taking the risk and going for it all. starting own detailing business, quitting job!

Discussion in 'That'll Buff Right Out' started by quamen, Dec 12, 2003.

  1. quamen

    quamen New Member

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    Well im almost 22 and detailing for me is more like a hobby to myself. I have always wanted to do detailing as a business as my only job. I never did that, because i was always worried i wouldnt have enough clients to afford what i wanted. I was going to college so i kept my job cause i made like a little over 12 dollars an hour and it was fleible. Now i moved to a new state, Pa where i make less then 10 dollars an hour and im starting college up to get my BA degree.

    Im just sick of the low pay for your work and want to be my own boss and do what i love doing, and that is detailing. My biggest fear is how many customers i can pull and how much money i can make. My truck is almost paid off so that is my only big expense since i live with my rents.

    Im really thinking about quitting my job in March and get ready for detailing. I read all the articles on here, Im attending a 2 day seminar for business/training, and im experienced cause i did work for a BMW detailer and worked detailing cars once in a while when i was free from my full time job.

    I just ask you guys, what is the best way to get clients. I know ill most likely learn this at the seminar, but it seems like ther is alot of competiion. but luckely it seems, no one around me but one is mobile. I have a few thousand saved for the equipment i need and all that. I mean if worse comes to worse, i fail ,but i want to keep that out of the spectrum. Im not even greedy, or am i? my goal is to detail 125-150 cars begining from april-october. I dotn know if this is possible, but it would be great for me. I then can go to college full time and not work and have the money to last throgh the winter. Any of you guys out ther sucessful detailers in the business, getting alot of clients? i couldnt believe it, scottwax does something like 1000 cars a year!! that is insane!!! mad props to him!

    I dont like my state, PA cause it seems like the pay scalle is lower, most people only gettting 100 for a compete detail on a car. Jersey isnt far, so i can always hit it there to, but i want to beat my competition and make my goal. Im going for it alll and im taking a risk but ill never know if i dont try!! im dedicated to detailing. I have been watching many tapes, practicing hands on, scheduled for a seminar, reading manuals, buisiness and marketing, and also making sketches on paper of the website design, my brother is doing it for free the webpage. im very excited but nervous at the same time. I dont even want to be the excessive person in getting as many cars as possible. 5 a week would be ideal. Ihave other great passions and riding bmx is one of them, on how odd that may be. im 22 but have been riding for like 8 years. Detailing in the morning, ride in the afternoon. just hope i can make it!!

    sorry for this long ass annoying post. I had to get it out!
     
  2. Robb

    Robb Guest

    Im almost in the same situation. Im constantly learning more about the business end of owning a business as i have the techniques of detailing pretty well mastered. A few tips that may be of help. Meguiars Detailer line has some great prices on products and they are top notch. Invest in a DA PC if you do not already have one, they are very user friendly and almost impossible to do damage with, and the results are amazing. As fas as getting clients, what i am going to do is distribute flyers, along w/ maybe an ad on the radio or local papers. Thats all i have, hope that i have helped at least a little. Best Of Luck
     
  3. quamen

    quamen New Member

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    yeah i already have a ton of the professional meguairs line and the tools. rotary, da, and more. yeah im going to do a bunch of flyers like cards and then with my website info. if i can do 100 cars ill be so stoked! that is a goal for me cause it will make the money im happy with for the season and give me more time to do what i want! thanks bro and good luck to you to.
     
  4. Scottwax

    Scottwax Making detailing great again! Moderator

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    Rule number 1-DO NOT COMPETE ON PRICE!!!!

    If you do, all you will end up with is cheapskates with beaters who have no loyalty. If they can find someone even cheaper they will go to them.

    In the minds of a lot of people, cheap prices mean cheap work and cheap products. Make sure your prices are competitive with other detailers in your area.

    -----------------------------------

    Start putting out flyers in Febuary for a March start date. You should also get a sign for your back window (got the guy with the Lambo/Bentley when his assistant saw my sign 10 years-yes 10 years! ago). Best $35 I've ever spent. Go to your local schools and offer a free wash/wax certificate as a door prize for PTA meetings or school functions. It gets you exposure for a couple hours of work and shows you support the community. Check with local office complexes and see if they would be interested in having a weekly wash day for their tennants.

    Don't expect to get mobbed the first day. It takes time to get your name out. I worked part time as a waiter for almost a year until I could make enough full time (I was a single parent with custody of my two boys, so my monetary needs were pretty high). Above all, do outstanding enough work that your customers rave to their friends about you. It's the best advertising of all.
     
  5. GSRstilez

    GSRstilez New Member

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    All good things said...

    Couple things to add: On the subject of giving out free washes to whomever...A detailer on Autopia (NYDetailer) hooked up with a local pizzeria and gave a gift certificate for a free large pie with every full detail. I think thats a great idea. Just hook up with them before you get your prices squared away so you can account for it.

