March 1, 2021 Chris Woolman

Three Types of Detailers. Which Are You?

Detailing has become a serious trade and a true artform when performed at the highest levels. It is a highly-competitive business, and if you are going to play the detailing game, you better be ready to play the game right! The detailing industry as a whole can be divided into three groups…

The first is the “I don’t care. I think I know it all, but in reality I know nothing about detailing correctly” group. This is the crowd that places value on “beating” everyone in town and offering the lowest price. The same group performs “destructive detailing” and while the work may look great, the results can be reached at a very high expense to the car, and the customer. Healthy clear coat is devoured as quickly as a great white shark can eat a foot-long hot dog, and healthy clear coat cannot be recovered. When the paint system is compromised, there is no help for the poor detailer who details behind this group. With any luck, that detailer is well equipped with a paint gauge to measure the paint and prevent a problem before it happens.

The second is the “highest quality at any cost” group. Let me tell you, for two years I had “addicted to shine-it is” and when I looked at the numbers, I was shocked at how much my addiction to shine was costing me, and how much money I was giving away to the clients. I love making paint and interiors sparkle, but just a couple years into my business, I learned to give the client what they paid for. My profits increase, and I jumped to an elite group within the detailing industry…

The this and most elite group is the “Pros turning a real profit”.  This group is about as rare in our industry as an truthful politician is in Washington, D.C., these days. Many detailing players are out there talking the talk but few have a checking account with assets that would prove any real success. The professionals making the most impact know and understand that profitable detailing involves building proper systems and processes, and that a growing detailing business evolves, changes, and adjusts to the every-changing detailing world.

Which group to you belong in or desire to belong in? Being a fantastic detailer is not an option. To be profitable you must be a talented detailing technician in today’s market. To survive, you must be detailing smart and be a business person first, a detailer second.