Easy Ways To Grow Your Auto Detailing Business

Acquire More Repeat Business In 2021

1. Adjust Your Business Model For 2021
     Reassess Your Target Customer

  • Who really is your ideal detailing customer?
  • How are they going find you?
  • What cleaning and detailing services are they looking for in 2021?
  • How can you make it more convenient for them to do business with you?
  • Be committed to connect to your target customers!
  • What factors make up the relationship with your customers besides geography and consumer behavior?
  • What do you need to tweak to attract more ideal customers?
  • What services can you expand without outpacing your ability to deliver high quality?
  • Once you understand how your ideal customer fits into the best components of your business, you will have a more complete picture of what to adjust for 2021.
  • Once you have a clear picture of your ideal customers you need to capitalize on their needs and your strengths.
  • Adjust your business to appeal and serve the perfect client.
  • Doubling down may feel risky especially if you have been positioning your self to serve “anyone” & “everyone” – But you will never catch a fish with a dull hook & your business will never grow with a fuzzy focus.
  • By focusing on your “ideal” client you will be free to build your business with the kind of clients that will fuel your growth, not hinder it.

To learn how to Start, operate and grow a successful car detailing business, Detail King Auto Detailing Training Institute offers Weekend Seminars.

2. Add New Revenue Streams From Existing Customers
     Find Ways To Add Revenue By Working Smarter Not Harder

  • Innovate your detailing business, it’s the HOW that makes the difference when it comes to success.
  • New client acquisition becomes time consuming and costly, that is why I recommend adding revenue streams from existing customers.
  • Add revenue streams that capitalize on existing customers.
  • Keep your name in front of your existing customer base through emails and text messages.
  • Offer maintenance washes, maintenance details and ceramic coating maintenance services to your ideal customers that you have identified.
  • The easy person to sell is one who already has done business with you because you have already built trust with them.
  • Once you have that trust your rate of return escalates.
  • If you can find ways to add value to your existing customers you can add revenues and expedite your sales process.
  • What services do your ideal existing customers need that you currently do not offer or promote well?
  • How can you meet those needs within your current business structure and resources?
  • If you can identify these “sweet spots” you can create new revenue streams that will accelerate your revenue growth without putting a strain on your strategy and budget.
  • Getting feedback from your ideal customers is the best way to get dialed in on what needs they’re looking for a solution to.
  • Tools like Google Forms & SurveyMonkey can get your survey up and running quickly and get this intel to you ASAP
  • Ask questions like: What is your challenge right now with keeping your vehicle clean and looking great? What do you wish you could have to help you do this?
  • Once you have this valuable information bring it to your team of detailers. Talking through new revenue streams with your team is crucial.
  • Your team may hear things from customers that you may not be aware of, a good sit down with your team may open your eyes up.
  • Use this information to expand the number of data inputs you have access to when trying to pinpoint your customers needs, experiences and expectations.
  • Your team may have fresh ideas on how to leverage those unspoken needs into new forms of revenue.

Detail King Auto Detailing Training Institute offers a 3 day Craftsman Auto Detailing Training Seminar in Pittsburgh every month where we teach not only hands on detailing and reconditioning methods and procedures but also the “Business Side” of operating a successful auto detailing business.

3. Add A Reoccurring Revenue Stream To Your Offerings
     Reoccurring Revenue Lowers Sales Friction

  • Most purchases from your new customers receive the highest level of scrutiny when the initial decision is made.
  • This may require several phone conversations and email exchanges before the appointment is booked.
  • The beauty of a reoccurring revenue stream is that there is a “set and forget” element to it for both your team and your customer. Very little selling needed after the fact.
  • Reoccurring Offers provides you more flexibility to continue adding revenue by way of long term relationships rather than one time transactions.
  • Reoccurring services allows you to add continuous value to your customers in a way that a one-time purchase may not.
  • People are willing to continually pay for services they need on an ongoing basis because of convenience and mitigating risks of doing business with someone else.
  • Think about what intangibles you can use to sweeten your service offer in creating a reoccurring revenue stream for your detailing business.
  • You see this everywhere, you are probably a customer of a myriad of several kinds of reoccurring revenue models.
  • Adding a reoccurring revenue stream is about finding the sweet spot where you can add additional value to your customer while maintaining your profitability.
  • Offer a subscription based maintenance wash service where your customers pay upfront for several washes at a package discount.
  • This keeps your customers coming back to you rather than looking for a maintenance provider and the possibility of losing that customer.
  • There is a great value proposition for the customer because they do not have to search for a provider, they know you are there for them.
  • What matters most is identifying what your customers reoccurring needs are and that is where the survey will greatly help.
  • If you can offer your customers the additional value to stick with your detailing business you will create a revenue stream that is NOT as heavily dependent on new customer acquisition and it even builds customer loyalty.
  • Prioritize these tips if you think this can help grow your business in 2021, don’t put them at the bottom of your 2021 to-do list.
  • As a business owner you know growth rarely happens by accident, so make the time to invest in your detailing business’s future!

