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shane@detailedreflections last won the day on April 24 2020

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  1. The Odor Bomb may work well enough for you, it may not. Wet dog smell is frustrating at best. On a molecular level, the only way to eliminate odors is with an ozone generator. This is the tool that hotels and apartments use to eliminate odors. You can get some small inexpensive ones on amazon, but I'm not sure how they work. We have a commercial unit that we use. We typically charge $50-100 to run the ozone depending on other services purchased at the time. You may find a local detailer with one. That will leave the car with an almost stale smell that will take a few days to go away even with the use of air fresheners. I think one of the secrets to letting things work before the ozone level is how long they've sat for. The enzyme cleaners are great. We use them for any human fluids type of messes, or really any other biological situations we come across. The charcoal can't hurt either. That's a solid idea without going to the length of the ozone machine.
  2. Thank you. I have some other photos that came out well too, I just haven't posted them. They're some that a buddy shot. As far as a DD goes, it's not my DD. I will say it's a blast to drive. It makes you want to drive it, and drive it hard. I feel the stock exhaust doesn't allow the car to sound like it should. This week I'm having a custom fabricated third cat delete pipe made. This will save weight and lose the resonator, while making it sound like it should. I can purchase some already made, but couldn't get the tips I wanted and was actually able to have it made cheaper than I could order it for. Here's hoping that plan works like it should...
  3. Thanks! I’d have to dig the articles out again. But if you search my history you’ll find them @BuBruce86. I will day this, growth is harder than you think to obtain. And when it takes hold can be difficult to manage. Bear that in mind as you learn the ropes. The cars are the easy part. The business isn’t easy.
  4. You can polish them out. You can try correcting or finishing polish on a pad and a machine if you want. They do make glass polish and glass polish pads. That will give you the best results since they’re specific products for the job. Another option is #0000 steel wool and see if that lifts anything out of it.
  5. We install windshield coatings and have never had an issue. That being said, it’s not Adam’s we use. Those features should rely on optical clarity so as long as everything is buffed correctly it shouldn’t be a factor. The timing sounds strange though. You could try a glass polish and try to take it off that area and see if it restores functionality.
  6. Regular wheel cleaner is fine on ceramic coated wheels. It won’t hurt...but may or may not be needed. It depends on a few variables which I’ll get into below. Good information here. A ceramic coating SHOULD make cleaning easier. Some coatings are more durable than others and that’s a debate for another forum and another time. The biggest variable in which cleaner you want to use is honestly how bad your brakes bleed brake dust. My Lotus for example has a horrible dust issue. The wheels have been coated for a while (and just recoated in a different coating after powder coat). They still hold on to the brake dust. It’s just...”not as bad.” Until I give in and swap to EBC Ceramic pads, it’s a demon I have to live with. The other factor (and this is for general knowledge since I’m assuming you’ll coat the barrels since the wheels are new and off) is if the wheel barrels have been coated. Coating faces is a time/cost savings for some. So if that’s the case, the wheel barrels will be just like normal. If your brakes don’t bleed that bad, an eco wheel cleaner will work great. Try it first. See if you’re happy. Then you’ll know the answer if you need more. Like ALL things detailing...least to most aggressive.
  7. Thanks @RayS. I'm looking forward to the time coming that we can put a coating on your vehicle for you. You're welcome to sit in on the process when the time comes if you'd like as well. Ray brought up a good point that I overlooked, and it's a major one for me. I do view customers as different from clients. So there's two different acquisitions that happen. The first is potential customer to customer. Then you have to acquire them again to make them a client. There's a difference between the two, and it's significant even though both provide revenue. A customer is generally a one time transaction. They have a dirty call, and they have a service done and you never see or hear from them again. These are people who may have zero or limited experience with a detailing service and are trying it out for the first time. Or someone who has a special need ("someone got sick in my car and I can't get it out.") Your job is to convert that customer to a client. A client is someone who has a repeated relationship with you. They come back over and over for service, and they're also your biggest champions when it comes to word of mouth. These are your clients who provide you with continued revenue. That continued factor is important. Do a coating for a client? You want to see them once or twice a year. Customers are usually the ones who will be the pickiest about things for some reason. That's where managing expectations comes in. Treat everyone the same. Don't change work for who you perceive the person in front of you to be. Treat people well, treat people the same. You're trying to build relationships. We have clients who are now friends. That acquisition can be difficult, and the distinction needs to be made so you can understand what you'll have for renewed revenue and workload. After all, servicing the new customers/clients is additional revenue to maintaining the old ones.
