5 Ways To Make Your Carwash Or Detailing Business A Success

by Clint Allerton

Look Bigger Than You Really Are

When I thought of the idea to start my auto detailing business, I knew that since I was just a one man operation, I needed to make it appear that I was bigger than “just me.” I didn’t have any sort of logo yet, so I hired an artist to design a logo that made it appear that I was a franchise or a larger company. I was fairly certain that I would attract more business from customers that thought I was multi staffed. At the time, (I’ve since partially changed my philosophy) I was unsure that people would hire me being that I had no help and little detailing experience. I found an amazing artist, and for a very reasonable cost, he designed my logo and it set the tone for the “branded” look. It made my “company” look way bigger than what it really was. This included logos for my website www.autodetaildoctor.com , my phone number, my tag line, “We Make House Calls…We Come To Your Location!” and so forth. Everything was set to look branded, professional, and bigger than what it really was.

Photo Courtesy of Auto Detail Doctor

Look Professional

With my former job (life), I was a crewmember for a professional drag racing team. It was a very successful, “corporate,” team, and I remember one of the things that the Director of Media once stated: “In order to be good, you have to look good.” When I started my mobile auto detailing business I wanted to be good, so as a result, I needed to “look good” at the same time. I bought jet black Dickies work pants that wouldn’t show much dirt and stains, and I had new T-shirts and Polo shirts designed with my logo attached. Actually, I went through a couple different companies, each with bad results. The T-shirts logo would peel off, etc, and it just didn’t look like I was a professional. So I decided that I needed a change because in my eyes, it was embarrassing for customers to see me in low quality working apparel. I even went as far as to having new T-shirts produced by the same company, Classic Graphix from Downey, CA, that made all of the shirts for the drag racing team. These shirts were triple the cost as the local, cheaper, shirts that I have already tried. To my knowledge, there was no better T-shirt company in the world. With my “branded” logo attached, the shirts now look fantastic, and certainly don’t look cheap like the others did. When I show up in someone’s driveway or work location, I immediately set a good first impression that I truly am a professional. Looks are very important in this business, and if one arrives at the job site wearing old, dirty, worn out clothes, it certainly doesn’t set a very good example. The minimum order for the T-shirts was something like 500 pieces, so I have plenty to get me through a few years. Being that I have a hefty amount of shirts, I’ll use them for about a month, and then toss them in the trash to replace them with new ones. Again, in this business, you have to “look good” and detail customers love to see that “new” look.


Look Like A Franchise

Everyone always thinks that Auto Detail Doctor is a franchise. That was the goal, to LOOK like a franchise when I first started. I bought a Chevrolet Express cargo van, a used 2005 model that was in great condition with low miles. Again, I had my artist draw up a design with my “branded” logo, phone number, and website, all in “corporate” colors and fonts. The mobile van was wrapped with the design, and the outcome was fantastic. As soon as I pull in someone’s driveway, or their work location, it appears that I am a large company. Even while driving down the road, the van attracts customers, all because I look like a franchise, or better yet, way bigger than what the business really is. I did these things and honestly the cost didn’t matter near as much as it did to look good, big, and like a corporate, franchised company. I knew that the added expense would quickly pay for itself. So together with the logo, the apparel, and the mobile van, those three things really take things to the next level.

Image Courtesy of google share


Don’t Underestimate Your Business By Lowering Your Prices

I have learned that most people in the detail world would like to have a true “detail.” That means they are willing to pay a premium price for a premium service. I strongly discourage in being the lowest priced business out there. People that call for “discounts” or “deals” in this business turn out to be bad customers, or at least ones that don’t return. With my pricing, I have it set at mid to high, but that is because I offer mid to high end services. Customers are willing to pay for a better job. Detailing is a luxury service, and customers expect luxurious results. Sometimes, I get calls from people wanting a “quick” or an “express” detail. I do not offer that because I feel the customer will be disappointed. The best analogy that I can give is: If you are on vacation and you and your family want to go out to dinner, I am willing to bet you will pick an upper class, nice, restaurant with the best steak or seafood available over a fast food restaurant. If you go ahead and get the fast food restaurant, you’ll most likely be disappointed over the steakhouse during your (Luxury) vacation.

Image Courtesy of google share


Have The Best Attitude

In order to succeed in any business, especially a single person operation, you must have a great attitude. You must believe in your heart that you are the best. There can be no doubts in your mind that you are the best. People can see and feel about how the business owner’s confidence rates. If there is doubt within the potential customer, then they will go elsewhere. I have never met a detailer that didn’t have an ego bigger than my house, and I have to admit that I am the same way. You have to truly believe that you are the best. Be confident, and show your confidence by giving an awesome service. Be the BEST!

Clint Allerton is the owner and sole operator of Auto Detail Doctor, a mobile auto detailing business serving Columbus, Ohio and surrounding areas.Clint spent 14 years working as a crewmember for professional NHRA drag racing teams, where hard work, organization, detail skills, and results were a must. When Clint was not traveling across the country from race to race, he and his son, Eric, would wash their family cars EVERY DAY.

Visit Auto Detail Doctor’s Webpage
Visit Auto Detail Doctor On Facebook

1 Comment

  1. Read your review,I am also a car detailer in Perth Western Australia.Do you have any tips for looking for new customers.I do not have a website as yet,but i do a lot of cold calling.Any more suggestions?Thanks Greg.

Leave a Reply