Nick Vacco Detail King’s founder and former CEO conducts a 2 day Technician Auto Detailing Training Seminar in Southern California just about every month where he and his team teaches the “Business Side” and hands on auto detailing methods and procedures.

As New Car Sales Decline Auto Reconditioning Services Increase

As New Car Sales Decline Auto Reconditioning Services Increase

As New Car Sales Decline Auto Reconditioning Services IncreaseAccording to an article published by CNN Money on July 3rd, U.S. vehicle sales are behind 2016 levels every month this year. If that performance continues, this year will mark the first time since 2009 that industry wide sales declined. Although there still is strong demand for SUVs and crossovers according to the article. But with low gas prices, sales of traditional car models were down across the board. What does this all mean for auto detailing and reconditioning businesses?

For people that opt to hold on to their vehicle longer and not trade it for a new one increases the opportunity for creative marketing minded auto detailing business owners to obtain more customers and increase revenues. For your advertising and marketing you will want to focus on the value created by having a vehicle professionally detailed. Not only will a finely detailed car look newer but it will provide pride in ownership and if kept cosmetically maintained for the duration of ownership it will increase resale and trade in value considerably. Having a vehicle detailed just before attempting to sell it or trade it in at a dealership could dramatically increase the value. Why do you think car dealerships have their trade ins detailed and reconditioned? The answer is that they know it will bring top dollar whether they retail it or take it to the auto auction.

Other profitable added value services that a detailing business should consider offering are paint chip repair, headlight restoration, plastic trim restoration, windshield repair, carpet dying, cigarette burn repair, carpet dying, PDR and permanent odor removal by use of an ozone generator. If your detailing and reconditioning business strictly markets to retail customers you may want to consider offering the above reconditioning services to used car lots as pre owned reconditioned vehicles will be aggressively sought after and sold at a premium price. There will be a very strong market for car dealerships selling fully reconditioned, late model pre owned vehicles more than ever before. Even if these dealerships keep most of their detailing and reconditioning work in-house they will have overflow work for you.

Now is the time to prepare your marketing plan to procure new retail detailing customers and to introduce your business and reconditioning services to local dealerships as they soon will be needing your services more than ever before. With the opportunity that exists on social media channels like facebook, Instagram, youtube and snapchat there is no reason that your detailing business can’t increase sales revenues at least by 20-30% during Q3 & Q4. For car dealerships they really need to promote “fully reconditioned pre owned vehicles” Or “close to new as possible.” Next article will be how to use the various social media channels to grow your auto detailing and reconditioning business.   

Nick Vacco

DetailKing.com Founder/CEO  

Up Selling & Cross Selling Auto Detailing Services To Your Customers

Up Selling & Cross Selling Auto Detailing Services To Your Customers

Up-selling is the practice of encouraging your customers to purchase a comparable higher-end auto detailing service than the one in question, while Cross-Selling invites customers to buy related or complementary services. Though often used interchangeably, both offer great revenue benefits and can be effective when used together. Upselling and cross-selling are mutually beneficial when done correctly, providing maximum value to your customer and increasing revenue without the recurring cost of many marketing and advertising venues.

Cross-Selling

Cross-Selling identifies other car detailing services that satisfy additional, complementary needs that are unfulfilled by the original service. For example, a paint chip repair service could be cross-sold to a customer purchasing a buff and wax paint correction service. Oftentimes, cross-selling points customers to services they need but may not of purchased without you offering it to them and packaging it up with their initial detailing service. By showing them at the right time, this will help ensure you make the sale. Provide them a discount for the paint chip repair because they are having it done with the initial detailing service.

Other Cross-Selling services that you may want to offer in addition to the initial buff and wax could be headlight restoration, plastic trim restoration, windshield repair, wheel repair or whatever else the vehicle’s exterior needs that you know how to provide. Package up the services and show the customer the money savings with the “value package” price you will provide them. Cross-Selling can alert customers to services and products they didn’t previously know you offered, further earning their confidence as the best auto detailer in town!

Up sell

Up-Selling

Up-Selling often employs the ability to sell other auto detailing services or products to customers that are not related to the initial services. For example; the customer originally requested the buff and wax service over the phone and you cross sold the paint chip repair service and maybe even headlight restoration the day of the appointment. Don’t stop there, while the customer is still present open up the driver’s door, inspect the interior and Up Sell your complete interior cleaning and detailing service. Again, show the customer a package discount because they are purchasing all of the exterior services you just sold them.

Now once you have them “sold” on your complete interior cleaning and detailing service you can actually Cross Sell complementary interior services like cigarette burn repair, vinyl or leather repair, carpet dying or odor removal using an Ozone generator machine. If the vehicle needs none of these additional interior services then you have already turned a typical $100 buff and wax into a $300+ complete detail with those other very profitable ancillary exterior services.   

