or Los Angeles have around 200 mobile detailers who wash five to ten cars per day, charging $12 to $20 per car. Some may get more and may also make good tips. Additionally, they may detail one or two cars at $60 to $100. In places like Silicon Valley, Century City, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Montecito, Newport Beach, Palm Springs, La Jolla, Laguna Niguel or Rancho Santa Fe, you can even charge $120 to $250 for big cars or SUVs.
The mobile detailers are not a big threat to full service car washes or to long-running fixed site auto detailing businesses because they enjoy strong referrals. Before starting you should study the auto detailing business scene in your area. You must find out the prices that are being charged, and the services that are being offered.
Statistics to make you happy: There are over 100 million cars and trucks on the road, all of which need to be washed regularly. People like to keep their cars for a long time and are willing to get them washed regularly. The competition is low in this business and there is enough opportunity for new entrepreneurs to get in.