Archived Blog Posts for car detailing training

Just about anyone can start their own auto detailing business. Some have started just with a bucket and a sponge and call themselves a professional auto detailer. Those types have not helped the reputation of this industry and actually have hurt it in certain instances, especially when they have driven the prices down and have done shoddy work. Typically these folks have no formal detailing training, did not attend an auto detailing school and are just trying to make a few bucks in between job employment. They generally do not have plans to invest in their future because it is a short term cash generator for them. This may of worked for them in the long run but they did not invest in any formal training hence did not realize the opportunity that could have been.

Learning how too properly and professional detail a car is only part of what you need to know if you really plan on starting a mobile car detailing business. Even if your detailing business is a part-time venture due to both family and financial obligations you should still get some education so you do it right! Many individuals start out part-time and invest in obtaining some good training so they can build a nice income stream. This new revenue stream can be a steady supplemental income or if you set your goals to eventually leave your job once your detailing business ramps up you could have an opportunity of a lifetime. Always keep this in mind – Every vehicle on the road is a potential detail job for you, you just need to develop a plan to reach-out to their “drivers” and offer a “best value” service for the various types of prospects. These prospects will vary from the senior citizen on a fixed income who really cares about preserving the vehicle they own to the corporate CEO that wants his or her car “spruced up” every week. See the potential? It’s enormous!

When choosing to enroll in an auto detailing class or attend an auto detailing training seminar be sure it offers both hands-on detailing training and training for the “business side” of operating an auto detailing business. Typically in this industry there are many really great “craftsman” but very few good “businessmen.” Most know how to detail a car and make it look like new but miserably fail when it comes down to operating the business and growing it to its full potential. A top-notch detailing class will teach you what you need to know with regards to; developing a business plan, choosing your business structure (S Corp, LLC, LP), permits and licenses needed, obtaining business insurance, developing a marketing plan, utilizing social media, having a web site and using good SEO practices, branding your auto detailing business, developing a data base and managing it, booking appointments over the phone, determining your overhead and profit margins, estimating and up-selling, how to obtain reoccurring revenues and referral customers, getting and staying organized, hiring and compensating employees, tools to manage inquiries, appointments and phone calls. Plus a whole lot more.

The hands-on curriculum of the detailing class should inform and educate you with the proper methods and procedures to professionally and proficiently detail a vehicle. The methods and procedures are very critical. If you do not learn these your details will either take unreasonably too long to perform or you will not be performing them well and your end product (the finished detail) will not be up to par. Your details not being up to par will lead to earning a bad reputation and a lack of revenues. Choose an auto detailing course that emphasizes proper methods and procedures and can educate you how to provide profitable; exterior detailing services, interior detailing services, engine compartment cleaning, and auto reconditioning services like headlight restoration, paint chip repair, plastic trim restoration, carpet dying, auto interior repair and odor removal. If you cannot afford the training that offers the auto recon services at least get trained how to detail a vehicle inside and out so you can start making some money right away.


Exterior detailing training should be comprised of the vehicle wash up and prep, paint correction, paint preservation, dressing and conditioning, finite detailing, window cleaning, final inspection and customer presentation of the finished product. There are many steps that encompass what is mentioned in the sentence above. Having a good reference check list and auto detailers inspection check list will help you remember what to look for and to execute the steps needed. Start out practicing the exterior detailing services on family and friends vehicles after you finish your training. Just after a few practice cars you should have enough confidence built up to actually start making money by acquiring customers.

Interior detailing training should be comprised of complete cleaning and detailing of the vehicles interior cabin including: cleaning of the headliner, sun visors, dash board, console, door panels, pockets, pedals, cracks, crevices, seating surfaces, steering wheel and column, carpets, mats, vinyl trim, leather trim, chrome trim, gauges, mirrors, and windows. Training should not only teach how to clean but how to condition the vinyl, leather and weather stripping. Special attention should be given to sued and microfiber interiors and the differences in the types of leather and seating upholstery. Proper use of a heated carpet extractor, automotive ozone generator and vapor steamer would also be part of the training components.

Learning the proper methods and procedures from the very beginning will save the detailer labor time and supply costs. Please keep in mind labor is the most expensive “cost” of the detail. Not knowing the proper way to professionally detail a vehicle will consume too much time and produce inferior results. Invest in a good training program, it will pay for itself just after a few detail jobs completed. Be sure to check out the student testimonials from graduates of Detail King’s auto detailing training school in Pittsburgh, PA.

Tailor your detailing business to meet the needs of the local customer base. You may operate your business in an area where offering a mobile service or pick-up and delivery would be very beneficial to your customers. Study your community each hour spent on research can equal a year of success. You will need to develop a business plan so you will have a road map to lead you down the right path. Be sure to review our sample Business Plan, it will provide you a plethora of information and put you on the right track for developing yours.

Determine the demand for high-quality detailing in your area. Survey the entire area, look for high concentrations of traffic, locate retail businesses, auto dealerships, manufacturing plants, medical buildings, airports, transportation companies, office buildings, industrial parks, country clubs, up-scale neighborhoods, etc.