Cross-Selling and Up-Selling are similar in that they both focus on providing additional value to customers, instead of limiting them to already-encountered services. In both cases, the business objective is to increase invoice total and best value to your customers and inform them about additional service options they may not already know about. The key to success in both is to truly understand what your customers needs are and then respond with services and products with corresponding features that truly meet those needs.

Nick Vacco

Detail King CEO/Founder

Chamber Of Commerce

Using Your Local Chamber Of Commerce To Grow Your Auto Detail Business

Marketing opportunities exist for your Auto Detailing Business thru your local Chamber Of Commerce and is often  missed or neglected.  Whether you operate a part time or full time Auto Detailing business you must have the mindset that every vehicle on the road in your service area is a potential customer. From the little old lady driving the 1994 Buick Century to the CEO driving around in his Mercedes 550 they each have a need for your services.

The niche that I am going to discuss in this article are actually low hanging fruit that are easy pickings once you have your game plan set up. There are actually numerous niches that you can easily acquire that can be very effective revenue generators for you. For this edition of ways to grow an auto business I will focus on how to cultivate customers through your local Chamber of Commerce.

Consider joining your local Chamber Of Commerce so you can get your business in front of other businesses in your service area. Do more than just join it, take advantage of what I will be outlining in this edition. Once you join you will receive a membership directory of all the other Chamber members. The directory will publish not only their business name but it could also include important contact names, their email addresses, web site and other information that could be beneficial to help you pursue potential business. You will need to execute a plan so these businesses know who you are.

Based on the business information that is provided for you in the membership directory determine the most proficient way for you to begin contacting these businesses to introduce you to them. Don’t cherry pick the list, start from the beginning  of the list and learn as much about the business that you can. Most businesses today have a web site, be sure you visit their web site so you can learn more about what they do and review their company mission statement. See if there mission statement and your business’s mission statement has any common ground.

Try and determine how many employees they have. Do you they have a fleet of company cars and possibly service vehicles? There could be an opportunity for you to not only provide auto appearance services for their company owned vehicles but also for their employees. You can start off by emailing the contacts that were published in the directory. Introduce these contacts to your business and the goal would be to arrange for an appointment to meet with the contact and determine what their needs may be. They may have a spectrum of possibilities. The spectrum may include personal vehicles of the employees, company owned vehicles and even possibly service vans and pick up trucks.

If the business is a small business with only a few employees it still could be a great opportunity for you. Sometimes the owner or boss may pay for a Detail for an employee that may of won a contest. You can also encourage businesses to offer details as prizes for employee of the month or top sales person of the month. They probably have incentive awards so why not sell them a full car detail. Besides receiving cash, a car detail has always been a very popular contest award for employees. The business may even purchase gift certificates from you so have readily available and be sure you make it known that you offer them.

The Chambers should also offer you the ability for you to advertise in their weekly email newsletter and or their monthly hard copy newsletter that every member would receive. It would benefit you greatly to offer Special Auto Detailing Value Packages exclusive to the Chamber members and their employees. You can advertise these packages in both the email newsletters and consider having a flyer printed and inserted in the monthly hard copy newsletter. Change the packages every morning nth so your offerings don’t become stale like some restaurant menus do. Consider displaying an expiration date to encourage a sense of urgency.

Every detail job that you obtain that was generated from a Chamber member or their employee be sure you take before and after pictures of their vehicle and publish them on all your social media channels. Ask your customer to share those pics with their friends so more people can see your great work. The cost for a Chambers membership could be anywhere from a few hundred dollars to four or five hundred. Don’t let the cost of membership limit your opportunity to obtain more customers. A few details will pay for that membership fee easily. The Chambers will also host bi weekly or monthly mixers and other events where you can rub elbows with other Chamber members and even do some networking to help boost your business image among the other members. Always bring a stack of business cards and hand them out to perspective Chamber members.

Joining your local Chamber of Commerce has other benefits not mentioned above. Be sure to seek out those other benefits and determine how they can benefit your business. Besides having an informative web site for your Detailing business joining the Chamber of Commerce and taking advantage of what it has to offer would be a priority. Speaking of web sites, that will be the topic next time: Why Your Detailing Business Needs a Web Site. Published July 2017

Nick Vacco

Detail King

CEO/Founder

Detail King’s Partnership With Uber – Press Release

DETAIL KING STRIKES PITTSBURGH TEST MARKET DEAL
WITH UBER TO PROVIDE CLEAN CAR SERVICE FOR PARTNERS

Company offers Uber driver-partners access to car cleaning service,
amenities to improve rider satisfaction

PITTSBURGH – July 23, 2015 – Detail King, an advanced automotive detailing training school and product supply company based here, today announces it has agreed to launch a test discount program with Uber in Pittsburgh. The program will provide professional hand car washing and detailing service to Uber partners at a corporate discount rate via Detail King’s 20 regional authorized licensees and independent detailers.