  8. The brand doesn’t matter. 0000 is the grade of the steel wool in terms of abrasiveness. Be generous with the glass cleaner when using it. We use this often. Now they make glass pads and polishes. But you can also try a finishing paint polish to see if it’s helpful. We have the glass pads and polishes and we do use them. But it’s time consuming and slow progress. It is not impossible though.
  9. You ask some good questions. Congratulations on the effort to make a business. I’ll share a few thoughts and maybe it turns into some discussion of further points. I’ve written about a lot of these topics here before if you search my history. That way hopefully it’s not too repetitive. The biggest thing I can say is that detailing for a business will likely take away some of the fun that it can be as a hobby. It introduces stresses that weren’t there before. Now you’re worried about client acquisition, retention, profit margin, product supplies. These are factors on every single job. Neglecting them is being a negligent business owner. For pricing you have to do market research. Find out what others are charging in your area. You don’t have to follow their pricing to the letter, but it gives you an idea. We are small, but we are not the cheapest guys around. That being said, I can sell our expense on the fact that we are heavily invested in equipment. Eight polishers, an extractor, dreamer, a lift, blowers, paint thickness gauges, etc. All things that add to our “value.” If you don’t have the proper equipment, don’t take the job. Your pricing will also be set by the customer you’re attempting to acquire. Do you want a car wash customer in for a “wash and vac?” That’s not our target. It’s not our target because I don’t feel the return on my investment is there. Add up the costs of labor, supplies, etc and I can’t charge enough to make my money back and reasonable profit. Understanding profit comes from multiple jobs. On a standard detail (one step polish and interior), I’m making money...but after I pay the guys, supplies, etc there isn’t always a lot left on the table. But this work is necessary to spread the word of mouth that brings in money generating work for me. It also keeps my guys working and interested in keeping on. If they’re not making money, why are they going to work? So these jobs to me while being slightly profitable are a “cost of doing business.” Where I make money as a business owner is really on coatings. There’s good margin in them and room I don’t sweat the hours that go into them. That being said, we don’t just use consumer coatings and call it good. We are accredited/certified in professional level stuff. It took time to get there. A lot of it actually. Do not over sell your experience. You have to manage expectations of your clients. And when you oversell your ability, you set yourself up for failure. Better to underpromise and over deliver. Be mindful of how you buy as a business owner. Want to make more profit? You can do it two ways. Raise your prices so you make more. Or you can reduce your costs. This is better buying or better process. This creates more margin without the client feeling the impact of that decision. Don’t limit yourself to a single supplier. It’s poor business unless that vendor is offering some significant perk for being exclusive. You most likely know this, but your hourly rate target needs to be inclusive of a lot of variables. Your labor, material cost, overhead expenses and money on the table for the business to retain earnings and to have cash available for when something breaks (we just smoked a polisher last weekend and had two new ones in two days). Your hourly rate target is likely higher than you think. Advertising is tough. We don’t advertise. We are word of mouth, or you can search us. Word of mouth is huge. So is having a professional appearance. Our website alone has landed us more than one job and we’ve retained these people as clients. That being said, I won’t get into a price war with the competition. Our prices are fair (but not cheap), and it’s what I feel we need to make to make this venture worthwhile. If a customer plays the “so and so can do it for this...” my typical reply is that if that’s what fits their budget it sounds like they’re a good fit for what they’re looking for. Often times the biggest bargain shoppers are the pickiest. Then you get the other end of the spectrum. We have a referral client picking up a C8 corvette. It’s coming from the dealer directly to us and he hasn’t asked me for a price yet. The referrals carry the weight of the asking price. We started by doing our own cars. Then friends would ask if we could do theirs. And so on. It’s taken time to grow. I can’t say this enough, and it’s a common mistake...DO NOT undercut pricing to get started. You teach your customer that you can do it for less. If you don’t value your work, who will?
  10. Thanks guys. This was such a fun project to put together. It went through so many changes in my head about what I wanted it to be. There were stages of doubt in what it would become at times (some pics looked brown). Thanks to good partnerships, we kept to the vision and executed it well I think. The results exceeded my expectations. The next nice day I want to see it driven down the road to see how it looks in motion. I’m also planning a photo/video shoot with a friend of mine (who is way better artistically than myself with a camera) and I’ll put together a nice video edit. We are going to shoot in multiple locations. Thanks for following this build!
