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Old 18th March 2007, 10:40 AM   #1
B.Jackson
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Default New Idea! Mobile Car Detailing Business

first off thanks everyone for reading this thread!

ok well over the weekend i was washing my car. i had just gotten done washing my car at the car wash and was now home drying and detailing my car. i started to think about opening up my own mobil car detailing business. i noticed 2 things that made me think of this. there was a huge line at the car wash this morning, and there were dirty cars all over my neighborhood. so i started thinking. i called "polished image"(the local detailling company) and asked them their prices. for a car it was 180 and truck/suv 210. i thought that was outrageous. i then got on the internet at started looking a car washing forums. i discoveded that i could run the business right out of my truck and the start up costs would be around 500-600 dollars. so here is my question to all of you:

1) would you let a young 16 year old kid come to your house/work and completely detail your car?

2) how much would you pay for this service?

3) do you think my idea will be sucessful?

thanks in advance,

b.jackson

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Old 18th March 2007, 12:31 PM   #2
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1) Depends, but maybe an issue

2) 30-50 ... but I've paid up to 100 for complete/inside/outside/etc

3) Definitely could be, a lot is up to you and how you go about setting up an initial base of customers to support things. How will you get your first customers? Word of mouth and the work you will do from there will be very important ... and then really/seriously how much you put into it. Some become complacent with just enough, others take it to new levels .. and that has a lot to do with you.

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Old 18th March 2007, 07:11 PM   #3
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Your age might be an issue, but if you promote yourself as the young entrepreneur, maybe it could a positve marketing tool. Locally, there were two high schoolers who had a moving/hauling business called something like "two guys from name high school". This was quite successful. When they went to college they renamed the business "two college guys". They are still in business and think have expanded.

One avenue for business is local large businesses and corporations. I know of a place that used to have a contract with a mobile washing/detailing service to come in on the birthdays of the "higher ups". I think it is a nice coporate gift/perk and could be an ongoing gig.

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Old 19th March 2007, 09:54 AM   #4
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1.) Depends on reputation. In other words, what are people saying about you? Age is not too much of a factor but rather how precise of a job you did. I think in order to be successful, you'd have to have a perfectionist mentality.

2.) Depends on the level. I could see paying $200. I detail my own vehicle and believe me it is at least a half day project. If I could find someone who would do the same level job that I would do, I easily spend $200 so I could do something else with that time.

3.) It certainly can be. Many people love their automobiles and have little time these days to detail them on their own.

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Old 20th March 2007, 05:06 AM   #5
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When I was 10yrs of age, out of necessity (the mother of all invention) I needed money (not wanted, NEEDED). I lived on a 500 house state owned housing estate (Project). I noticed people had to walk to the shop to collect their evening paper, which was cool in the sun, but bad in the rain. I asked the newsagent how much rain affected his sales, and he said big time.

I then set about knocking every single door on the estate, asking if they wanted the newspaper delivered. I kept a book noting who everyone was, what they said etc. I did a deal with the newsagent that he paid me 0.01 per sale. I started off delivering 100 ish papers a night 6 nights a week. Within 4 years I had cut out the newsagent, was dealing direct with the newspaper, and we were delivering 3000 a night (we went outside my local area, and I just concentrated on running it, while delivering the 100 or so I needed to keep busy). Then they found out I was 14 and told me they were not allowed to deal with a minor. (that is a different story though LOL)

The point of my tale is to show that you CAN do it. I had NO suit, we were poor, I WAS a kid, younger than you are. But i was VERY determined (hunger kind of drives determination) LOL.

If you want it enough, and it is achievable, then you can get it. I don't subscribe to this 'a man can achieve anything' rubbish, because EVERYONE has limitations. The trick is knowing the difference between ACTUAL limitations, and PERCEIVED limitations (glass ceilings).

I would (and still do ) ask myself 'can ANYONE do this? if the answer is yes, then I look at WHO could do it, then WHY they could do it, then can I DO IT!

Focus, drive determination and above all, planning. (that little book with every-ones name and response in taught me the importance of sales prospecting and reporting.

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Old 20th March 2007, 06:04 AM   #6
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I also think it is important to bring this up. I strongly suggest if you do this that you do it legit, and get insurance. If something where to happen and you damage someone’s car, you would certainly have to pay for it. Coming out of pocket with this money could be devastating. A car is commonly known as people’s 2nd most expensive investment other than their home, so I wouldn’t take the risk lightly if I where you.

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Old 21st March 2007, 11:03 AM   #7
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Insurance is the big question!

I would not care about you being 16 washing my car, but you better have insurance because if you take the paint off or discolor the seats you probably don't have the $5k or $10k to fix it.

I think you could get a $100,000 in liability insurance very cheap, like a few hundred dollars a year. See a local independent insurance broker and have him get you quotes.

Putting FULLY INSURED on literature will help people over look your age.

Good luck, nice idea!

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Old 1st May 2007, 11:02 PM   #8
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Thanks for all of your input guys. Long time, no talk. well i have thought things over, and this is the way im going. this summer i will have alot of things to do. i will have hockey games, golf tournaments, school summer projects, family vacations, and just plain relaxing, i mean thats what summer is for isnt it? i have applied for several jobs so far and have been accepted to 2. the pay for these 2 jobs is about 7.50 a hr. but the problem is with my schedule (mostly planned vacations) it will be hard to get time off, so im going to start my own business, washing cars. .

I have already talked to 6 people (mostly family) and they have agreed to let me completely detail their cars, for 45 dollars a wash, once a week. i know washing your car that often sounds absurd, but hear me out. My family (or at least my clients) is in the construction business. I thought this out, and who better to wash cars for, then the people with the dirtiest cars of all.

6 cars per week @ 45 dollars each = $270.00 a week
each car will roughly take me 2 hours to wash, (hand wash, polish, wax, windows, vacuum, wheels and tires, and inside detail) so that is about 12 hours a week.
270 / 12 = 22.5 dollars an hour. i think thats pretty good compared to 7.5 per hour I would get most other places.

start up would cost around 650 for all the supplies i will need (one time purchase) and thats almost all i want to spend. i will break even in about 2.5 weeks. the other 10 weeks of work, will be all profit.

If I continue at a rate of 270 a week for 10 weeks, I will have made $2700.00 and worked roughly 120 hours.

My six clients are locked in; now all I need is supplies. I have really thought this through, what do you guys think?


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Old 2nd May 2007, 02:08 PM   #9
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Your idea could be successful. As to a kid doing the car details, depends on the workmanship. Car owners are particular with that. And the age can be an issue, too.

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Old 4th May 2007, 12:40 AM   #10
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You could also talk with some construction companies that have company vehicles. A friend of mine back in the states owns a construction company and he has a fleet of about 20 trucks. He pays a detailing service to wash the trucks exterior 1 time every 2 weeks, if you could get set up with one of these companies it could be a steady income for you.

Just don't forget about insurance. I know that often young people don't see the point is paying a substantial amount of money for something that you may possibly never use, but in order to get involved with many businesses (as far as a contract to clean their fleet) most of them will require you to have insurance.

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