View Full Version : Mobil Detailing Business Tips

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03-05-2004, 08:26 AM
Everyone in the Detailing business, mobil or fixed give some business tips.

a. How to get new customers

b. Services you offer

c. Insurance advice

d. Weekly Detail Plans

e. Dealership Details

All aspects of running a detailing bussiness, also average weekly figures, such as i average 3-4 details on the weekend which average close to 500 dollors. I am tryin to build a strong client base to do it full time. What are some fo your figures

03-07-2004, 08:22 PM
Ok here is another idea I`m going to work with this spring and summer and may give you additional ideas. Frist since you are mobile think about these ideas.
See if you can work something out with golf courses in your area. A round of golf (18 holes) takes about 5 hours. I you can post your flyers or have them displayed at the pro shop you may be able to get a steady flow of business.
2) perhaps limo services is another place to pickup some steady business. After all these guys want their rides to look the best as they can the business depends on it. Price according though.
3) Realtors have an image of sucess and often take clients to homes for sale using their own vehicles. These folks also have a need to look the part of success and their rides are a reflection of this. So, are another great source to get started.
4) Professional offices Lawyers, Doctors, Bankers, salesmen/woman who also take clients to lunch would also IMO have a need for our services. (Windshield flyer drop) They can schedule an appt at home or the office lot (be sure to get permission from the Building owner first). You may need a water supply if you don`t have a water tank. Something to consider
5) I golf in a couple of outings every year and this year I may just offer a Free Detail as one of the prizes. Most of time these are a lot of people I know and don`t know but it would be something that the winner would certainly brag about if they like the job (who wouldn`t) and then it spreads like wildfire so I hope. Will let you know as happens. I know a freebie is a few hours work but the return on this investment can be fanominal.
6) Make a portable sign you can display by the road when you are detailing. Let people know your in the nieghborhood. When they see Bob`s car being cleaned they may just stop and want a business card.
7) Don`t give up your dream.

Consider raising your prices for a full detail. Your work will speak for itself. Don`t sell yourself short. PLus someone may keep an old flyer and call you one day looking for that $80 detail when your prices have changed and tell you they want the $80 detail. I getting somewhere between $30-40 per hour for labor. Haven`t really figured in cost of materials but less than $5 I would imagine. So far no one has balked at the prices.

Again, I`m just starting and these will be part of my own strategy to get business going. I hope this gets you to thinking on how you can market your business. Like I said I`m no business major by any means but these practices just might be the kick start we need. Keep me posted on the techniques I mentioned above. I would like to from you or anyone else who tries these approaches or have already tried them.

Best of luck to both of us.

03-08-2004, 09:35 AM
Another way you can build business quick to higher end customers is go to your local chamber of commerce. They hold many things each month that a bunch of business and non business people attend they are really informal more of a social gathering for a few drinks. But once you start talking about yourself people will ask about your services it sounds like it won`t make a big impression but all you need is one solid job and more will follow. I know many people that started this and you would not believe the responce they have now from higher end customers. WHY because when you open a phone book you do not know anything about the shops listed but if you get the word out about yourself those people will remember you and more likely give you there business. GUys all you really need to do is get the word out there plant the seed now. Even if they don`t come see you right away dose not mean they won`t in the future. Just remember you better have good results to keep those customers coming back...... I can tell you I pick up more business just talking about what it is I do than any other form of expensive advertising. Flyers are good but what will make those people use you rather than the guy down the street. You have to be willing to talk to people plant a seed in there head that you are generally a nice guy/gal and that you will take care of them and there vehicle...

$80 dollars seem really low, stop worring abot your price compared to others and do the best qaulity job you can you have to be able to explain to your customers what makes you different from the rest?
Chemicals are a start but only 20 % of potential customers know the difference if not less so again ask your self what makes you different from the rest? customers buy from people they like so just start talking about yourself. And what it is you do... This is only my 2 cents but has worked for me and some very sucessful people I know in this business.

03-08-2004, 10:57 AM
Great idea !!!
I would add a little advise if you are targeting higher end business people.
(I used to be one until I sold my business)
This does not always mean a suit and tie, but more of a business casual look. You will need to determine what this is for your area of the country.
You should be a reflection of what you are going to offer your potential customers!
Most higher end business people are not going to be drawn to do business with someone soliciting them dressed in baggy blue jeans and a tee shirt with crazy graphics.
ALSO ... make absolutely sure that all printed flyers, etc. are neat, (printed straight on the pages),
and most of all ... make sure everything is spelled correctly. (not like here at DC ... me included)
No Offense, SITopShine ... but avoid slang as well in your literature.
Show your potential customers your quality through everything you say and do!
First impressions matter ... You only have one chance to make a first impression!

