Car detailing is a sector that has grown rapidly over the last 5 years. What was once seen as an obscure hobby is now a business that is used by millions of people around the world. Of course, there will always be the case of drive way detailers. However, a dedicated detail can take a long time. Due to this, many car owners will outsource this to a professional detailer.
There are several steps that are required to successfully set up a car detailing business.
Selecting a location of choice
The right location is everything when it comes to car detailing. There are some areas that you may want to target that simply don’t want these services. Instead, they may be more than happy to have the local hand car wash clean the car for a few dollars. In this respect, it isn’t worth targeting that area, at least not initially. Instead, it is a better option to target more affluent areas in order to gain a reputation, before embarking on other territories.
Before any work is carried out on a customer’s car, it is crucial that there is an insurance policy in place. This is in the unlikely event that damage occurs to the car, be it a scratch, or burnt paint that occurs during the detail.
Business insurance is relatively inexpensive, and it is well worth it in the long run as opposed to a having to have a car resprayed (in the worst case scenario).
Choose high quality supplies
High quality supplies are a must for any detailer. This ranges from wash mitts, to snow foam, pressure washers, car shampoo and also high quality waxes.
A word of advice is to not purchase these items in a bricks and mortar shop. The reason for this is that they will be much more expensive than they are online. The other benefit of buying these supplies online is that there is a digital receipt available, making it easier when it comes to claiming these supplies as an expense at tax time. Also, when buying online, there is no need to worry about getting the heavy supplies home.
Build an online presence
In days gone by, it was crucial to have a website for any business. However, with the advent of social media pages, such as Facebook and also Instagram, this is a great option to get the business known to as many people as possible.
It would still be a good idea to have a website, but this does not need to be an extremely expensive or fancy site. It has to be functional, easy to access across a variety of devices, and easy to update with the latest photos of recently completed work.
There are a lot of drag and drop websites such as Wix, Squarespace etc that are perfect for this task.
It is important though to have an Instagram program and to engage with users so that a wider audience can see the quality of the work.
Similarly, it can be particularly beneficial to have a YouTube channel in order to further showcase the quality of work that is on offer.
The added benefit of this is that as a YouTube channel grows, there is the potential for car cleaning brands to reach out and offer a supply of products to test out.
Building a customer base
One mistake that a lot of new detailers make is to do a comprehensive detail for free. Whilst there may be positive feedback, the sad truth is that after someone has been given something for free, they will be reluctant to pay for the full service.
Instead, when starting out, a specific service could be offered at 60% of the usual price. That way, the customer is getting great value for money and the business is getting positive feedback.
Have multiple pricing tiers
In car detailing, there is no one size fits all price. Whilst some customers may need an interior clean, others won’t. Likewise, the interior of a car could be perfect, but the paint work requires an extensive correction.
Due to this, it is crucial to have multiple tiers offering customers different services. There is also then the potential to offer frequent customers a maintenance detail as opposed to a full blown detail. For long time customers, a loyalty bonus could also be factored into things.
Included in the pricing tiers is upsells. A common option on any detail is to apply a paste wax to the car that can last up to 3 months. However, the customer could be offered to upgrade to a more durable form of paint protection for $10 that can last 6-9 months.
They will be much more likely to go for this option. At first this may seem counterintuitive to offer an add-on that will potentially cost the business money.
However, these longer lasting spray on protections can now be found for cheaper than a conventional paste wax. They are also a lot quicker to apply since a lot of them are now spray on and rinse or wipe off. There is no need to apply them, let them cure than then spend a considerable period of time buffing them back off. This means the job can be finished sooner and then the next customer can be attended to. The customer is also getting excellent value for money, and therefore they are much more likely to leave positive feedback.
Whilst is can be challenging to set up any business, following the guidelines above is an excellent start for anyone that wants to have their own car detailing business.