In the article “10 Tips for Starting a Car Detailing Business” by contributor Annie Pilon on www.smallbiztrends.com, Pilon interviewed Nick Vacco, founder and CEO of Detail King, an auto detailing training institute. In the interview, Vacco provided 10 tips on how to get started in the detailing business:

  • Get training. While detailing doesn’t require a degree or a certification, like any other professions, you need the schooling to understand the proper techniques and the business aspect. Vacco notes that, especially since some new vehicles cost around $40,000 today, you need to know how to perform proper detailing and protective services when handling someone else’s vehicle.
  • Get experience. As they say, practice makes perfect. In addition to practicing at detailing courses, you can also get practice by working for other detailing shops to really get a handle on the techniques.
  • Start at your comfort level. When you’re ready to start your business, you can tailor it to your lifestyle and how much time and money you’re willing to invest in the company. For instance, Vacco notes, many beginning detailers start their businesses as part-time (and even mobile) operations while still having another job. After a few years, once you’ve acquired a customer base, you can take your business to the next level by purchasing a shop and/or becoming full time.
  • License your business. It’s very important to both get your business licensed to operate in your area and to incorporate it. Every entrepreneur’s needs and situation are different, but if you have personal assets invested in the company, consider forming an LLC or corporation to protect yourself.
  • Invest in the right tools. If you plan on starting a mobile detailing business and already have a truck or van, you can expect to spend anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 on such equipment as a pressure washer, hot water extractor, buffer, towels, buckets, sponges, etc. Larger operations will naturally cost more, but overall, the industry does not require gross amounts of capital to break into.
  • Practice your upselling skills. According to Vacco, while selling is important in any business, upselling and cross selling are vital. When you already have a paying customer, you might be able to entice them into purchasing more in order to boost your profit margins.
  • Create a marketing plan. Beyond having selling skills, you need to actually market your business, and Vacco says you should see every vehicle on the road as a potential customer. Having a modern website, a social media presence with regularly updated content and online ads are helpful to bringing in new customers.
  • Retain your customers. Finding customers is only half the battle — keeping them is the next step. Vacco stresses the need to keep email lists of both potential clients as well as past customers. Keep these groups separate so that you can tailor emails specifically to those who haven’t purchased your services yet as well as those who have, and address these customers specifically in your emails.
  • Grow at your own pace. You’ll likely find it beneficial to invest more in the business as you grow, whether it’s in terms of space, labor or equipment. Vacco recommends that most detailers keep at least some form of mobile detailing operation in place, since some commercial accounts require you to come to them.
  • Keep up-to-date on new techniques. As new services and techniques emerge, it is critical to retrain yourself in these practices in order to add theses services to your menu and make profits off them.

Read the original article here.