03-08-2004, 03:39 PM
rosso, i would also reccommend to start high then lower accordingly, then to start low in price then raise.

Rosso Scuderia
03-08-2004, 05:49 PM
Ha! No, I don`t think I will be raising prices because I don`t think my area would tolerate such excess cost for the service. I think the prices are a bit high to begin with. I have heard several detailers suggest that you should start low and then as you build customers, you can raise prices and afford to turn customers away who aren`t willing to pay. But, first you need a good customer base and I don`t think that can be obtained by charging exorbitant prices. The number-one factor for many people is price. Even rich people are cheap sometimes. Anyways, if we don`t get customers, that`s just the way it goes. Neither myself or my business partener are at a loss. We both have other sources of income. Plus all of the products that we have accumulated in the preceding months can be utilized for our own cars. Kim, I agree that it`s nice to look professional, but I am not sure if business casual will be possible. I don`t know about you Granite, but I won`t buy from someone who sucks up to me and tries to make a sale or earn a higher tip. I think that some people will favor these people, however many are turned off by this and would rather you not butter them up. I will buy from someone who knows about their product and who lets the customer do the deciding. Donald Trump never begs and always lets the customer decide without being pushy. You decide which method is more effective. Here is a picture of a house from a neighborhood that we are targeting as potential customers:

03-08-2004, 06:03 PM
IMO if this is the class of people you are targeting they may think a full detail for $80 may not be a professional job. I still agree that the price should reflect the work. These are professional business people and will pay the price if the service is of high quality. I still think you are selling yourself short even if you have another source of income.

If your`e serious and I believe you are and your work is top-notch then no one will balk at your prices. These type of people can are very influential. There`s where your word of mouth will travel.

top detailer
03-08-2004, 06:03 PM
I`m considering making a detailing coupon booklet and have them mailed out. I believe if you offer special deals and give them a free wash. What you`re really doing is relying on your present customers to get you future customers by word of mouth. Also, my business has increased significantly once I advertised in the yellow pages.

03-08-2004, 06:59 PM
top detailer,
You have the right idea ... set your prices where they should be ... if it is $200.00 or whatever ...
Then offer coupons or specials off the actual price ... that way people will know what to expect when the coupons are gone. If someone gave me a price to do a job when I was in business and then raised the price the second or third time without valid explanation, then I did not do business with them any longer. Most people will expect to pay a fair price for exceptional service. If they don`t, do you really want them as a customer??? With some people no matter what you do, it is never good enough.

Rosso, I was refering to dressing to attend the Chamber of Commerce meetings, etc. I also think that you can dress professionally at your place of work, even if it is blue jeans and a conservative shirt ...

03-11-2004, 11:55 AM
This is an awesome thread i must say.

Alot of you have done a fantastic job in advising and sharing great business techniques and ideas, especially %7Chevy good job bro!

Being as i have my own Mobile Detailing service, ill throw in my 2 cents too.

************************************************** **
a. How to get new customers: Key word is MARKETING. Now that may seem like an obvious answer, but the key is your technique and its level of effectiveness. You are not only marketing your business, your services...but you are essentially selling YOURSELF, or an image of yourself to your potential clients. I for one have been using a business flyer for general marekting purposes and spent Hours upon hours refining and modifying my ad so that i stand apart from my competition. Being social, aware and communicative with people is also very lucrative. As mentiuoned before, simply expressing your knowledgeability in your area of expertise gets people interested and begins to form a relationship of trust and assurance. Trust assurance and a sense of NEED beyond a doubt are the 3 key things that all your clients/potntial clients must have.
In any ad you make marketing you and your business it must be initially clear and direct in WHY people should try you out, HOW you are different from the competition and WHEN they should contact you. The answer to the last one is always NOW (i.e in your contact info write `call us TODAY` or somthing of the sorts).

Remember this: Use your ingenuity, explore highend neighborhoods and developments, the caliber of clientelle that you target determines the level of your success!

b. Services you offer: I beleive people like clarity and variety. 3-4 service packages, ranging from a basic wash all the way the\rough a complete detail are uasually the most effective way in selling your services. People can have an option, and a good idea of what they are getting based on the package they buy. If anything additional is needed to be done, or if the vehicle is in a certain condition, price accordingly. Stay away from LONG and FANCY names for your service packages, complexity = death in business marketing. Always aim to be clear, direct and effective!

d. Weekly Detail Plans: This is a fanstastic method of achieving REPEAT and STEADY business.
Say you complete work for a specific client, and your all finished, he pays you and your about to leave. STOP! This is the ideal time (b/c they see your finished work) to get out your appointemtn book and begin negotiating a custom tailored detail plan to your client. Do not be pushy or arrogant, but be self assured and honest in what you recomend (like for instance you wouldnt recommend a service that apply`s 3 coats of wax on a weekly basis).