According to Nick Vacco, CEO, Detail King, the discount will be available beginning immediately across the Pittsburgh area and then could be expanded to other Uber partner-drivers across the country through Detail King’s network of licensees and independent representatives.

The discount program will be offered as part of Uber’s Momentum Partner Rewards program, which enables drivers to earn exclusive discounts and perks from leading brands, including auto maintenance companies, phone service providers, and others, such as Detail King.
According to Jennifer Krusius, General Manager of Uber Pittsburgh, the agreement with Detail King further supports Uber’s commitment to offering additional programs and perks to partners the utilize the Uber network.
“We are excited about the continued growth of Uber in the Pittsburgh market and welcome Detail King into our Momentum Partner Rewards program,” she said. “Cleanliness is important to many of our partners and, now with the discount program offered through Detail King, their cars can look their best for less.”

Founded in 1999, Detail King has emerged as one of the nation’s world-class organizations focused on helping people launch a car detailing business or improve their current business via comprehensive auto detailing training.

Detail King’s Automotive Detail Training Institute (ADTI) is a private, licensed training school approved by the State of PA Board of Education, which provides training for new business owners or seasoned industry veterans looking to drive revenue for their operations via comprehensive, auto detailing and reconditioning hands-on training programs, seminars and classes.

Visit www.detailking.com for more information about Detail King or to learn more about Uber driver program.

Convertible Top Care

Convertible Top Care

For detailers, this is a relatively inexpensive and simple way to increase the average per-vehicle revenue. It can bring in a completely new market by offering such service to new and used automobile dealers as well. It’s funny how we in the auto appearance care industry spend so much time and effort convincing our customers that the vehicle surfaces need to be protected: wax or sealant on the paint, leather conditioner, and liquid repellant on the fabric and carpeting. Nonetheless very little attention is given to convertible tops, which account for at least 25% of the exterior surface of a vehicle.

When you think about it, the convertible top is simply a piece of cloth or vinyl that is up against everything the environment can throw at it. Of course, manufacturers of convertible tops are aware of this and thus use high-grade and heavy-gauge materials for the convertible top. Nonetheless, anything that we can do to provide extra protection to that material will help it last all the longer.

Equipped with a bit of knowledge, the proper chemicals, and the right procedure, most operators find that convertible top care is rather simple and can be quite profitable.

Types of Convertible Tops

There are two main types of convertible tops. The difference is due to the material used, either fabric or vinyl.

One type is the classic top constructed with cloth as the covering material. This material looks and feels like canvas, but is actually woven of fibers that are either synthetic, like acrylic, polyester, olefin, or a synthetic and cotton blend. These fabrics are actually breathable but are made water repellant by a chemical treatment process used during manufacturing. The original repellency breaks down with time and exposure to the elements.

The other type of convertible top is made of thick vinyl. Vinyl is a plastic product composed mostly of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and made flexible with the addition of plasticizers. The vinyl top may look like a canvas material, but upon close inspection, you can see that the “canvas” is simply an impression stamped into the vinyl when it is manufactured. It is normal for the plasticizers to gradually dry out over time, causing the material to crack and eventually split. With proper care, however, this process can be slowed significantly. Both types of tops are faced with a myriad of potential contamination sources, including acid rain, heat, ultraviolet rays, smog, tree sap, bird droppings, salt, tar, dirt, grease, grit, and mold. A consistent finding in my research on care of convertible tops is the importance of regular and proper cleaning, which helps to remove the contaminants that can damage the material, as well as regular application of an appropriate protectant, which helps to prevent the contaminants from reaching the material in the first place.

So what Should We Do?

First, it’s important, as always, to use the right chemical for the surface of concern. We don’t usually use degreaser on the vehicle’s paint and we don’t use wax to protect leather seats. By the same token, we should use appropriate cleaning and protecting products for the material that makes up the convertible top. Why is this so important? Automobile manufacturers are receiving warranty claims from owners of convertibles that have disintegrated prematurely. Often this can be attributed to an unwitting car care professional or vehicle owner who uses strong solvents or other harsh cleaners on a regular basis to keep the convertible material clean. Unfortunately, such harsh cleanings tend to break down the material and the stitching that holds the swaths of material together.

I have personally heard of detailers using a bathroom cleaner commonly employed for removing mold stains from tile grout. Unfortunately, the main ingredient in this cleaner is bleach, which is highly corrosive in nature, especially when used in the concentrations in which it is typically sold over-the-counter. Cloth stitching on a convertible top is not nearly as durable as grout and will break down quickly when exposed repeatedly to products containing strong concentrations of bleach.

The fact of the matter is, use of anything other than cleaners designed specifically for convertible tops can cause damage to the material. Even with a milder multi-purpose cleaner, such damage might be minimal, but the concern is the cumulative effect of repeated cleanings with inappropriate chemicals that might lead to the breakdown of the material or the stitching.