    Also, you want to be better than the competition. Research them from a customers standpoint. Visit the facility...See what you like and don't. See what you can do better to be above them, but DO NOT talk them down when discussing your service. That's slander and you can go to jail for it. Rather explain it like "Well, I know I am the only one around that claybars the whole car before polishing and waxing. I have researched clay-barring and I know it is a necessary step to the perfect detail." Just an example of how not to talk down your competitors, but still get the point across.

    Also, another thing that I am working on now with my business is a client database. I'm not sure if you're planning on registering your business with the state, but setup a database of customers that you have detailed. Send them emails and regular mail to let them know of any specials. Also, after three months you can make them aware that had their detail was three months ago, make an appt today to keep that ultimate shine lasting...bla bla bla. You know what I'm saying?

    Good Luck with your business. I hope to expand mine this summer as well.
     
  6. Scottwax

    Scottwax Making detailing great again! Moderator

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    Here is one of my old flyers (which explains the low prices!). Feel free to bogart what you need from it.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. quamen

    quamen New Member

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    wow great flyer. buti thought u said never go to low cause ull get beates. 75 dollars is a low price for a complete detail no a car. here in pa whre the salary is of jobs is poor, they even charge 100 dollars for details. but then again everyone works in jersey, so they still make the loot and just live here
     
  8. quamen

    quamen New Member

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    Actually looking over that flyer again, that is the real deal right ther. i like it alot, and ask your persmission again to copy that. I think the advertising of the business is a very important to get customers. if u have cheap nasty looking brochures they will not call. I like that what u did right there. did u use color? also when u handed those out did u personally knock on doors or just stuff them in a box? how sucessful where u on ur first year?
     
  9. Scottwax

    Scottwax Making detailing great again! Moderator

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    Did you miss that part about it being an old flyer? I haven't put them out since 1996.

    I used colored paper, mostly yellow, blue and green. I would put them on doors in high end neighborhoods. You should get at least a couple calls per 100 flyers. Once you get into a neighborhood and do good work, your customers will start referring you to their friends.
     
  10. quamen

    quamen New Member

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    oh got u lol. that totally blew over my head. Yeah man im going to try to get as many custoers as possible. i just hope i dont get to many i cant handle. I dont know how many flyers to hand out etc. But im going to a 2 day seminar in pittsburg one day hands on , the next business stuff. So i guess i will learn more there as well. But thinking about it, this site is so great i have learned so much and still learning. Yeah im going to do a nice flyer like that i guess a few hundred and hand them out. How does it turn out for u getting other cars to do not full details? Like just maybe a wash and wax etc? you get many small jobs? im so so stoked i have like a million questions. Wish u were online sometime and had extra time. Reason why im so excited is i have wanted to do this for a while and finally saved up enough money to get started with all the equipement and my new newer pickup is just about paid off.
     
  11. RenaultFreak

    RenaultFreak OMG

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    Good luck man! Here in Venezuela I keep seeing a yellow van that does mobile detailing, it has a 50 Gal tank for the washing and it's the guy + his wife and they do a pretty good job if you ask me. They even have a vapor machine to soften up stains and de-odorize interiors....seems like a useful machine to me.
     
  12. quamen

    quamen New Member

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    yeah i have a pickup and im going to put a tank in ther. even though my truck is more of a show truck, im going to take the risk and make the money back to get another one. something i really want to do. plus im the boss i call the shot. thanks man, when it comes closer and in feburary, im going to post my website,pics of truck setup, products and everything and let you guys know how it goes. yeah those machines are great , a little expesnive but not many people have them.
     
  13. Scottwax

    Scottwax Making detailing great again! Moderator

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    quamen-I got everything from regular wash/vac jobs, interior or exterior only to full details from the flyers. It may take a few weeks before you start getting calls, so don't get discouraged. Every day you don't have any cars to do, put out flyers, think of it as a full work day. You should also get some sort of sign on your truck. I got the guy with the Bentley and Diablo (plus several referrals from him) as a customer when his assistant saw the sign on the back of my car.

    I am rarely on AIM because as soon as I get on, I get 10 people instantly wanting detailing advice and I can't get anything else done. :hs:
     
  14. RedGoober4Life

    RedGoober4Life New Member

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    Scott, do you have to be insured or anything?

    -Corey Bit Spank
     
  15. Jackhole

    Jackhole New Member

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    If you're running your own business, it would be in your best interest to be insured. Just my opinion.
     
  16. Scottwax

    Scottwax Making detailing great again! Moderator

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    You don't *have to* in most states, but to protect yourself, yes, I would strongly suggest insurance, especially if you use a rotary buffer or clean engines.
     

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