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  1. #1

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    Full-time or not?

    Admin please move if not in the right sub-forum.
    Sorry for the long post.

    I`m looking for advise on whether to expand my detailing business to full-time?
    I currently detail 2-4 days a week, work my regular job 3-4 days a week. The regular job is a delivery driver for the largest grocery distributor in the world. While the compensation is good, the (in my opinion) sacrifices aren`t worth it. Days are generally 12-16 hours, very labor intensive, and the whole huge corporation issues to deal with have really got me frustrated. I`ve been with to company for over 20 years, have almost 5 weeks vacation, a pension, 401k, and other benefits. My thought process is why am I wasting all the time, labor, and efforts for someone else to benefit, if I focused these items on my own business I would reap the rewards.

    Now the detailing business is extremely busy, I`ve only had 2 slow weeks in January. Other than that it`s been full tilt every week. The large truck detailing/polishing is growing, I would like to expand the aviation side as well, I`ve been approached by several large machinery contractors about cleaning equipment. I am losing business almost everyday because I`m scheduled to far out (almost 2 months), people want their car cleaned now, not in July.

    We have the "S" corporation set up, accountant is currently getting the tax structure built. The two biggest issues for me is obviously money, then health insurance. The wife has a pretty good job she enjoys in the healthcare industry, she can get insurance although it`s a little more costly than mine. So I guess the question comes down to money. I love and have a passion for making things shiny, I started shining cars when I was about 12 years old, and it still brings a great deal of satisfaction, especially when a customer picks up their car, and they are ecstatic with the results.

    So my big question is for guys who have done this before I guess, is there anything I should look out for, is it worth the trouble, did you lose that passion after doing it everyday? I`m not looking for a rock solid answer, just some guidance, and maybe clarification. Thanks, Rob.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Full-time or not?

    The health insurance would be the biggest thing for me to consider, I personally rely heavily on my health insurance as I do have Narcolepsy. My medications to help me be a positive contributor to society would be quite expensive completely out of pocket, and I normally have a few doctors appointments every three months. If I am in the middle of switching medications I can be seeing my Neurologist once every three weeks. Detailing can take the same toll on the body that your current job may place, the good news is that you can set your own schedule and breaks. Do you have any backup plans or time fillers that would bring in income when the detailing season slows down? Regarding health insurance, again. Have you done a cost/benefit analysis of getting your own plan and your wife getting her own plan, vs your wife getting a plan that allows her to add you? Regarding the passion aspect, keep in mind that there will be days or periods of time when you will absolutely hate detailing, especially in the heat and short periods of time when your body is telling you to stop. Depending on how large the truck or machinery, I would look into Chem-X products for assistance. I want to pull the tigger on a few of their products, but I am currently a broke college student, ha.

    Those are my thoughts coming off the top of my head, I look forward to seeing what others have to say, as well.
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  3. #3

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    Full-time or not?

    TheMeanGreen,
    Thanks for the input, for me insurance isn’t a big issue luckily, I might see a Dr. every couple of years. I haven’t looked into separate plans, we still have my college age son on my plan.

    The hard work doesn’t bother me, growing up on the farm and working 60+ hours a week my whole life has accustomed my body to the labor. There are days that I don’t want to detail, especially when it’s a really dirty minivan.

    As far as a back up plan for the slow times, I have a customer who wants me to drive part-time in 1 of his trucks.

    I will check into Chem-x, thanks.


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  4. #4
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Full-time or not?

    Rob, I hope you and yours are well and safe from this C19 pain in the butt..

    If you are ok with stopping your 401k and your health insurance, paid vacation, etc., and can see enough existing, repeat, and future business to meet or exceed those numbers, and all the perhaps extra $$$ for Supplies, Machines, Utilities, helper`s wages, etc., then That part is done..

    You absolutely need a really good Financial program to track everything, especially the actual costs of running this business for tax purposes, etc....

    The next part is waking up every day after putting in 12+ hours at the Shop, and knowing there are going to be vehicles waiting for you 365 days a year, are you ok with that ?

    I also started out doing this (at age 10), so I know where you are coming from.. To me the challenge of changing the vehicle`s condition from night to day is what also keeps me motivated, and I also love it when the Client sees their vehicle again and says - "That is NOT my car!!!" And it Always is..

