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If you’re looking for the latest information about starting or growing an auto detailing business, you’ve come to the right place. CarDetailingBlog.com is the Internet’s leading source for news, insight, commentary and how-to information focused on running an auto detailing business. Updated weekly by the team at Detail King, you can count on us to keep you up-to-date and informed.

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Winter is here and the likes of it will be staying around for at least 6 more weeks according to Punxsutawney Phil. If you operate your auto detailing business in parts of the country that are experiencing snow and other nasty weather conditions you should be making the best of your time by preparing for the upcoming Spring and Summer seasons. Shown below is what your To-Do list should look like:

• Develop an email for my past customers offering my auto detailing “Spring” Clean-Up services. Schedule this email to be sent out to all of my segmented lists the last week of February.

• Prepare a flyer to be included with my chamber of commerce’s monthly email or snail mailer that will be sent out to all chamber members. Offer them an exclusive winter clean-up package for all of their employees. Be sure to list my other car detailing services too.

• Schedule face to face appointments with business principles and office building managers where there are multiple vehicles parked all day. I will use my LinkedIn account and Chambers membership roster to determine who the decision makers are at these businesses.

• Visit all the automotive service oriented businesses in my area to be sure they have my flyers and business cards on their counters for the up-coming seasons. I will go and see express lube centers, tire shops, tune up shops, stereo shops, muffler shops and service repair garages and ask them if they are interested in co promoting.

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• Make a deal with some of the better local tunnel car washes that do not offer auto detailing services. Talk to them about setting up a canopy on Fridays to offer express services. Work them out a commission for every car I detail while I am there.

• Talk to the pro shop manager at the local golf clubs about working out a referral program with him so all the golfers are made aware of my services. Offer to detail the golfer’s cars while they are at the country club golfing.

• Call my past customers that I have not heard from in a long time and see how they are doing and what I need to do to earn their business back. Offer them a free car wash to entice them.

• Meet with my web master and review every page on my web site to be sure they are optimized for my core key words for each page. Update my web site with fresh content and new images. Have my web site optimized for mobile devices.

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• Call the local college’s student placement dept. and ask to speak to a student that knows how to make short videos and hire them to create new short videos of me performing detailing services. I need to post these videos on YouTube, Facebook and my web site.

• Set up an Instagram business account and start posting my before and after detail jobs.

• Look at ads daily on Craigslist for pre-owned vehicles that are for sale and email the sellers with information about my Sell Your Car detail package and how it could help sell their vehicle quicker at top dollar.

• Be sure I am subscribing to Detail King’s blog posts at cardetailingblog.com and getting their e newsletters so I can stay on top of my game all season long and save money with their special offers. I must also meet with my advisors to discuss everything listed in this document and up-date my business plan accordingly.

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Being organized and preparing for the busy season that is quickly approaching is very critical. You will be setting yourself up for success if you do this now. If you do not take the steps to set yourself up for success you will be challenged to succeed. Chances are your competitors are reading this blog too, don’t let them get the edge. You are now in the driver’s seat and know what it will take to boost your revenues in 2015. Get out there and make it happen!

When you fill up your gas tank, have you noticed that it leaves your wallet a little less empty these days? Gasoline prices have been falling for the last few months, and they should continue their decline through most of 2015.The national average is expected to drop over 20% in 2015 to about $2.58 per gallon, according to the Federal Energy Information Administration. If that projection holds up, then it would mean an average savings of about .80 per gallon through 2015.

That is a lot more than just extra change in your customer’s pockets! According to a Bankrate analysis of government petroleum stats, each American driver stands to save about $452 on gasoline this year. These lower prices could pump more than $100 billion into the American economy over the course of this year. Wouldn’t your business want some of that excess $$$? The lower gas prices will also decrease variable costs for mobile detailing business, which is a welcome benefit.

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What does this all mean for your auto detailing business? How could lower gas prices impact your bottom line? Well the “average Joe or Jane” that always wanted to have his or her car detailed but couldn’t afford that extra couple hundred dollars may now be able to swing it. Gear your marketing to reach out to the prospects that you may not have been able to acquire in the past. Your advertisements should focus on the money they are saving with lower gas prices and why it would benefit them to spend it with you to “protect their investment.”

The average “buy cycle” for automobiles is now 9 years, meaning people are holding onto their new car for 9 years before replacing it with a another one. You can bet they want them to look good and be worth something when they trade it in or sell it. Once they get their car professionally detailed they get “hooked.” Be sure you offer “after care” detailing services to keep their vehicles looking great year round. In business today you must think out of the box not only to thrive, but to survive!

We get calls all the time asking us to review service menus for new and existing auto detailing and mobile detailing businesses. What we are hearing and seeing is that most of the service menus we are reviewing are too complicated with too many choices. There is nothing wrong with having choices and options for your customers but you may want to “keep it simple stupid.” You will have a better chance of converting more prospects into customers by offering fewer choices on your service menu.

