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Auto detailing involves the thorough cleaning and restoration of a vehicle, both inside and out. Also, it’s not just limited to cars or trucks, but also RVs, boats and trailers as well. It is a meticulous process that requires a range of specialized tools, equipment and products to ensure that the vehicle looks and feels like new.
If you’re new to auto detailing, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of essential equipment that every auto detailer needs to have.
Later we’ll go over the type of equipment you’ll need to start off, but keep in mind every business is different and you might not need the listed equipment. Depending on your business model, you might not offer waxing or high end detailing services. So only basic equipment and tools will be needed.
Creating your business plan is necessary when starting off. You will want to create a brief overview of your mobile detailing business, which should include the following:
This should include the overall market in your local area. You will need to know your competition, the market size and the overall demand for this industry. Depending on where you are located in the country, you will notice there is a different market for auto detailing. This includes the type of weather you experience in your area, there might be slower months or busier months depending on your location. Even if you are in a competitive location, you should think outside the box and don’t limit yourself to only doing car detailing. Consider other types of vehicles like RV’s, trailers, 5th wheels, and boats. You also might want to consider finding commercial accounts. This would include detailing fleets for transportation companies, auto dealerships, or shuttle services. Make sure you do some research on your target market and comprehend their needs and preferences.
This is where you need to understand the type of service you plan on offering your clients. Mobile detailing can vary depending on if you plan on doing a full service detail, paint correction, ceramic coating, wax/clay bar, complete interior detail with shampooing and upholstery cleaning, or just the basic car wash, and minor interior detail job. This will give you a great understanding of the type of equipment you’ll need to start your business. This will also help you budget with what expenses to expect when purchasing the necessary equipment to get started. As you can see, it’s important to understand and go into detail about what services you will be providing.
This plan should include your startup costs for equipment, supplies, marketing, and advertising. Don’t forget to include other expenses like fuel, insurance, and maintenance. Be sure to have some projections on income, this will help you figure out what you should be charging for your services. Then you need to set some goals or projections on how many vehicles you will need to do per month/week to generate enough revenue to cover your expenses.
This like any business will be the lifeblood of your business and understanding how to attract customers will be very important. There are opportunities using social media, but you will need to have some clients under your belt before trying this approach. Same with referrals, you need to get a book of business first and those referrals will eventually come if you are providing exemplary service. You can consider advertising on Yelp, Facebook, Instagram or your local papers. Figure out the cost and what your weekly and monthly budget is for marketing. Keep track of where your clients are coming from, ask them how they heard about your company. Knowing if your clients found you from one specific source, will help you decide on where to spend your marketing dollars for the months to come.
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Here’s a detailed list of the type of equipment & materials you might need to run a successful mobile auto detailing business. As mentioned above, you might not need all of these items, but this will help you get an idea of what is possibly needed.
Carpet / Upholstery Extractor
Polisher / Buffer
Paint Thickness Gauge
Vehicle and /or Light Duty Trailer
Reservoir Water Tank
Water Containment Mat
Deionized Water Filter System
No matter your credit score, we are here to help you. First Capital offers equipment financing programs for everyone – from excellent credit to bad credit. Even if you have a recent bankruptcy or any issues on your credit report, we have a wide selection of programs that are designed to fit your credit and your business. First Capital can easily find the best program for you that can be tailored to your specific needs.
Our programs are designed to help you get the detailing equipment you need easily – and FAST. Whether it’s an emergency replacement for equipment that failed, or necessary upgrades, First Capital has your back.
Speak to one of our friendly advisors, they will help you get prequalified and answer any questions you may have. You can reach us at 888-565-6692 or you can use our Chat Help Desk found in the lower right corner of the screen.
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