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10 Tips for Starting Your Own Car Detailing Business

Thinking about starting a car detailing business?

Wondering what you need to know to get started?

If you’re interested in starting your own business, you may want to consider launching a car detailing service. Car detailing is a great business to get into and can be very lucrative if done right.

Just like any other business, however, there are a lot of things to think about when getting started with car detailing. You’ll need to do a lot of groundwork to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success. 

Luckily, we’ve got your back. Below we’ll give you our top 10 tips for starting a car detailing business.

1. Get Training

Before starting your own detailing business, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure you’re capable of the job.

Great car detailing takes skill and knowledge. It’s important that you go through a professional training program so you can have plenty of know-how and will be able to prove your qualifications and expertise. By getting trained, you’ll be fully ready to take on the business and will be able to have proof of your skills to show potential customers.

Additionally, don’t forget to continue getting trained over time as well. New detailing methods emerge from time to time, and like any industry, you need to stay on top of the latest trends if you want to succeed.

2. Decide Whether You’ll Be in a Fixed Location

One big consideration you’ll need to think about when starting a detailing business is whether you’ll have a fixed location or whether you’ll have a mobile detailing business.

A mobile auto detailing business comes with several advantages. The startup costs and equipment needed for a mobile business will be pretty small and you’ll be able to work part-time at first if you want.  This can seem more convenient and attractive to people who need car detailing. 

On the other hand, having a physical location comes with benefits as well. You’ll be able to have more heavy duty equipment on hand and customers will be able to leave their vehicles with you overnight if necessary.

3. Consider the Costs

You should also think carefully about the costs of starting your detailing business.

Typically, a mobile detailing business will require lower startup costs compared to a business with a fixed location. However, a mobile business can be more time-consuming in some ways since you’ll be visiting customers in different areas and will need to plan your schedule carefully.

Having a fixed location can be more expensive and you’ll have to pay rent or buy a physical location to do business. You may also want to invest in more heavy duty equipment to offer more extensive options to customers.

4. Invest in the Right Equipment

To get started with a detailing business you’ll also need to make sure to have the right equipment. Make sure you consider the costs of all this equipment when you’re getting started and ensure that you have everything you need before you start looking for customers.

At the minimum, you’ll need to have a van or vehicle to get around if you’re launching a mobile business. You’ll also need at least a few tools to get started.

Some of the pieces of equipment you may need for your mobile detailing business will include a hot water extractor, a pressure washer, soap, buckets, rags, sponges, and towels.

5. Remember the Business License

Before you get started with launching a great auto detailing business, you’ll need to be sure that you have a business license and are legally allowed to operate in your area.

It’s important to ensure that you’re working legally and within the realm of the law if you want your business to last. Registering your business as an LLC or another type of business will be necessary if you’re becoming an entrepreneur of any kind, and the same is true with a car detailing businesses as well.

Make sure you go through all of the proper steps before you start taking on your first customers.

6. Learn to Be a Salesman

If you want to make sure that your business starts thriving as soon as possible, you need to make sure that you know how to sell your services to potential customers.

When starting your business it’s a great idea to brush up on your selling skills. If possible, take a professional selling course or read a book on how to be a great salesman. By learning more about the art of selling, you’ll ensure you’re ready to speak to potential customers about your services with plenty of enthusiasm.

You’ll have to be proactive to continually get new clients, so remember that you’ll need to get better at selling yourself if you want to succeed.

7. Launch Your Online Presence

If you want to launch a successful auto detailing business, it’s also essential that you build an online presence.

This means that you should launch a killer website that lists your services and contact information for people to see. It can also be a great idea to launch social media pages as well so that you can keep in touch with previous customers and connect with new ones.

Many people look for local services by searching online. Building a great online presence and mixing it with some great digital marketing strategies can be very helpful for getting new customers interested in what you have to offer.

8. Don’t Neglect Marketing

It’s also necessary that you have a in place before you launch a detailing business.

You should aim to use the internet to market your services using digital marketing tactics such as pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimization (SEO). You should also work on in-person tactics as well. Old school marketing tools such as flyers, mailers, or newspaper ads can still work very well if done right.

The most important thing is that you don’t just leave your business success up to chance. Make sure that you form a plan and do some serious marketing if you want to have enough customers to succeed.

9. Have a Follow Up Plan

Once you have a few customers using your services you should also make sure that you have a strategy for keeping them around and getting repeat business.

Creating an email list can be a big help for keeping in touch with your customers and will allow you to reach out with special offers and promotions from time to time. You may also want to consider sending out physical mailings as well.

By making sure you have a follow-up plan you’ll be able to retain your existing customers and will help your business become bigger and bigger over time.

10. Pick the Right Time to Expand

You need to remember that when starting your business it’s okay to start off slow. It’s much easier to start slowly and speed things up over time than to try to do too much at the beginning.

Many auto detailers start off with a mobile business model and then eventually move into a physical location. This can be a great way to do things and will ensure that you’re expanding at the same rate as your customer base is.

By expanding only when you’re ready you’ll be able to avoid getting in over your head and will be able to create a sustainable business over time.

Making the Choice to Start a Car Detailing Business

If you want to start a business, a car detailing business can a great option. Your car detailing business may be the thing that helps you move your life forward and ensures your financial wellbeing  However, remember that it won’t always be easy. You need to make sure you use the tips listed above if you’re serious about succeeding with your business in the long run.

Looking for more help in launching your business? to see our list of free forms you can use to plan and start your new business.