So what do we use? To find answers to this question, I did some research. First, there is the owner’s manual. Most new vehicles with convertible tops contain care instructions that are surprisingly complete. However, most vehicle owners never bother to check out these instructions. Moreover, older owner’s manuals were written before the development of a new set of chemicals for the maintenance of convertible tops and thus offer information that contradicts that provided by newer manuals. I also checked out the information and recommendations of some of the leading manufacturers of the materials that make up the convertible tops.

I found out that there are, indeed, products designed specifically for the cleaning of convertible tops and similar materials like truck tonneau covers. Companies like The Haartz ? Corporation, which makes the material for virtually all American and European convertible tops, and Roll-N-Lock ? , a manufacturer of retractable truck bed tonneau covers, exclusively recommends using RAGGTOPP ? convertible top care products from Wolfsteins Pro Series for their products.

Additionally, convertible tops need protection just like the paint, leather, or carpeting needs. Once again, it is critical to use a product specifically designed for convertible tops and approved by the manufacturer. On fabric tops, it is recommend to use a chemical with a fluorocarbon repelling system. Such a chemical will bond with the fabric and repel liquid and dirt while at the same time providing ultraviolet protection. Look for products that do not contain silicone, Freon, or chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

On vinyl tops, a fluorocarbon repelling chemical is not necessary simply because vinyl is not porous. Instead, use an approved product that protects and beautifies the top. Such a product should have ultraviolet blockers that help reduce the cumulative effect of sunlight exposure. It will also enhance the beauty of the top with a dressing effect. However, it is important to not use products that contain silicone, petroleum solvents, or CFCs, all of which can have a negative impact on the vinyl material. RAGGTOPP ? Vinyl Protectant contains no silicone and can be used on all exterior and interior vinyl without streaking.

Additionally, make sure that the products you are using to clean and protect the convertible top are not harmful to paint, glass, chrome or plastic windows. That way, you don’t have to worry about overspray or run-off onto the other parts of the vehicle as you proceed with the treatment process described above.

Once you’ve got the right chemicals for cleaning and protecting convertible tops, the process is quite simple.

Initial Treatment: New Vehicle

Before even getting the vehicle wet, vacuum the convertible top using an upholstery brush to pick up any loose dirt or dust. Next, wet down the top thoroughly and mist it evenly with RAGGTOP ? Fabric/Vinyl Cleaner approved by the manufacturer. If necessary, the cleaner can be lightly agitated using a soft nylon brush.

Rinse the top thoroughly and until all foam from the cleaner dissipates. Allow the top to dry completely. This can be accomplished by simply parking the vehicle in direct sunlight. If this is not possible, you may use forced air from a hair dryer or air mover to assist in speeding up the drying process.

Once the top is thoroughly dry, apply the appropriate RAGGTOPP ? Protectant (Fabric or Vinyl) evenly across the entire exposed fabric surface in three light coats, allowing the product to dry 10 minutes or so between coats.

This service will take no more than an hour and can take quite a bit less than an hour depending on drying times. It is reasonable to charge a wholesale rate of $50-100 per vehicle. Retail service can easily fetch $100-200 dollars on a standard vehicle. These charges are quite reasonable when compared to the cost of replacing a convertible top.

Reconditioning Treatment: Used Vehicle

If the convertible top is on an older vehicle or has not been appropriately cared for, the top will need to be rejuvenated before adding protection. Simply put, the longer the top has gone without appropriate maintenance, the more attention it will need.

The cleaning process is best done in the shade to assure that the cleaner does not dry out before you have a chance to rinse it off. On a fabric top, start by thoroughly vacuuming the top with an upholstery brush. Then thoroughly wet down the top. Spray it with a cleaner approved by the manufacturer. If the top is heavily soiled, you may want to let the cleaner dwell for up to 15 minutes, but make sure it doesn’t dry out. Then scrub it gently but thoroughly with a soft nylon brush, using a circular or back-and-forth crisscross motion. Rinse the top thoroughly and until all foam from the cleaner dissipates.

Multiple cleanings using the process above may be necessary to remove as much of the accumulated soil as possible, especially for tops that are several years old. The best way to make sure the top is completely clean before applying protectant is to allow it to dry and visually inspect.

A special case is mold, which grows on the dirt and other foreign material that lingers on the top when it is not regularly cleaned. Detailers who are not familiar with the proper care of convertibles often resort to using strong de-molding cleaners that can damage the top and other vehicle surfaces. In the case of stubborn stains such as mold, special procedures may be necessary. For example, Haartz has some specific suggestions available at www.haartz.com.

After all of the cleaning is done, allow the top to dry completely, again by parking the vehicle in direct sunlight or using a hair dryer or air mover. Once the top is thoroughly dry, apply an appropriate protectant evenly across the entire exposed fabric surface. Once again, it is critical to use a product specifically designed for convertible tops and approved by the manufacturer. It may be necessary to use up to two times the number of coats recommended for a new top. It’s better to apply light coats, allowing ten minutes or so of sun-drying time between coats.

