How to Start Your Auto Detailing Business and Make it Profitable
Here’s one unique fact about the auto detailing business- the internet will never be able to take it over completely. So basically, this is a business which, if you start, you can hope to stay afloat for as long as it remains profitable.
Like other businesses, starting an auto detailing business needs some thorough planning, investment and, of course, some elbow grease. This guide will highlight a few of the necessary steps to start an auto detailing business and make it profitable.
Ready to rumble? Excellent.
Starting your auto detailing business: A few steps to take
Conduct market research.
There’s no point in starting a business in an area with no customers, or the competition is insanely stiff. So, look around and find out how many people seek detailing services, their frequency of consumption, their economic standards (unless you don’t mind being paid pennies), the number of competitors, and anything worth considering.
At this point, we believe the SWOT analysis technique could come in handy. S stands for strength, and this usually includes things like how good you are at detailing, how different you are from competitors, and the presence of resources (including workforce and technology).
Next, you need to address the W, which stands for weaknesses. This can include limited resources, competitors’ strengths, or the limited services/inadequate skills you offer. Next, you need to look at Opportunities (O).
Opportunities can present themselves in the form of less competition, high demand for your services, leveraging an auto detailing software, expanding your network of auto detailing business owners (to help you launch without many mistakes), media coverage, amongst other things.
You need to assess possible threats (T) as well. This list can include negative publicity (bad reviews), a growing list of competitors, or potential regulatory constraints.
Come up with a business plan.
An auto detailing business plan helps you address the key areas that need maximum attention. Additionally, if it’s presentable, you can get a loan or sponsorship from any financial entity that believes your plan is fruitful.
Quite frankly, very few people come up with business plans. Some folks on YouTube even say they started with as little as $500. If this is how you want to run things, then no biggie. However, with a business plan, everything becomes clear. In short, an auto detailing business plan can highlight the following:
- Where your business will be based
- Nature of your business (mobile or operating from a physical location)
- Service offering and their prices
- Partnership or sole owner
- Number of employees (if any)
- And much more
Having a business plan as a foundation will also pave the way for the growth of your auto detailing business.
Make sure you get all the permits and licenses required to run a business. This is as simple as visiting your local government authority to find out what they need from you. Tax certificates, certificates of occupancy, insurance, and license are key.
You can also choose to register your business as an LLC so that your assets will be safe in case of a financial meltdown.
Need to reinforce your passion for auto detailing? Read more about car detailing statistics here.
Hire a team
From our research, most auto detailers start as either a one-person or two-person team. You have a choice between hiring employees and going for independent contractors. With the latter, you’ll have added an experienced person to your team, and that makes your company more valuable. With an employee, you might need to do some hand-holding before they start rolling on their own.
The decision you take will depend on your budget and possibly the number of services you hope to provide.
Purchase Auto detailing tools and software
There are so many autos detailing business tools. The good news is, you probably need less than 10 to get started. At first, you might want to have almost every device because sometimes you are unsure which services will be the most demanded. However, as time goes by, it will become pretty clear to you the type of tools you need the most.
However, to get you started the right way, here are a couple of tools you must have:
- Drying towels
- Detail clay
- Steam cleaner
- Foam and liquid chemicals
- Pressure washer
Check out YouTube videos to see the kind of auto detailing equipment you might need for your startup.
Besides physical equipment, every auto detailing startup needs to invest in software and book-keeping services for better management and tracking. DetailPro, for instance, is equipped with modern tools that help you view customer data from the same point, manage appointments, bump your marketing efforts, and also works well as a mobile detailing software, amongst other things.
The internet is still a valuable resource for auto detailers. This is as simple as having a business website or an app from which potential customers can read about your services, offers and get estimate quotations for various detailing services. If you decide to take this direction, make sure your website and mobile apps are professional standards. Bad website designs and crappy apps will only slow down your business or turn away prospects.
Look for SEO wizards.
Consider website optimisation as your famous contact person that can bump you up to the frontlines of the search engines. Unfortunately, there are thousands of other people selling similar car detailing services. Only SEO can give you a proper foothold.
Get this; unless you have been into internet marketing for a while, consider hiring an expert.
Why so? Well, you need to know that SEO is a slippery fish. The big search engines like Google keep changing their algorithms from time to time to improve the quality of the search results. This usually results in lost opportunities for some websites. Therefore, only someone with an old hand at SEO can keep your site standing in the top pages for long, no matter what kind of algorithm updates pop up.
A few noteworthy extras
Do not expect huge profits during your first few months. You’ll need to invest more in technology, get better employees, navigate a few bad reviews, and establish valuable connections before you can witness handsome profits.
Above all, make sure to prepare well and have a great plan in place. This is the only way you’ll weather any unpredictable challenges. Now that you know how to start an auto detailing business make your dream project come to life.