There are great perks that come with running a detailing business. You sometimes drive (well, maybe a few feet) the cars you daydreamed about in high school: Ferrari, Lamborghini, GT-R, etc. Good fun. But for every “cherry” project there’s just as many “dogs”: Flood damage, water leaks, mold, vomit, pet urine, fire damage, etc. Your task isn’t to make the car beautiful … it’s to make the car USEABLE.
To fix water damage permanently without worry of a “come back,” you must remove everything related to the leak. The process:
Why bother with sweaty, ugly work? Because you can DOUBLE your hourly rate. If on average you’re charging $45 for detailing, charge $90 for water damage repair. Most shops turn this work away. In fact, you’re usually bidding against body shops and mechanics with big overhead, so you’re not in a scrap with that wholesale detail shop down the street.
Easier than it looks.
With some basic tools and some time, you can do these jobs right. There’s nothing technically complicated about them. One big tip: schedule a lot of time for water damage repairs. On average: 5 days. A lot of time is spent waiting for seats and carpet to dry out. The number one thing that got me in trouble on my first water repairs was missing deadlines because the car wasn’t dry yet.
Have a look at water damage DONE RIGHT.
The dirtier the job…the more the profit.
Don’t run from the ugly work. If you’re a pro, you’re in this to make a living, and you owe it to yourself to pursue maximum profit.
Robert Keppel is president of Applied Colors, a Portland, OR, reconditioning equipment supplier. He can be contacted at Robert@appliedcolors.com.