This entire process may take from one to two hours, depending on drying times. Wholesale charges range from $75-150 per vehicle. Retail convertible top reconditioning service can easily fetch $150-250 dollars on a standard vehicle. These charges are quite reasonable when compared to the cost of replacing a convertible top.

Post-Treatment Regular Maintenance

Once the initial treatment is complete, it’s important to follow-up with regular re-treatment to keep the convertible top looking great and protected for years to come. Vinyl tops should be properly cleaned and re-treated every four to six weeks for maximum protection. Likewise, fabric tops should be cleaned and retreated every three to six months. Re-treatment on both tops can be accomplished by using the procedures outlined in the “Reconditioning Treatment” section above.

Between formal treatments, standard carwashing is acceptable and advisable. Although most automatic carwashes are safe for convertible tops, those using barrel brushes should be avoided. Nonetheless, hand-washing will ensure the least amount of cumulative wear-and-tear on the convertible top.

The more often a convertible top is treated, the easier each treatment process is. Your pricing schedule for regular convertible top maintenance should reflect this. For example, fabric top maintenance every three months should cost at least $100 per treatment. Of course, if you are performing the top treatment as part of a regular detail, you may want to discount the sum of the individual services (detail and top care) into a package price that still reflects the added value of the top care service.

Marketing Convertible Top Treatment

For the used car manager or dealer who carries many convertibles, you can demonstrate the effectiveness of the convertible rejuvenation procedure described earlier by treating one-half of a used convertible top on the lot. The results will sell themselves. If the individual is not interested in a demonstration, talk about the improved appearance of the treated convertible top, and about the fact that they can then tell their customers that the top has been treated with a protectant for added durability.

For the new car dealer, the advantages of initial protection packages are clear. Most dealerships are already selling sealant and interior protection packages for outrageously marked-up prices. Why not do the same with convertible tops?

With retail sales, consider the notion that many convertible top owners may be more appearance conscious than other automobile owners. Thus, it should be easier to sell them on the necessity of regular care both from a standpoint of appearance as well as preservation.

Any sales pitch, regardless of the target, should mention the fact that replacing a convertible top costs anywhere from $2000-8000 dollars. So why not protect that investment with regular care, which will also keep the convertible top looking good through the years?

Summary

It should be clear by now that convertible top maintenance is a golden opportunity for the professional detailer and allows you to take advantage of a virtually untapped market. Target markets include both new and used dealerships as well as retail customers. The process of cleaning and protecting convertible top material is rather simple but must include the use of chemicals that are approved by the manufacturer to avoid unnecessary damage to the material.

This article was written by Prentice St. Clair.

How To Promote Your Auto Detailing Business When Times Are Slow

When the economy slows down many auto detailing business owners that have not prepared for slow periods find themselves in trouble and nowhere to turn. Most of the time if you have a well thought out marketing plan the slow times will not hurt you as badly.

Before we discuss what to do when business slows down lets discuss what you should be doing during all times of the year. I have found many auto detailing business owners are not even doing the basics to generate revenues during good or bad times. Some of the “basics” include managing a data base of your customers. Having a database of customers enables you to see who your customers are, when the last time they used you, what services you performed and how much they spent. This information is essential especially when you are targeting certain groups of customers based on the services they have purchased in the past. Most computer software has some type of database software. If your doesn’t you can easily purchase a database software package and customize the fields to meet your needs.

detail-king-authorized-licensee-websiteEvery auto detailing business today should have a web site. Your web site reflects your business and should be professionally made. Just throwing up a web site is only part of it though. You must promote your web site on the web and off the web. Have your web site address printed on all of your company collateral; invoices, business cards, flyers, service menus, company signage, mobile rig, etc. Promoting your web site on the web is critical too. You want your web site to be listed on the major search engines so when someone searches for a detailing service in your area your web site should be listed in the search results. Having your web site professionally designed, programmed, and maintained will help assure that it comes up high in the organic listings on Google and Yahoo. You can also bid on key word phrases so you can get your web site listed on the top right away with the major search engines through their sponsored ads.

Many individuals just don’t have the time to search for a detailer during regular business hours so your web site will be your “silent salesman” and be promoting your business even at 4AM when you are fast asleep! Keep your web site updated with car care articles, pictures of customers and their cars that you have just detailed, monthly or weekly specials, and even have a blog on your web site so your customers can post responses about the great work that you did on their car.

You should also be networking your business with other business owners and professionals. One way to do that is to join a networking group in your area. Typically these groups meet weekly early in the morning. It is a great way to exchange leads with other business owners. You will be the only auto detailing business in the club so be sure you show up for the meetings and when you are given leads be sure you reciprocate and provide leads too. This is a quick way to establish good contacts and get regular business.