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You may want to consider offering just three detailing packages with three different price points. Have an entry level package consisting of a wash and wax, cleaning of carpets and seats, windows and mirrors with a price of $99 for medium size cars. Your mid-level detail package would include a light buff and then wax, carpet and upholstery cleaning, wet dusting and dressing of interior vinyl, and cleaning the windows and mirrors. We suggest $149 for medium size vehicles, you can adjust your price based on the size of vehicle. For your top of the line package consider offering paint correction with a poly sealant and a complete interior cleaning and detailing. For mid-size vehicles $189 would be a fair price and the customer would receive your best service.

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It is a good idea to offer an ala carte menu of some profitable add on reconditioning services. Headlight restoration, paint chip repair, glass repair, cigarette burn repair and even carpet dying are easy to do and yield nice profits. All of these services can be printed on the front side of your flyer or service menu. The back side may consist of hand washes and express services which we will discuss next time.

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An untapped, but extremely well accepted market niche would be targeting individuals and businesses that are selling their vehicles and offer them your “Sell Your Car Detailing Package.” Prospect by seeking vehicles that are for sale on craigslist and other on-line vehicle for sale web sites that you would want to detail and offer them a skinny version of a complete detail. If you are looking to increase revenues and fill in some gaps in your weekly schedule this is a way to do it!

We at Detail King actually mention this to our students that attend our auto detailing training seminars in Pittsburgh. We get very positive feedback from our students once they have had a chance to go back and execute this type of prospecting. To see how one of our top Authorized Licensees displays this service on his web site visit Bling Bling Detail KingShown below is a template you can use when emailing these prospects:

Hello,

I see that you have listed your (make & model) for sale on Craigslist. We provide professional mobile auto detailing services and actually offer a reasonably priced detailing package that should help you sell your vehicle quicker and get closer to your asking price!

Our Sell Your Car Package includes:

• Hand wash & chamois dry
• Engine cleaning & dressing
• Machine polish exterior
• Condition tires & trim
• Vacuum interior & shampoo carpets & mats
• Wet dust dash, door panels and console
• Condition interior vinyl trim
• Clean all windows & mirrors
• Apply new car scent
• Address any special requests

We understand that you probably do not need our very best detailing services because you are selling your vehicle so we developed our Sell Your Car Package to give your vehicle the grooming that it needs to make it stand out and be more marketable.

The cost of our Sell Your Car Package is based on the size and condition of your vehicle. Prices range from (publish your price range here) and is normally about half of what we would charge for a complete detailing service if you plan to keep your vehicle.

We also offer New Car Protection Packages if you are planning on purchasing a new vehicle after your current vehicle is sold. Please don’t forget to ask us about this package.

To schedule your appointment or ask any questions please reply back to this email or call us at (phone number). Remember, a shiny and clean car sells faster than a dull and dirty one, that is why car dealers detail their cars for their front line. Car dealers actually increase the trade-in value up to $1200 for a vehicle that looks and smells good!

Thank you,

(your name)
(name of your business)
(tag line)
(phone number)
(web site)

Note: Link your web site pages that host your Sell Car Package and your New Car Protection Package to your email.

 

One of our Detail King Authorized Licensees actually came up with a great idea to bring in a lot more business with little effort. This marketing tool is quite affordable, simple to design and incredibly easy to distribute.

First design a “Employee Recognition Gift Certificate” about the size of a post card or a little larger AKA as Rack Card. The value of the gift certificate is $50 towards a complete auto detailing service. You distribute multiple quantities of your $50 “Employee Recognition Gift Certificate” to managers, supervisors and owners of various businesses. The boss then hands them out as “rewards” to their staffers for jobs well done or just as a nice gesture to build up good morale.

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You are not charging the manager or small business owner anything for the certificates. He or she hands gives them to their employees for free and everybody wins! The boss is doing something nice for his or her workers that has value and it makes the boss look good. The employees now have the opportunity to get their cars detailed and actually save some money. You now get more business with very little effort. This really works folks!

Of course you can put a higher or lower value of the certificate and also outline exactly the package that the certificate is valid for. Do not price this package too high because you will not see quick results in volume. Possibly develop a few specially tailored packages just for this promotion that offer a great value for the customer and that are also profitable for your detailing business. Describe what the detailing package includes on the certificate and state the price ranges. Of course your price ranges will be based on the size of the vehicle.

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Design your special “employee recognition certificate” to be very professional looking and have a lot of eye appeal. An attractive offering will drive business to you. Be sure you include your contact information, hours of operation and the payment types that your business accepts. Determine the quantity that you need will need to print based on the markets that will be targeted. Don’t mail these certificates, hand them out to the bosses! Provide them enough for all of their employees.

Detail King will soon be offering a template so all you will have to do is just fill in the blanks and have them printed. This marketing venue works, don’t let it slip by you without trying it out. Don’t play games with your prices either, make this an honest offer and you will have more business than you know what to do with!