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Looking to start a detailing business, couple questions...


rm25x
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Ok I am looking at starting a detailing business. I have had other business's in the past so I know about proper paperwork, etc. But I have never had a service business before.

 

I think I want to go brick and mortar vs mobile, I think I found a good location for the business. Our town is upper class, and we don't have a detail shop within a half hour of here.

 

First question, what does everyone use for software to keep track of clients, etc?

 

Second, How much work would you feel that a 2 person crew could handle in a week?

 

Third, Are motorcycles worth the work to detail?

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

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1. Make sure you have insurance.

 

2. Quickbooks is easy for POS software, and I believe if you already have Quickbooks, you can use their POS stuff for free.

 

3. How much work do you feel you can handle in a day? Now, how about your partner?

 

4. I loathe detailing Motorcycles.

 

Bottom line, you need to make sure your rent, insurance, all the other business expenses can be covered, and that you also can pay the bills at home too with this. Can you knock out feasibly 3-4 cars a day? With a decent quality of life? Do you think there will be enough traffic enough to justify this? What about social media?

 

Mook

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1. Insurance for sure.

 

2. I do already have quick books, didn't know if there was something better.

 

3. Not sure on how much work we could do yet. I know I would want to do everything by appointment only. I also know I can't knit pick everything like I do my own vehicles. I was hoping for 2-3 per day? (I know it depends on what services they require)

 

4. Motorcycles seemed like they would be a pain in the rear, that's why I asked.

 

Social media is not a problem. I have lots of experience with that and marketing. Just trying to crunch some numbers to see where I need to be with it.

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Keep in mind we're still in a REALLY tough economy. 90% of people seem to not give a crap about their vehicles, another 5% are happy running it through the local swirl maker, remaining 5% are made up of the rest.

 

Seems the ones making anything around here are the local mobile guys that I wouldn't let wash my sidewalk.....such hacks that call themselves professional. Charging $40 a "detail" knocking out 10 cars a day.

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I'm around the same boat. Moving slow right now as I'm terrified of this economy. So with just using my own garage or the clients (if suitable) and being that I'm just one guy I stay in my own means. Being active duty is a bit of a task in itself, so stacking more than 5 clients with multistage polishes is about all I can do in a week by myself.

 

The comment above about the 90% is absolutely true. It seems the only people I see are the ones who are frantically desperate to revive their paint so they have some sort of trade in value...

 

One thing I've been focusing on now is cutting down my material cost with everything I do. I would eventually like to add an online store front but I just don't have the Capitol for the chosen companies buy ins.

 

Props to you man, I really hope it works out. If I was in a more high class area I'm sure id be in a better situation.

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Ya gotta look at what your avg customer would want to spend..every car isn't going to be "the works" or even a full correction if you can estimate that avg $ vs car and how long that will take you to do, you then should be able to calculate how many vehicles in a week or a month you need to be doing in order to pay for materials, rent, your own bills as well as paying your partner.

 

As far as getting your name out there....NOTHING is better than word of mouth man! Treat your customer like a friend or a guest at your house and treat their car like its your own, it'll get you far. I don't let a car I detail leave my garage until I would drive it...and I'm VERY picky ;)

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The first thing you need with any business is customers (I call them clients, feels more high class). If you don't have people that will come to you then you have nothing.

 

Second is decide who your customer base is. Do you want to do dealerships and car brokers for $85 a car? $125 for a 2 hour express detail? $300, $500? How much do you want to make? What are you costs in time, labor, product, overhead? Figure all that out and you will have an idea of what to charge.

 

Look into tint, wraps, clear bra, and chip repair. If you can't do it farm it out to someone reputable who can.

 

Go to car shows, hand out business cards, talk to people. Get a good logo, website, facebook page.

 

Over the last 2 weeks I have been doing more and more high end cars (Porsche, Ferrari, Lambos), and it is all about the people I know. The average ticket has been around $1300 for no more than 3 days of work. A good detailer can do a standard detail with one pass of paint correction on a moderate vehilce in a day (7-10 hours).

 

If you are just starting out plan on doing a bunch of crappy soccor mom cars with cherreos, french fries, cigarette smoke, and all kinds of nastyness. The high-end stuff will come later.

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The first thing you need with any business is customers (I call them clients, feels more high class). If you don't have people that will come to you then you have nothing.

 

Second is decide who your customer base is. Do you want to do dealerships and car brokers for $85 a car? $125 for a 2 hour express detail? $300, $500? How much do you want to make? What are you costs in time, labor, product, overhead? Figure all that out and you will have an idea of what to charge.

 

Look into tint, wraps, clear bra, and chip repair. If you can't do it farm it out to someone reputable who can.

 

Go to car shows, hand out business cards, talk to people. Get a good logo, website, facebook page.

 

Over the last 2 weeks I have been doing more and more high end cars (Porsche, Ferrari, Lambos), and it is all about the people I know. The average ticket has been around $1300 for no more than 3 days of work. A good detailer can do a standard detail with one pass of paint correction on a moderate vehilce in a day (7-10 hours).

 

If you are just starting out plan on doing a bunch of crappy soccor mom cars with cherreos, french fries, cigarette smoke, and all kinds of nastyness. The high-end stuff will come later.

 

I can't tell you how many times folks have asked me if I could do paintless dent repair as well as detail a car.

 

I've had several mention I could prolly clean up if I offered that as a service as well as detailing. For me it's just for a bit of mad money to blow on toys, trips, new detailing products, etc.

 

So PDR, Tint, and detailing would be quite the clean up. I think with that you could easily make it a business. I'd look into maybe a chain dent repair, and try and buy in on one of those. They set you up with all the training, tools, etc necessary. You provide the store front, and offer other services.

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