Hey guys hopefully you can help me out! I am trying to start my own mobile detail business and need some help figuring out how to really get the business running. Since drought seems to be a problem I am doing the waterless wash so if you know of a great waterless wash company that would be great! Any help would be greatly appreciated.
02-10-2009, 07:03 PM
Congrats on starting your own business, thats great! I wish you the best.
What kind of equipment/tools do you have so far..... PC, MF towels, polishes, vacuums?
To do this right I'd suggest getting yourself a large water tank to mount on your trailer/ in your truck, waterless washes arent bad for one or two jobs, but that'll get old real quick. You'll need running water for doing wheel wells and engine bays... things that require serious rinsing. If you start getting clients at office complexes where you might do 4-6 cars at a time, you might not be able to tap into the buildings water, so having your own is priceless. If youre doing a residential job, no big deal.... hook up to their faucet.
I'd also recommend a large collapsable tent to park clients cars under when a garage is not available. There is nothing worse than trying to polish and wax in the sun, or under a tree with crap falling all over the hood.
Its good to start with buying the basics to get you going, PC or Dewalt, MF towels, QUALITY products as far as waxes and polishes go..... that will make all the difference in the world.
When I started I focused on high end cars, no mini vans or station wagons. I did a few guys with Porsches and Lotus's, those guys all have friends with similar cars and the next thing I knew I had more than I could handle. Plus those type of clients dont think twice about paying $250-300 to get their babies properly detailed. Do good, top quality work, use quality products and you'll have no problems getting off the ground. There is a kid in town that started a company with his dad a few years back. They got a few contracts with a big motor coach dealer doing million dollar coaches, they now have at least 5 crews out running around. New car dealers are good contracts, as well as used. Most of them have in house guys that do "new car prep", but a lot of them sub out major details, as a bonus you can use their bays too.
Check out Auto Geek or Pak-Shak, as well as Detailers Paradise, they all have great selections for the professional detailer.
Hope that was some help.
02-10-2009, 08:23 PM
Thanks for the advice! I plan on using high end supplies and thanks for the suggestion to get a DeWalt because my 5 year old Craftsman just died. I already got the MF towels but what I really need to know other than what you have already said is how to really get my name out there. I do live about a mile from UNC Charlotte so do you think it would be a good idea to give some sort of discount to those students?
02-11-2009, 05:41 AM
I really love the DeWalt DW443. It's heavier duty than the PC, has more torque and feels better balanced. It wont bog down with a little pressure on it. You can buy a hook and loop backing plate for it, probably amazon or ebay or where ever you buy the 443 from, then the rest of the pads and things will be the same you would use for the PC's. Its a little bit more expensive than a PC, but not much...... but I feel its a better machine. But still, there is nothing wrong with a PC 7336/7424 either.... its a great machine as well.
I wish I could give you solid advice on getting off the ground. I took a different approach than most others and it ended up working just fine for me, I only do high end clients. I dont mean to come off sounding stuck up, but those types of customers dont mind spending what it costs to have their cars properly done, and they all have friends with the same types of cars. College kids are usually broke as it is, try getting your name out to a professional office complex, most of them have bulletin boards you could put some cards on. Check apartment complexes and condos too, most of them have a bulletin board in the club house or by the mailboxes. Get a magnet or vinyl letting on your truck with your logo, and keep that truck as clean as you can, that will be doing most of your advertising :)
02-11-2009, 05:56 AM
My advice...wait until next year to do this. The economy is simply to harsh right now. Unless you are in an area of extreme wealth, you will have a long tough road. I'm loosing 1-2 customers a week just simply because they cant pay.
02-11-2009, 01:27 PM
thanks for the advice
02-13-2009, 08:30 PM
Here is what you could do. Get a 75-100 gallon tank with a 5 Or 6 hp Honda motor and hook up some type of pressure water. I had at work a 210 gallon water tank hooked up to a Honda 6 hp motor sitting on a 2002 Chevy 2500HD. I could wash about 25 until I had to refill it again. Man that truck would squat when that water tank was filled.
Power Washers Unlimited - the professional's choice (http://propowerwashers.com/auto_detailing.html)
Brandon is right.
One of the Biggest Detailing shops in my area called POP'S in East Liverpool closed its doors they have been in business since 1989.
But you can still do some details. You may have to do some lower end cars such as dealer prep cars.
I was charging about $50-$100 for a full detail wash hand wax, interior etc.
Most of my customers were neighbors right next door or down the road.
Stop at other detailing locations and get a price sheet from them. That way you can make your prices somewhat fair.
Full details in my area ranged from $95-$185 depending on what type of vehicle and which detail shop performs the work. I charged $50-$100 because where I live people are cheap and really do not have the money.
Check out my detailing photo album if you need any ideas
02-13-2009, 08:33 PM
I have the magnaflow too and love it, they are cheaper on ebay but I wanted a warranty(the salt on the roads here in winter kills an exhaust) so I got it here. magnaflow 16901 (http://magnaflowplanet.com/product.php?productid=6210), or you can try one of the vendors here, they are always running sales/specials. either way its a great system and very easy to install.