car detailing business

How to Start Car Detailing Business in 7 Steps

The car detailing business is a good way to make extra big money with low investment. The startup costs are low and also the earning potential is very high in this auto-related business. Here in this article, we will guide you stepwise on starting a car detailing company with costs, legalities, equipment required, and much more.

However, a passion for cars and automobiles is a must to be successful in this business. Creative marketing is the key to achieving success in this business.

Car owners normally depend heavily on cars for communication needs. Most car owners find challenges in having time to clean them. And here lies the business opportunity.

You can start this business by having your own car detailing shop or providing services to customers at their doorsteps. Before we provide a plan to start the business, let us understand what actually car detailing is all about.

What is Car Detailing?

Car detailing services can be broadly categorized into two types. They are exterior car detailing and interior car detailing. Some of the popular exterior car detailing services are as follows:

  • Car washing
  • Dent repairing
  • Car degreasing
  • Engine detailing
  • Car claying
  • Windshield repairing
  • Car paint correction and protection

There is also some hugely in-demand interior car detailing services that customers ask for. They are the following:

  • Car vacuuming
  • Car brushing
  • Carpet cleaning and dying
  • Seat cover cleaning and repairing
  • Steam cleaning

Here are the 7 Steps to Start a Car Detailing Business

1. Learn the Art of Car Detailing

If you are an expert and know the art of car detailing, you can skip this chapter. If you are a newbie, it is a must to master the art. Working as an apprentice in an existing reputed firm will help you in this regard. If you want to know every detail about the car detailing business, buying this guidebook is highly recommended.

2. Make Your Business Legally Compliant

If you are looking to run your business legally, it is extremely important to form a company. If you are starting with limited resources, choose a proprietorship business structure at the beginning.

Check with local authorities, and find if any licenses and permits are required or not to run a car detailing business locally.

3. Buy Equipment

You will need a garage to clean the vehicles if you want to have your own shop. If you are a beginner, I would recommend starting as a mobile retailer. Here you would go to customers for the detailing. Here you will save the cost of having your own service center.

In addition to the space needed for car detailing, you’ll need the following bigger ticket items:

  • A good shop vac with a long hose.
  • Detailing attachments for the Shop-Vac.

The basic equipment includes sponges, brushes, cloths, buckets, vacuum and cleaners, and wax. Get familiar with car detailing products so you don’t use anything that may cause damage to the car’s finish.

You will also need to have access to an electrical outlet and water spigot. As your auto detailing business grows, you may consider buying a portable generator and a large-capacity water tank.

4. Find the Right Location

Selecting a proper location is highly critical to the success of the car detailing business. Furthermore, you must ensure to have sufficient parking space. If you are low on budget and starting new, starting in a garage space can save you a lot of money.

5. Cost of Starting a Car Detailing Shop Business

The cost and investments will largely depend on the size and scale of the business. However, on a small scale, one can start a car detailing business with an investment of as low as Rs 1 Lacs.

6. Buy Accounting Software

It is essential to manage your finances professionally while running a car detailing business. To achieve this, you need to buy accounting software that fits the best.

Additionally buy a POS (point of sale) software for receiving payments from customers.

7. Promote your Car Detailing Business

Promotional strategy for auto detailing businesses should center around locally. You must not promote your services beyond your working reach. Create advertisements and place them in local publications, such as small newspapers and community-focused magazines. Place ads on smaller, local television and radio stations, and buy advertising space in local phone books and coupon books.

Read: Surefire Marketing Ideas for Small Businesses

Strategic partnerships with companies that are not operating in your segment in the local car-care industry can help customer bases to grow your own business. You’ll also want to set up a basic website about your business. You can set up a website on the cheap by getting a domain and hosting through Blue Host, and then doing the one-click integration with the free WordPress platform.

You can also get in touch with local small car dealers other than individual car owners. Big car dealers generally have their own car wash services.

Trust is a very important factor in this business. Car owners provide the keys to you. Try to build an honest and professional relationship with the owners. A satisfied customer will bring in more customers to you.

Suggested Read: Top Small Scale Automobile Business Ideas

With proper planning and equipment, the auto detailing business will surely grow. There are plenty of dirty cars roaming around for your service. Just go and tap this ever-growing business.