    The 3 biggies for me - maintaining your Family, maintaining the Bank and your health, so that you can maintain the Bank..

    You will be gone a lot, perhaps the same amount of time, so hope that is going to be ok with your Sweetheart and your family..

    Good luck with this !
    Dan F
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  5. #5
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    Re: Full-time or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapyard View Post
    TheMeanGreen,
    Thanks for the input, for me insurance isn’t a big issue luckily, I might see a Dr. every couple of years. I haven’t looked into separate plans, we still have my college age son on my plan.
    My wife and I retired early. We pay $34,000 a year....$93 net dollars a day, to continue the medical and dental plan we had once Cobra ended. I have one year to go to get Medicare. The benefit plan you have with your current employer is a nice one.....
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  6. #6

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    Re: Full-time or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stokdgs View Post
    Rob, I hope you and yours are well and safe from this C19 pain in the butt..
    Dan, thanks for the reply, we are all doing well, I hope you guys are weathering the storm safely.

    I`m not to concerned about the 401k, and vacation. The health insurance is a concern, but I think we have that covered.

    I am concerned about net profits, but I think I have a couple ideas to counter this. 1. Many of my customers say I am not charging enough for my services, I think there is some room for a price increase. 2. I think there is a real market in my area for truck detailing/polishing. I can`t seem to find anyone else around here offering these services, and since I come from a trucking background i have a lot of contacts locally. With these 2 ideas I think I can increase the profit margin.

    I`m gone a lot as it is now, so it`s not a big deal breaker. I have a week of vacation coming up, I think I`m going to do a test run to see what sales I can do in a 5 day period. This should give me a better idea of what I need to do. My wife and I have decided it`s a matter of when, not if we do this. My current situation is pretty toxic, and it really takes a toll on me.

    Thanks.
    facebook.com/Angermayers-Auto-Detail-Wash
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  7. #7

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    Re: Full-time or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by John U View Post
    My wife and I retired early. We pay $34,000 a year....$93 net dollars a day, to continue the medical and dental plan we had once Cobra ended. I have one year to go to get Medicare. The benefit plan you have with your current employer is a nice one.....
    John, wow you pay a lot for insurance, my current plan is pretty good, looking at my wife`s plan it is a little more expensive for premiums, but covers more.
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  8. #8
    dansautodetailing.com Stokdgs's Avatar
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    Re: Full-time or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapyard View Post
    Dan, thanks for the reply, we are all doing well, I hope you guys are weathering the storm safely.

    I`m not to concerned about the 401k, and vacation. The health insurance is a concern, but I think we have that covered.

    I am concerned about net profits, but I think I have a couple ideas to counter this. 1. Many of my customers say I am not charging enough for my services, I think there is some room for a price increase. 2. I think there is a real market in my area for truck detailing/polishing. I can`t seem to find anyone else around here offering these services, and since I come from a trucking background i have a lot of contacts locally. With these 2 ideas I think I can increase the profit margin.

    I`m gone a lot as it is now, so it`s not a big deal breaker. I have a week of vacation coming up, I think I`m going to do a test run to see what sales I can do in a 5 day period. This should give me a better idea of what I need to do. My wife and I have decided it`s a matter of when, not if we do this. My current situation is pretty toxic, and it really takes a toll on me.

    Thanks.
    Rob -
    Thank you for the reply ! Glad everyone is safe from that virus, I am ok, my daughters and their families all good..

    Well, sounds like you only have one pretty big item to work with, so that is good.

    I had some time to look at your Facebook page; I don`t have Facebook, so I could only see so much.
    It looks like you are doing great ! Your work looks fabulous, and you have done a lot of big rig/trucks, boats, and that beautiful jet as well.. Nice work you guys !

    Yeah, you have to also find out what the market will bear for pricing, and see how all your Clients react to it.. If you have no competition around, it will always be easier..
    This will also separate the loyal ones from the ones looking for a deal, etc..
    Try to build in a disaster recovery plan into your business plan; something that you guys have thought out, and can easily transition into if needed..

    I learned a lot more about this stuff when I started working for a small wireless company in the early 90`s, after an almost 20-year career with another company..

