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How to Start an Auto Detailing Business

In the United States alone, there are over 245 million registered passenger vehicles according to a Department of Transport study conducted in 2005. Approximately 16 million new vehicles are sold annually. In Europe there were over 215 million registered passenger vehicles according to a study done in 2004. How many are there this year as our populations continue to grow? Who will keep them clean when the owners don’t have the time to do it anymore?

If you ever thought about starting an auto detailing business, now would be the time to shift into gear and get going. From the figures previously mentioned, it is clear that there will be no shortage of business in this industry in the foreseeable future.

Starting your very own auto detailing business is very much like starting any other business that provides a general service to a certain portion of the public. First off you’d have to decide who your target market will be. If you keep in mind that there are various types of vehicles including, but not limited to, passenger vehicles, two- and three-wheeled vehicles, caravans, trucks, tractors, and various types of heavy-duty machinery, finding a niche market for your area won’t be too difficult. The next step would be to find a suitable location for your auto detailing business.

This will take a bit of research on your part, but requires little more than a drive through your locale and taking note of the different types of vehicles on the road and their respective quantities. Having a look at similar kinds of auto detailing business competitors in your area is also a good idea since you wouldn’t want to start out close to an already established auto detailing business. This could lead to a lack of business and, possibly, an early closure.

When you have found the ideal area, it is up to you to find a place that will be clearly visible to your target market and one that will provide them with a drive-through facility or a large enough space for them to leave their vehicles while you do the work.

As you get a bit of start-up capital, you want to get things going full tilt with your auto detailing business. You’ll need equipment and depending on your business plan, perhaps some vehicles of your own. Nowadays, a mobile auto detailing business has become an invaluable resource in any community, especially for those customers unable to take the time from their busy daily schedules to drive down to their local auto detailing business and wait, anything from thirty minutes to an hour.

Have a look on the Internet for things you might need, like a high-pressure washer, additives, different kinds of polish and the various miscellaneous items associated with an auto detailing business. After that has been taken care of, you’re ready to throw your doors open to the public with the promise of an efficient and speedy auto detailing service, well almost.

Have you ever noticed that no auto detailing business only offers a wash, a polish, or a quick clean on the inside? This is because of the wide range of possibilities available commercially to improve the appearance and durability of the vehicle’s exterior and interior. An auto detailing business usually has different options to choose from, for example:

  • Bodywork pressure-washed and machine-shampooed
  • Wheels thoroughly pressure-washed with non acidic cleaner
  • Body pressure-rinsed

In addition to the above, small incentives added could come in handy. An example of these incentives would be:

  • Dried with a micro fibre towel
  • Gloss applied to tires
  • Interior fragrance

These would all be under ‘Option A’, the first and most cost effective of the various options your auto detailing business could supply. Having a look at the different options and the types of service your closest competition supplies could well aid you in drawing up different price plans that could possibly give you that extra edge to help you stay abreast of the competition.

After having done all that, it’s finally time to start operating. Remember that the biggest advertisement for your auto detailing business, especially if you own a location where your customers can drive through or park their cars, would be the premises itself and the way it is distinguishable from other buildings in the immediate surrounding area.

Other ways of making your auto detailing business known, especially if you have a mobile auto detailing business, would be through a website where people can book online or even a very professional business card that you can slip under the windscreen wipers of parked vehicles in a parking lot.

In the end, if you provide a steady professional auto detailing business, the biggest and probably most effective marketing you could count on will be word-of-mouth by previous or current returning customers.