March 23, 2021 Renny Doyle

Is the Timing Right to Start a Detailing Business?

Is the Timing Right to Start a Detailing Business?

Many markets are flooded with detailers. You need to face reality and do some investigating within your market. In Southern California for instance, where my home is located, detailers are a dime a dozen in many areas. So-called detailers are all over the place, and many fail to be on solid foundations so they struggle, and most fail rapidly. 

The people starting these businesses make the failed assumption that a detailing business is a piece of cake to start and their road to riches is paved with wax. Almost before they know it, they are out of capital, have damaged some vehicles by having no detailing education, and now their reputation is damaged. They start giving away their work by offering cheap prices and “beating out the other guys,” thinking that it will get them more business and save their business. That is what usually helps them along to their demise and death as a business. 

That constant creation of new, then failing, businesses. This has damaged this industry nationwide. Why? When uneducated, undercapitalized businesses start up, most make one common mistake: they devalue their services and drive the price of detailing services down. This in turn plays havoc with legitimate detailing businesses. Then, with so many practically giving away detailing services, it makes it very hard for the legitimate detailing firms to make it. Or does it? 

When a market is crowded with other detailers, what could make it a good market to enter? Every shop I have ever started or fixed-mobile or home-based-was established within a market that already had competing detailers. Competition does not bother me and to be direct, competition encourages me to work hard. Here is what I look for within a market before I start the detailing business:

  1. Booked-up Shops – When I call around and detailing businesses are booked up more than ten days ahead or if they are two-three weeks out, I get very excited as I can come in and gain market share pretty quickly. 
  2. Market Interest – I am a car guy and if people are asking me where I get my car detailed, BINGO. I am going to research that market to no end. 
  3. Weak Competition – If you are business savvy and have a fair amount of start-up capital, you can finish off the weak within your market and gain market share rapidly. 
  4. Market with Money – I don’t care how many detailers there are in a market. If that market has a history of supporting disposable cash businesses like detailing and I am connected with the money people within the town, that is a good sign!

I love to see detailing being done wrong. I am all over a market where no one is offering detailing done right.