Regardless of the prevailing economic climate, one sector that rarely takes a hit is the automotive care business. Especially in the United States, the upkeep of cars is a top priority for people from all walks of life. Establishing a car detailing business is a great way to capitalize on this phenomenon. Even the most modest vehicle represents a large investment for most people and they’ll pay to keep it in top condition. Starting a car detailing business doesn’t require a large upfront investment and can be very lucrative .
There are two major decisions you’ll need to make before you get started. First, decide whether you’ll focus on interior detailing, exterior detailing or both. Second, you’ll need to decide whether you’ll be working from a stationary location or ply your trade as a mobile specialist that goes right to the consumer. Regardless of how you plan on providing your services, you’ll need to take into account things like water and waste disposal as well as local zoning regulations that might impact future profitability.
If you plan on being in this for the long haul, you’ll most likely need to register as a business with the local or state authorities. Setting up a sole proprietorship, LLC or S-corporation should be taken care of first. After you deal with the red tape, you’ll need to stock up on the tools of the trade. Research suppliers for the required hardware like vacuums, buffers and shampoo machines. Also, look into bulk vendors of supplies such as chamois cloths, cleaning liquids and various waxes.
Detailing cars is tough but financially rewarding work. However, the hardest part of getting a business off the ground is building your brand. Distributing flyers locally via community bulletin boards is certainly one way to go. Another powerful way to market your fledgling enterprise is with social media sites like Google+, Twitter and Facebook. Those looking for service providers nearby will be more likely to find you if you have a visible online presence. An equal mix of offline and online promotion would be advisable.
Network with Other Businesses
Growing your customer base doesn’t necessarily have to be a solo venture. Teaming up with other businesses in the area can lead to mutually beneficial partnerships that rapidly expand your potential following. Approach local repair shops and dealerships that don’t already boast detailing services and offer to be their in-house detailing specialist. Another smart way to drum up business is by going after organizations with fleets of cars such as local taxi companies and municipal governments. Undercut established detailing businesses on price to get a foot in the door.
Where to Begin
The best way to get started is by approaching friends and acquaintances with an offer to detail their cars at a discount. Those that are pleased with your work will spread the word about your dedication to perfection. After all, word of mouth promotion is one of the best ways to gain a following. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to build a professional, well-respected operation, you can potentially make hundreds of dollars per day as the owner of a car-detailing business.