Investigate local environmental laws with the EPA; state, county and city laws vary greatly. If you plan on operating your detailing business close to a body of water you will need to be compliant regarding EPA regulations. Many counties and cities will not allow your run-off water to be discharged into the storm drains. You will have to contain your wash water and then properly dispose of it (gray water) at the end of the day. Detail King offers many Water Containment and Reclamation Systems that start at as low as $300. You want your detailing or mobile car wash business to be compliant and the upfront cost of the equipment needed is much less than the fines you could be looking at. Even fixed locations needs to be aware of where your discharged water is going. It cannot be discharged into the storm drains. Plus you may need a water/grease separator installed in your drain so the oil and grease is trapped.

If you are looking for a building to lease or buy be sure you know the costs of putting in a separator before you sign the lease! You may find that you can negotiate the installation of the separator with your landlord. Costs vary from $600 and up depending on what needs to be done. Check with your local municipal office to see what you need to do, to be compliant. Be sure the area that you are planning on opening your new auto detailing business is “zoned” for this type of business. Separate yourself from your competition and show your professionalism. Your customers will appreciate your extra effort by being “Green” and EPA compliant. There usually is not a special “auto detailing license” needed but some coastal communities don’t want any wash water even touching the pavement, you will need a “waterless car wash permit” typically in those areas. We have the equipment and supplies needed for those requirements too.

Check out the competition: Have your car detailed and ask questions. Do a search online for detailing businesses in your area and be the “mystery shopper.” Find out how professional they are. Do they answer their phone like a business should when you call them? How informative is their web site? If you emailed them did they respond promptly? Were they able to answer your questions completely and did they seem knowledgeable? How were their services priced? Do they offer pick-up and delivery or are they strictly affixed? Take good notes and plan your phone presentation accordingly. Try to fill the voids that your competition has. You will notice that many of the calls you make will surprise you on how un-professional and lacking knowledge your competition may be. Or you may really have to “step up to the plate” to offer your customers a “better value” than the other guys!

Educate yourself: Consider attending one of Detail King’s Training Seminars. You will receive both hands on detailing training and we will educate you on what you need to know to actually run your auto detailing business. Being a great “craftsman” is one thing but knowing how to promote your services and keep the customers coming back and telling their friends to use your services is another thing. We teach you both and this newsletter series will explain some of the critical things you need to know including how to promote your business using all the relevant social media tools like Facebook, Pinterest, Linkedin, Youtube, Twitter, Snapchat and more! We also offer Training DVD’s if you cannot attend a training seminar in Pittsburgh. Detail King will be presenting their King On The Road class room training seminars which are new for 2014. Our “Bonus” newsletters will inform you where the King will be traveling this year to present special one- day seminars.

Decide on the services you will offer: A well-rounded detailing business should give the customer at least 4 choices of value oriented detailing packages. Eventually you should offer specialized auto reconditioning services such as headlight restoration, paint chip repair, plastic trim restoration, carpet dying, cigarette burn repair, vinyl and leather repair, paintless dent repair and even glass repair. You generate more revenues per customer by offering the reconditioning service above. Turn a $150 detail into a $300 complete auto reconditioning package, what car today doesn’t need rock paint chips repaired? Plus there are many that have foggy, unsafe headlights.

Decide on the types of vehicles you will detail: fleet vehicles, commercial vehicles, emergency vehicles, limousines, car dealer trade-ins, private owners, and car rental agency vehicles just to name a few. It is really endless with the types of vehicles and the market niches that you can procure. Boats, RV’s and motorcycles are very profitable niches to go after. Your success will be based on the niches that you develop. Developing niches can yield high profits and reoccurring revenues. There are literally hundreds of niches you can cultivate. You can learn more about developing niches at our seminars. We really go into depth on how to find these customers and keep them. Once you acquire a new niche be sure you have the proper equipment and supplies so you can proficiently detail these vehicles. For example if you acquire RV’s as a niche you may need to purchase used scaffolding, a pressure washer spray wand extension, double wide buckets, and anything else that will enable you get the job done right and be profitable. There may be some jobs you just have to pass on if they are not profitable or if you do not have the proper equipment and products to complete the job properly.

You can call us anytime to discuss your situation so we can advise the best route to take. Detail King offers a two-hour long business training and marketing DVD titled: “How to Start, Operate and Grow an Auto Detailing Business” this DVD also includes a follow-along printed narrative.

The DVD and narrative publication was crafted by Detail King’s founder and CEO Nick Vacco. We also include our Methods & Procedures Guide and a new 2014 Detail King Catalog. The cost of the DVD is only $89.95, to order yours please call 1-888-314-0847 or click here! If you would like to download our 2014 Detail King Catalog please click here or email us to request a hard copy to be mailed to you. I look forward to you receiving, reading and enjoying the next 9 newsletters. Get ready for some very AMAZING information about the extremely lucrative business of auto detailing and reconditioning. Until next time, best wishes!


Nick Vacco

Founder and CEO

Detail King LP