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  1. #1

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    I have a couple questions

    Long story short, this is my second time starting a detailing business but am a little rusty and am trying to figure out the little details (no pun intended) to make sure everything is all thought out. First, and this may sound silly, but do you include trunk and hood jams with basic washes? I`ve looked on other detailers` websites and only see door jams mentioned, so I assume it`s just driver and passenger doors. I ask this because I feel like maybe I should be charging more. I don`t mind in putting the work, but when I travel to someone`s place and also pay for gas and product, I want to make sure I`m being fair with myself. I am just starting out, so I am going to be reasonable to build a base but may start raising my prices in a couple months. I ask this because I think I just got this awesome gig going. Guy has 3-4 cars he wants me to wash weekly. I already gave him a price and I think I may have undercut myself a bit, but I am just glad to finally get some more business!

    Secondly, can someone tell me if there is anything wrong with my website? I don`t want to put the url in the post, so if someone wouldn`t mind, I could pm you the url and you could let me know what you think. I`ve been receiving clicks on my ad but haven`t been receiving really any business besides this new customer. I`m sure there is another section for business questions but I just need some feedback on the design is all, really. I also haven`t slept much within the past few days, so I apologize for the messy formatting. I can barely understand what I`m typing myself. lol.

    Thanks for the future feedback!

    J

  2. #2
    Founder Poorboy's World Poorboy's Avatar
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    Re: I have a couple questions

    Welcome to Autopia

    Each detailer must set their own standards and make sure that their standards are above those of your customers.

    When I detailed, i did each car like it was my own. Don`t cut corners and go far and beyond expectations.

    You are building a reputation and it can sink like a rock if you are careless.

    I have never been one for putting out a price sheet as each car / truck / boat / rv / plane /etc .. will have and need different work.

    You can give estimates, but giving a set price before working is not a great idea .. just like at a dealership repair, they give you a starting price and see what they find.

    Never had a problem collecting what my time and effort was worth.

    Good luck
    life is short ..do it while you can

    e-mail info@poorboysworld.com
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  3. #3
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: I have a couple questions

    Cybean-
    Yes, you should clean all the door jambs, the trunk jamb, open the hood and get that area under the cowling and the cowling, all the areas that run down the front fenders that collect dirt, etc., all of it..

    The front door jamb area where the door hinges are, is usually the dirtiest place to clean because all this stuff collects there... So there are 2 or 4 of these door jamb areas alone, and you need to get all the dirt, etc., out of there..

    I always take everything out of the Trunk including the trunk liner, the spare tire, tools, everything that has been put in there comes out, and the bare metal, etc., is all vacuumed, and cleaned, the air pressure on the spare is checked and refilled if needed, and all the things that came out go right back where I found them..
    If there is carpet in there, its all vacuumed, cleaned, and extracted, like the rest of the Interior floor carpets, mats, etc..

    What I have always gone by for decades doing this is very simple but effective -- It all has to match --
    Whatever you clean at whatever level you clean it, the place/s next to that place have to match in cleanliness, or the beautiful, smooth, visual will be interrupted there..

    And of course, our Clients will have varying degrees of knowing how Detailing works, for sure, not knowing how hard it is, and the amount of hours it takes to accomplish it, but the one thing I have always strived for, is to absolutely please them when they first see their Baby again, and then when they look at it closer in my extremely well lit garage and outside, the level of clean all matches... Anything, any part, any area that does not, will look so wrong, will look like you missed it..

    Lastly, if you do not love this work to a certain degree, it will be much harder to stay at it..
    Imagine if you will, every day you wake up, go out to your Shop, and there are 1 or more Baby`s out there waiting for you..
    All year long...

    Wherever you end up in this Labor of Love, will be up to you.. Good Luck !!
    Dan F
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  4. #4

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    Re: I have a couple questions

    Thanks for the reply.

    Yeah, definitely need to get some sleep soon because now I can see how not focusing on the other jambs would be pretty illogical. I saw one detailer online, not too far from me, charging the same price I`m charging and the only thing it included was just a wash, but then he also had different packages, so that`s where I got the idea from. But no, I definitely don`t want to cut corners. Even if I make less than what I`d like to make this time around, it`s still nice to have the business. I know that word of mouth could bring me some more customers, too. I`m still playing around with my prices since business has been dry, so it`s kinda difficult actually figuring out what`s competitive, yet fair.

  5. #5
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: I have a couple questions

    Quote Originally Posted by cybean View Post
    Thanks for the reply.

    Yeah, definitely need to get some sleep soon because now I can see how not focusing on the other jambs would be pretty illogical. I saw one detailer online, not too far from me, charging the same price I`m charging and the only thing it included was just a wash, but then he also had different packages, so that`s where I got the idea from. But no, I definitely don`t want to cut corners. Even if I make less than what I`d like to make this time around, it`s still nice to have the business. I know that word of mouth could bring me some more customers, too. I`m still playing around with my prices since business has been dry, so it`s kinda difficult actually figuring out what`s competitive, yet fair.
    Cybean -
    We are glad to help !