Joining your local Chamber Of Commerce is another way to make good contacts and promote your business. When you join your local Chambers you will also receive a membership roster that will list other businesses that are Chambers members. It should have a lot of relevant information about the other members like company name, address, phone number, web site, principles, etc. You can use this membership roster as a lead generation source. Be sure you attend the various mixers and bring lots of business cards to hand out. The chambers can also offer consulting services and other tools to help grow your business within the community.

I really think you need to be doing all of the above so you have a good basis from where your customers are coming from and have database software so you can manage those customers.

Join a local networking group in your area.
Join a local networking group in your area.

Now when times get slow you should contact all of your past customers either by phone or by email. It would depend on how many customers you have and your support system to do this. Being that we are in the Autumn season now you may want to Advertise a “Fall Special” or “Summer Clean Up Special” or “Protect Your Car For Winter.” Having gathered all your customer’s email addresses when booking their 1st appointment will enable you to keep your name in front of them all year. You can email them reminders when their car is due back in for a detail and promote express detailing services to keep their vehicle cosmetically maintained year-round.

You should keep your web site updated, constantly be adding and renewing specials, writing new car care articles, updating content, and showing off your work! Keeping your customers “engaged” with your business will keep your customers loyal. A regularly updated web site will keep your web site listed on top of the search engines results. Anytime you email your customers have your web site link in your email so your customer can visit your web site to learn more about the services you are promoting in your email to them.

It is not a bad idea to also provide a free service now and then for your regular customers or use as a closing tool when trying to obtain new customers. I never was a big fan of giving discounts, I would rather do a little more for my customers. I think that goes a long, long way and will keep your customers coming back. When I talk about a Free service that could be a free fabric protection if performing a complete interior service, a free interior carpet cleaning if performing an exterior detailing service, etc. It takes a short period of time to do these services and costs you very little. You could use this as a “closer” to book an appointment for a customer or prospect that is “on the fence” and needs a little nudge to say “YES!”

I keep coming back to having a web site. If your web site is “making the grade” you can use it as a great marketing tool to promote your specials to new and existing customers. Everyone you talk to be sure to refer to your web site to learn more about your business. If you are a mobile detailer be sure to take the time out to talk to prospects if they come up to you while you are detailing their neighbor’s or co worker’s car. Take a few minutes out to talk with each customer and give them an estimate. Your goal would be to obviously book the appointment right then. If that does not happen refer them to your web site by giving them a business card or your service menu. If you are working at a business you should also ask them if they have a business card. Jot down any notes on the back of their card so you can reference it later when you call them to follow up and book an appointment. Give a card out and take one back! I would make a point to talk to at least 10 new faces a day if you are a mobile detailer. For every 10 prospects you talk to and hand out a card eventually you should obtain at least 2 new customers. Let’s say you do this every day at least 5 days per week; that equates to 10 new customers per week, 520 new customers per year. It really works, you just need to put the ball in play and make it happen.

Keep organized, keep your name in front of your customer base, go after new customers through networking, asking for referrals, and thinking out of the box! The auto detailing business owner that just sits back and doesn’t take the pro-active approach will not prosper. The ones that keep many irons in the fire, follow up with all leads, tap their past customers, and always are working on keeping the pipeline full of new possibilities will reap the benefits. Operating your own profitable auto detailing business is just like playing baseball. Putting the ball in play will force something to happen. Just standing in the batter’s box and hoping for a walk will do nothing except make your business financially vulnerable during the slow periods. Every car is a potential customer! They are there for the takings. Your success is based on a well thought-out, organized plan to go and get that business, do a superior job for the customer, gain repeat business, and get tons of referrals is the name of the game. Please contact me if you have any questions about this article.

Nick Vacco

President

Detail King LP

Detail King Celebrates 10 Years!

Nick Vacco, Founder, Owner, and President of Detail King, started his career as a hard working proprietor of his very own personal auto detailing and reconditioning shop for 13 years. This started Nick’s journey to operating his own Auto Detailing Supply Business and Auto Detail Training Institute. This 25 year expedition has allowed Nick to gain the experience and knowledge of the business to separate him from competitors and provide a unique niche to his customers.

Nick sold his detailing business to gain capital for Detail King. He ran a one-man operation out of his home with one goal in mind that he knew would surely be a success in this business sector. Nick wanted to use his experience and past success to help teach others to own and operate their own Auto Detailing Businesses. Nick’s entrepreneurial swagger would prove to be a key asset in this business venture.

nick vacco president of detail king lpNick started off his business venture by using the World Wide Web as a business tool. He knew his service could be of use to people around the world, not just locals from Pittsburgh. Using the internet, he started selling products online from his home to help gain revenue and Detail King was born.