The key is to get your client to COMMIT ON PAPER, with dates times and specifics, and do this BEFORE YOU LEAVE THE PREMISES!

It works wonders.

e. Dealership Details: I have no advice in this area, and i personally will NEVER get into this line of work (detailing for Stealerships).

The reason i say this is b/c dealerships are butthroat highprofit seeking machines. You can guarantee that your work they assign will be extremely labor intensive, the price they will want will be significantly less than you can get from a individual client.
Its a WHOLE different ballgame. I wouldnt recomend this , especially if you have no employees and are working by yourself.

Anyhow, i hope this helps soe of you.

Let me know what you think of my small write up!


03-14-2004, 10:15 AM
Originally posted by FiveOhMustang
Everyone in the Detailing business, mobil or fixed give some business tips.
a. How to get new customers
b. Services you offer
c. Insurance advice
d. Weekly Detail Plans
e. Dealership Details

Here are a few basic tips.

a. How to get new customers
Tear-off Non-Discount Coupons
Talking Person to Person
Reminder Post Cards
Business Cards
Thank You Cards
Gift Certificates
Holiday Greetings
Yellow Pages

b. Services you offer
Clean, Polish & Wax
Clean & Polish Chrome
Remove Road Tar
Apply Exterior Protectants
Clean & Wax Door Jambs
Clean & Protect Upholstery
Clean & Vacuum Carpets
Clean & Vacuum Trunk
Apply Interior Protectants
Clean Windows

c. Insurance advice
Check Local and State Requirements

d. Weekly Detail Plans
Decide on offering either low priced weekly or high priced complete detailing plans.

e. Dealership Details
Decide on either low priced wholesale dealership details or high priced retail customer details.

I hope this helps...

03-14-2004, 10:18 AM
Originally posted by kimwallace
top detailer,
You have the right idea ... set your prices where they should be ... if it is $200.00 or whatever ...
Then offer coupons or specials off the actual price ... that way people will know what to expect when the coupons are gone.


Very good advice! I like that kind of thinking.

04-18-2004, 11:12 AM
I think you hit the nail on the head. not much I can add to that....

Rossu I think you might have misunderstood what I was saying! I never said I suck up to people, I was simply implying that this is one way you can get to talk to people about what it is you do.. normally they will come to you and start conversation.
I do believe you are cutting yourself short YOU SAID IT YOURSELF THAT YOU THINK $80 IS EXCESSIVE. If those are the neighborhoods you are targeting beleive me they will pay more.. Don`t convince yourself that they won`t pay that much money. If you never give them the chance to you are right they won`t!!
I think anyone here will back me up and say with or without customer base you need to price accordingly.

Good luck!!!

Kim i think said it Best offer a coupon off the acutual price or offer a special to test out what people would spend!

Great post everyone!!!!!

05-01-2004, 06:36 PM
Originally posted by FiveOhMustang
Everyone in the Detailing business, mobil or fixed give some business tips.

a. How to get new customers

Okay, here`s how I just got a new customer who owns a Hummer.

Earlier today I visited a nearby garden center about a half mile from my home. About a week ago I had noticed a White Hummer parked at a house next to a garden center and since I needed a few tomato plants, I decided to stop there.

As I got out of my truck a gentleman walk up to me as I started looking at the plants and asked if he could help me. I turned to him and said sure; are you the owner of that Hummer? He looked at me with a grin and said yes. That`s when I introduced myself and handed him one of my detailing business cards. I proceeded to tell him about my detailing services and how I could make his Hummer look like brand new again. I also explained that I would spend about five or six hours cleaning, polishing and waxing.

Well, he was like a kid in a candy store. He wanted to know how soon I could do it and then said he`d really like to have it all cleaned up before the family goes away on vacation in a few weeks. The very last thing he asked about was the price. I told him that most cars run about $185 to $225 and that the Hummer, because of the extra time involved, would be $275. He didn`t even blink.

And thanks to his wife overhearing our conversation, he is also going to have another vehicle detailed later this week. How is that for getting a new customer?

Oh, and those tomato plants. It`s a little too early yet, so I`ll stop by and get those plants in about a week.

True story.

05-01-2004, 07:04 PM
100% word of mouth. I have not solicited one single customer. I only detail part time and I turn more than half of the people away. It`s extra cash for me and if I don`t wanna do the work, I just don`t. I have been thinking about taking on more work though. I really like using the new products that I`ve acquired since I started hanging around here.