Start Your Own Automobile Detailing Business


Fueled by people’s passion for cars, the automobile detailing industry has been on the fast track for more than a decade. With only a moderate investment, a flexible work schedule and the possibility for huge profit, now is a great time to jump in the driver’s seat and set out on the road to success. Packed with essential tools and tips, industry experts introduce you to the most popular detailing operations, then take you step by step from gathering your pit crew to learning the latest tools of the trade. In ...
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Start Your Own Automobile Detailing Business: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Success

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Fueled by people’s passion for cars, the automobile detailing industry has been on the fast track for more than a decade. With only a moderate investment, a flexible work schedule and the possibility for huge profit, now is a great time to jump in the driver’s seat and set out on the road to success. Packed with essential tools and tips, industry experts introduce you to the most popular detailing operations, then take you step by step from gathering your pit crew to learning the latest tools of the trade. In addition to getting a behind-the-wheel look at day-to-day operations, get immediate access to a wealth of information, including: • Easy-to-understand descriptions of the three types of detailing operations: mobile, express and site-based • A comprehensive resource listing of organizations, suppliers, government agencies and industry professionals • Practical work sheets to help calculate costs, keep track of expenditures and stay organized • Detailed instructions on marketing and generating new business including building your own website • A detailed look at the newest tools of the trade, latest software and office equipment
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Meet the Author

McGraw-Hill authors represent the leading experts in their fields and are dedicated to improving the lives, careers, and interests of readers worldwide

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Table of Contents

Preface     xi
Start Your Engines     1
So, What Is Auto Detailing?     2
The Big Picture     2
Historical Perspective     3
Notes from the Dean     4
Earnings Potential     5
The Opportunities     6
The Challenge     7
The Well-Oiled Business Machine     9
Cleaning Up     10
Pricing Your Services     16
Parts and Labor     18
Tales from the (Store) Front     19
Padding with Products     20
Card 'Em     21
Weather Beaters     21
Doing Your Homework: Your Guide to Market Research     23
Warning! Warning!     24
Rev It Up     25
Conducting Market Research     26
Primary Research     26
Secondary Research     30
Customers and Competition     30
Map Your Course     34
Throttling Up for Success     37
Business Structure     38
Sole Proprietorship     38
Partnership     40
Corporation     41
Limited Liability Company     42
The Name of theGame     42
Staking a Name Claim     43
Vrooooooom with a View     46
Business Details     46
Business Plan Basics     47
Under the Hood: Choosing a Professional Pit Crew     51
A Powerful Ally     52
Money Matters     53
Managing Risk     54
Types of Insurance     56
Commercial Garagekeeper's Liability Insurance     57
Property Insurance     57
Business Interruption Insurance     58
Workers' Compensation Insurance     58
Other Types of Insurance     59
Detailing Tools and Toys     61
Power Tools and Accessories     62
Cleaning Products and Tools     64
Personal Protection Equipment     66
Uniforms and Hats     67
Special Mobile Equipment     67
Fixed-Location Bays, Fixtures, and Furniture     69
Waiting Room Necessities     70
Office Equipment and Furniture     71
Personal Computer     72
Mac or PC?     73
Laptops and Notebooks     74
Printers     74
Cameras-Going Digital     75
Software      76
Fax Machine     76
Telephones, Answering Machines, and Pagers     77
Backup Power     77
Copy Machines     77
Office Supplies     78
Security Equipment     78
Signage     79
The Moment of Truth     79
Low Budget Startup: Is It Possible?     86
A Garage for All Seasons: Housing Your Business     87
Mobile Machinations     88
Shop Talk     89
Location, Location, Location     89
Building Basics     90
Buying Vs. Leasing     92
Layout     94
Sign of the Times     96
Finding Good Help     97
Labor Pool     98
The Usual Suspects     99
Back to School     100
The Little Details     101
Taking the Plunge     101
The Benefits of Belonging     103
Taxing Issues     103
You're Hired     106
Rules and Policies     107
Workplace Safety Issues     107
Owner's Manual: Your Guide to Professional Development     109
Industry Associations     110
Industry Publications     110
Yearning for Learning     112
Certification     112
Product Seminars     113
Trade Shows     113
On-the-Job Training     113
Driving the Competition     115
Setting the Wheels in Motion     116
Shifting into High Gear     117
Reaching Your Target Audience     118
Card 'Em     119
Paper Promotions     120
Bringing In an Expert     121
Tricks of the Trade     123
The Power of the Press     125
All Booked Up     127
Radio, Television, and the Internet     128
Talking Up Your Talents     129
Internet Marketing and Research     131
Your Own Cyber Space     132
Hosting Duties     133
Bring In a Pro Designer     135
Web Search Optimization     136
Online Discussions     137
Tooting Your Own Horn     139
News Releases     140
Newsletters     142
Writing and Producing the Newsletter     143
E-mail Newsletters     143
Feature Articles     146
Submitting Your Manuscript     146
Networking     147
Public Speaking Engagements     147
Financial Fit and Finish     149
Operating Income and Expenses     151
Mortgage/Rent     151
Phone     151
Utilities     155
Postage     155
Licenses     156
Owner's Salary     156
Employee Wages     156
Benefits/Taxes     157
Advertising/Promotion     157
Legal Services     157
Accounting Services     158
Merchant Account     158
Supplies     159
Insurance     160
Transportation/Maintenance     160
Subscriptions/Dues     160
Loan Repayment     161
Online Services     161
Miscellaneous Expenses     161
Receivables     161
Forecasting Receivables     161
Collecting the Cash     162
Bookkeeping Solutions     162
Invoices     164
The Cash Kings     164
Help from Uncle Sam     165
Get Your House in Order     166
Do-It-Yourself Financing      166
Angels and Outside Investors     167
The Fast Lane to Success     169
Why Businesses Fail     170
Your Plan of Action     171
Bay Watch     172
Your Formula for Success     173
Automobile Detailing Resources     175
Associations     175
Auto Detailing Books     176
Credit Reports     176
Demographic Information     176
Detailing Franchises and Licensing Opportunities     177
Detailing Systems     177
Education/Training Resources     177
Equipment and Supplies     178
Gift Cards and Gift Certificates     179
Incorporation Kits     179
Merchant Account Services     180
Newsletters     180
Office Equipment and Furniture     180
Online Forums/Message Boards     181
Point-of-Sale Equipment     181
Point-of-Sale Software     181
Printing Resources: Brochures, Door Hangers, Fliers, and Postcards     182
Publications-Consumer     182
Publications-Detailing Business     183
Safety Equipment     183
Successful Automobile Detailers      184
Trade Shows     184
U.S. Government Agencies and Business Associations     184
Water Reclamation Systems     186
Web Hosting/Domain Names     186
Glossary     187
Index     191
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