    We build this little AirTouch Cellular into what is Verizon Wireless today. And Verizon never goes down, because we built way back then, Disaster Recovery Plans into every part of it.. Nothing ever breaks.. If something Does happen to fail, the D/Recovery Plan that has already been vetted, tested, just kicks in immediately.. No other carriers out there do this..

    Keep thinking about this, you guys, try to not miss anything.. Perhaps adding a bigger electrical panel (200amp) so you can have lots of 20amp circuits everywhere, so you can run bigger things that do better jobs faster, easier, etc... If you have room, a stall with a drain to wash all those vehicles, etc..

    Will say prayers of Faith for you guys, good luck !
    Dan F
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  9. #9
    Detailers Workshop The Driver's Avatar
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    Re: Full-time or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapyard View Post
    I`m looking for advise on whether to expand my detailing business to full-time?

    While the compensation is good, the (in my opinion) sacrifices aren`t worth it. Days are generally 12-16 hours, very labor intensive, and the whole huge corporation issues to deal with have really got me frustrated. I`ve been with to company for over 20 years, have almost 5 weeks vacation, a pension, 401k, and other benefits. My thought process is why am I wasting all the time, labor, and efforts for someone else to benefit, if I focused these items on my own business I would reap the rewards.
    I think you just answered your own question, there is always risk but is the reward worth it? Depends on your personality. Are you driven, always looking at the up side? Then I`d say yes. Judging just by your self analysis, realizing your value I`d say yes. Just remember, the longer the time you waste the harder it will be to get out and start up.

    Now IMO is the perfect time, a good amount of the competition will be hurt but the current circumstances and there will be ALOT of incentives to get people back to work I.E small business incentives. Go through your numbers, assess the market and make a decision (COMMIT to it) there is no in an out when starting a self owned business.
    Rupes 21 MK II, Rupes 15 MK II, Rupes 21, Rupes LHR75e, Rupes Duetto, Rupes Ibrid-L, Rupes LH18ENS, Flex PE-14-2, Dodo Juice V1

    Quote Originally Posted by rlmccarty2000 View Post
    At $21.99 it will remain a secret to me.
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  10. #10

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    Re: Full-time or not?

    Dan,
    thanks for the compliment on my Facebook page.
    The disaster relief plan is a good idea, never thought of that, I will begin looking into it.

    My shop is fairly well equipped at the moment, not fancy but function-able, 200 amp service, well lit, etc. A wash bay would be nice, especially on cold days, but I can deal with it for now.
    Thanks for the prayers, they are very appreciated, and needed.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Full-time or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Driver View Post
    I think you just answered your own question, there is always risk but is the reward worth it? Depends on your personality. Are you driven, always looking at the up side? Then I`d say yes. Judging just by your self analysis, realizing your value I`d say yes. Just remember, the longer the time you waste the harder it will be to get out and start up.

    Now IMO is the perfect time, a good amount of the competition will be hurt but the current circumstances and there will be ALOT of incentives to get people back to work I.E small business incentives. Go through your numbers, assess the market and make a decision (COMMIT to it) there is no in an out when starting a self owned business.
    Driver,
    Thanks for the response, that is great advise.
    I`d like to think I`m a driven person, my wife thinks I`m fanatical at times. I get so focused on a goal that I live with blinders on, and can only see the what I want to accomplish.
    I think the next goal is taking a week this month and see what I can do in sales, then take those numbers and come up with a good solid plan, and date in the near future to make the switch.
    Thanks, Rob.
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  12. #12
    Detailers Workshop The Driver's Avatar
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    Re: Full-time or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrapyard View Post
    I think the next goal is taking a week this month and see what I can do in sales, then take those numbers and come up with a good solid plan, and date in the near future to make the switch.
    Thanks, Rob.
    Seems like the right place to start!
    Rupes 21 MK II, Rupes 15 MK II, Rupes 21, Rupes LHR75e, Rupes Duetto, Rupes Ibrid-L, Rupes LH18ENS, Flex PE-14-2, Dodo Juice V1

    Quote Originally Posted by rlmccarty2000 View Post
    At $21.99 it will remain a secret to me.
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