    What is your work level at ? How many years have you been doing this craft ?
    How many Black vehicles have you paint corrected ?
    Any pics of your work ?

    Have you found any Detailing Shops, etc., around your area ? If so, go into each one and look a their operation, look at their pricing, look at their work..
    See if you can spot products that are familiar to you, ask them what they use to correct paint..
    You can learn alot from this and then take all their pricing, average it out and see if that number is close to what you are working with or not..

    I have always gone on the idea of - What the Market can Bear" to help me with pricing..

    Have to find that absolute highest level Clientele if possible..
    Those people will be more interested in taking care of their "investments", and will appreciate good work..
    Really try to find out where those level people live and then where they take their expensive cars for repair, etc....

    Dan F
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  6. #6

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    Re: I have a couple questions

    Thanks!

    Well as far as my level goes, it would depend. Most of the jobs I`ve done in my area have been complete interior details with a wash and wax, so I would say I`m pretty experienced with interiors. They`re definitely my favorite. But I`ve probably only polished a handful of customer cars thus far and haven`t done any true corrections, though I`m going to try a two-step on my car and paint chip touch up soon. I started detailing when I was about 14, I believe. I would buy equipment and product here and there, practicing on family members` cars until I had most of what was needed to start my business and for cash. I pretty much spent all of my free time watching videos and reading forums, learning the do`s, don`t`s, techniques, etc. Then started my first small detailing business at 15 (I believe) and had it up until I was almost 17. After I stopped the business, I went to college, but I would still detail my car and watch videos but am now finishing up college and have pretty much started from scratch. Mainly, the business side of things is taking some getting used to. Sorry for the long story. I really like to write. lol.

    I have some pics of my work. Not many, though, as I`m pretty bad at remembering to do it once on site.

    I posted this a few weeks back, the most recent one, unfortunately: https://www.autopia.org/forums/inter...ml#post2139818

    This is an after only photo of one, about 4 years ago:



    And then on this vehicle, some of the interior was detailed (which I didn`t take for whatever reason) and then just a wash and wax:



    Just some of my work, but I probably need to take better pictures. Might be my issue...

    The only detail shops I have in my town and around is Delta Sonic, really. The only place that isn`t a Delta is about, I think, 40 minutes out near the city. I pretty much matched Delta`s prices for now, at least for interiors. I hope this will at least get me a bit more attention and then I will slowly start charging what the mobile guys near my area charge, or close to it. But that will take some time.

    Thanks for the reply, really appreciate your time!
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  7. #7
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: I have a couple questions

    Cybean -
    Thanks for your fast reply and the pics !
    Looks like that Driver Seat had cig burn marks..
    You got the Interior and especially the carpets I can see, really nice !
    Great job !

    You hit on something that made me remember this - I ALWAYS try out ALL Products, techniques, etc., on my own vehicle/s and family vehicles FIRST, before it ever gets used on a Client`s Baby..

    Some new to Detailing people on here and other good Forums go to the Pick-N-Pull Wrecking yards and get a hood of a vehicle, (black would be the ultimate test bed), and put it on a couple of saw horses, etc., and practice their correction process, different combinations of pads, products, and that is how they get used to doing this and improve their work, before going "Live" on that first Client`s Baby..

    We all have spent hundreds of hours behind that machine in practice mode alone, and then easily over 1,000 hours (1 man shop) in a year of Detailing Clients alone..
    For example, in my business when I lived in the Pacific Northwest, I was averaging 1,700 hours a year just Detailing Client`s vehicles..

    There are a lot of expenses that go along with doing this in whatever configuration you plan on; part time, full time, weekends only, daily, monthly, etc...
    * Good machine/s (you always want to have back up), absolutely have to have them, even more so if you are planning on going mobile...
    * A lot of good, reliable, (you tested them many times in many different situations), chemical products, another absolute..
    * Same with microfiber towels, have to find some good ones that do ALL of the things you want them to, absolutely do NOT scratch paintwork, and last a long time..
    * All the tanks, pumps, generator, wiring, etc., equipment that goes into outfitting for Mobile Detailing, including that Trailer, Van, etc...
    * The Yearly Fees to have a Business License, any extra Insurance that may be needed, the ability to pay quarterly state taxes collected back to the State who NEVER forgets you and dings you if you are ever late..
    There is a lot of expensive hardware that goes into a trailer or van, etc., that makes Mobile Detailing necessary and easier to do, that has to be thought out..

    A couple of big pop up tents are always needed if you are outside, for example, in the parking lot of a big company, Detailing a lot of those cars for the people who are working in those buildings every week.. There were a couple of guys who did this outside the AirTouchCellular/Verizon Campus I worked out of for several years who came every Thursday and Friday and were always overbooked.. They were really brown too, from the sun.. Yeah, find a good sunblock that ACTUALLY works on your skin..
    Dan F
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