  11. @BRZN has you covered pretty well. Most ceramic coatings do become tacky as you apply them. It’s the actual product being left behind after the carrying agent (the one that makes it so it can be applied) begins to evaporate out. Adam’s historically hasn’t been too bad as far as that goes, but there are some brutal ones that come to mind that we’ve worked with (Ceramic Pro Wheel and Caliper is brutally tacky and difficult to buff off). We always coat the roof like the rest of the vehicle. It doesn’t need any special treatment. Don’t be afraid to overlap. If you’re not sure, overlap a little. You won’t hurt anything in the durability of the product.
  12. I finally was able to pick up the car today. Here’s the final list of changes: -Wrap in Oracal Matte Sunset Shift wrap. -Wrap roof, a posts, mirrors, partial hood, spoiler, front splitter and lower rockers in gloss black -Paint calipers in what ended up being a four stage paint to match -Gloss black emblems -Powder coat the wheels black -6mm wheel spacers on the front and 15mm spacers on the back. -Ceramic Coat with a Vinyl/PPF coating everywhere, wheels and calipers in accompanying product. -Drop a mild tune in the car to wake it up a bit. These are quick shots with the phone. A good video and photo shoot will be happening. The wheel pic was after driving it home, so yup...they’re dirty. These brakes bleed dust everywhere.
  13. You can also minimize the way those products builds up by applying from the ppf to the paint instead of paint to ppf. The sharp edge of the film scrapes the applicator and allows excess product to build up rapidly. If you do get any buildup, see above. It’s good advice.
  14. None. Treat it like paint. Polishing is a little different. Finishing polish. Lower speed. Less heat. Ceramic coatings have some PPF/Vinyl specific coatings, but if you’re not going that far it’s a non factor.
  15. Generally I agree with your sentiment 100%. I’ve openly disagreed on things Adam’s has done in the past on this forum, as well as directly to Adam himself of various representatives of the company. Admittedly, I can be pretty critical. That being said in this case I feel your sentiment is misguided, despite being well intentioned. “Desperate times call for desperate measures.” That’s the saying anyway. We are currently experiencing a pandemic on a world scale that is unlike anything we have ever seen. Economies are crippled. Death tolls continue. Infection rates rise. Resources are drained. This is something that has an impact on nearly every town, county, state, nation and continent. Everything is a fluid situation in a constant state of flux where needs change daily, or even by the minute. Not only do I own Detailed Reflections, but my true career (the one that really pays the bills) is being a firefighter in a community of 50,000 people. We have seen the feelings change from “we have plenty of gear” to “one to one replacement” so we don’t run out. So far to date, my community has over 200 cases of Covid-19. We have transported approximately seventy of these patients. I myself (and my crew) have had four direct contacts with Covid-19 positive patients to date that we know of. With every contact comes the need for more products to decontaminate ourselves and our equipment. This has created a shift where smaller local businesses have shifted their production to support their communities instead of the bottom line. We have an adhesive company a couple towns over that made hand sanitizer for every member of our department. This allowed them to keep their employees working, and helps the community. It’s the proverbial “win-win.” Everyone now is being divided (right or wrong) into essential and non-essential. Non essential businesses are sometimes able to sustain themselves by offering something they don’t always. The need for general sanitization products versus car care products is clear currently. I can state that as the owner of a business that relies on car care products and the availability of them to keep going. Adam’s is putting their community before the needs of it’s existing “customers.” If our communities fail, the businesses fail. And companies disappear completely. You’re going to see a few crisis’ arise thanks to Covid-19 outside of healthcare. You will see a financial crisis, unemployment crisis, mental health crisis, potential housing crisis (credit will be trashed, savings wiped out, mortgages in default). It’s going to take time to climb out way out of this. The way we do that is by understanding that the needs of everyone have shifted significantly during this time. If you live in a lesser affected area, it doesn’t mean the companies in your area aren’t supporting those in areas of impact. For the greater good of society, and to end this as quickly as possible Adam’s has done the right thing. They should be applauded, not reminded that they need to get back to car care products and customers. I mean no disrespect to your thoughts, just sharing the views from the other side of the fence. I don’t want to bring Covid-19 home to my family because I couldn’t get what I needed to remain safe. And I don’t want to have to change how I interact with members of the community I serve out of fear or lack of proper supplies. Right now we all need to support each other. For the greater good.
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