Detail King has hired a dependable and faithful staff to operate its sales and customer service efforts. For each member of the sales and customer service team, Detail King has been their first job after graduating from college. Their degrees from either business or marketing give them the knowledge to be an exceptional team. Nick is proud to say that. “Detail King’s staff has learned the business from the ground up. They are the best in the industry because of their education and knowledge of our products.”

For the first five years of the business, Nick conducted around four or five classes a year. He knew with a little more help and a bigger facility he could hold larger classes more often. In May 2005, he acquired a 6000 square foot two-level facility and hired a staff to help accommodate the added number of participants in the training seminars. Nick was finally beginning to maximize Detail King’s potential.

Two summers ago, Detail King expanded once again by adding an additional 1500 square foot warehouse to its facility. With this warehouse, Detail King can support its customers faster by providing daily shipping directly from the warehouse to its customers.

Besides Nick’s experience and vast knowledge of the Auto Detailing Business, Nick has become a master at marketing and customer service. Detail King understands that its customers are its number one priority is to provide extraordinary customer service for any customer and any size transaction. Detail King is so confident and candid about their customer service, that they place a seal of “Extraordinary Customer Service” on every package that leaves their warehouse.

Detail King has turned knowledge into a skill. Using this strategy, sales have continued to grow and are actually higher than the previous year. This is an astonishing feat for any company in any industry during a recession. Since 1999, Detail King as expanded its market to over 50 countries and has over 13,000 customers. This was almost easy for Detail King because they have become a one stop shop where customers can order products, receive training, gain support, and have access to professional equipment and chemicals.

Detail King continues to expand and separate themselves from competitors. Last year, Detail King was approved by the state of Pennsylvania Board of Education to become a private licensed school. In addition, Detail King recently added two more offices to its facility to increase its marketing department and administration staff to assist with business needs.

Detail King understands that they do not need to be the biggest supplier or teacher, but they must continue to be the BEST. Having the best products, service, and on-going support not only helps Detail King succeed but helps its customers to become successful as well. Nick states, “It all starts with education. Educating the customers to become successful entrepreneurs helps them grow and survive. We provide our customers the cutting edge over their competitors. If our customers are growing, then Detail King is also growing.”

~ Jake Russell

Google Places & Your Auto Detailing Business

Millions of people use Google every day to find places and businesses. Auto Detailing and mobile auto detailing businesses are being found today through Google Places. Car Detailing business owners that have a Google Places listing can manage their presence on Google. Google Place Pages connect people to information from the best sources across the world wide web, displaying your photos, customer reviews and important facts about your business, as well as real-time updates and offers from you.

Over Four million businesses have already claimed their Place Page on Google by using Google’s Local Business Center, which enables them to verify and supplement their business information to include hours of operation, photos, videos, coupons, product offerings and more. It also lets them communicate with customers and prospects and get their insights that help them make smart business decisions. If you operate a mobile detailing business, you can now show which geographic areas you serve. If you operate your detailing business without a storefront you can make your address private if you so desire.

To keep track of how your auto detailing business listing is performing on Google, they offer a Dashboard within Google Places that includes data about how many times people have found your business on Google, the keywords they used to find it and even the areas that people traveled from to visit your detailing shop. With this dashboard, you can see how your use of any of the features affects interest about your business and enables you to make more informed decisions about how to be found on Google and communicate with your customers and prospects. Google Places will show up above the generic search listing making it even more appealing for you to claim your Google place! Do it today, it’s FREE!

Detail King on Facebook

A Facebook Page Is A Must!!

Facebook has become the most popular visited website venue of all time. If you do not have a facebook page you need to create one right now. Social Media will keep your customers “engaged” with your business and also be a helping hand to get new customers for you. Over 1 billon people have a personal facebook page and many of them that own businesses and have also created a facebook fan page. By having a facebook page you can keep your past customers and future customers up-to-date with the latest news about your business. You can post images of vehicles you have just detailed, write about car care tips and even promote your services and car detailing specials that you are offering.

You can even publish and target your own display ads that will show up on other Facebook subscriber’s profile pages that you choose. You decide the area, ages, and profile types where you want your ads to be published. You also set the budget of how much you will pay when your ad is clicked on. If someone clicks on your ad it will take them to your web site or a special splash page HTML that you created. Bes sure to look at your reports on Facebook so you can see how well your ads are performing and what they are costing you. Get a free Google Analytics account so you can see your stats that will show you how many of your web pages were visited and how long the visitor stayed on your web site. These visitors were referred from your Facebook display ads.

Once someone becomes a “friend” or “fan” of your facebook page, every time you create a post on your profile page they will be able to see it on their news feed page. You can also even schedule an “event” and all of your fans will be notified about the details. This event could be one day car detail sale or a special promotion that runs the entire month, it’s totally up to you! Your customers may not be visiting your web site every day but chances are they are checking their facebook page. Once you post something new on your Wall, there is a good chance they will see it and it could mean more business for you. If you have questions about how to promote your Facebook page, please contact us.