When I started detailing cars in 2003, profits were disappointing. What appeared to be a low overhead business just wasn’t so after I subtracted gas, supplies, and oh yeah, stuff that broke. I came up 20 percent short of the profits I penciled out during planning. But I soon found a way to get my margins up and my income healthy.
A rule in the restaurant business is that you break even on the entree, but make your money on the stuff that comes before and after: Soda, liquor, appetizers and dessert. And though I did far better than break even on car detailing, year after year this “rule of thumb” proved to be true when I did the accounting: The big profits truly were in the extras.
Paint touch up, wheel repair, leather dye, windshield repair and odor removal made me twice, sometimes three times, what I made on detailing. And it was easier on my body.
Lets look at the hourly profits:
If you’re only offering detailing, you’re essentially a restaurant that serves just entrees.
Here’s why now is the right time to expand your services and make more money in 2013.
So if you’re a detailer looking to make more money, the solution may not necessarily mean detailing more cars. Adding a new service with higher margins and less competition is the shorter path to a better income.