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  1. #51
    Senior Member LSNAutoDetailing's Avatar
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    Jun 2014
    Chandler, AZ
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    Re: Anyone who does pro detail on weekends while having a regular 5 day 37.5 hour a week job?

    Quote Originally Posted by PSYS View Post
    I apologize for resurrecting an older thread. I thought about this notion a couple of years ago. I also work full-time with weekends off.
    Would the possibility of doing just 1-2 cars on the weekend even be cost effective? I would gather that by the time you include insurance costs (assuming you're getting insurance) in addition to supplies, you'd be in the red each month. Or am I way off-base here?

    This is a great article as well by Mike Phillips.
    A few tips on starting a part-time detailing business

    Every business is different and has different goals. Best thing is to define the clientele and types of vehicles you want to take on and start from there. Working full time job and deciding to dedicate weekends to a small business is plausible, but you have to be aware of burnout. You don't want the side business to interfere with your day job (I'm assuming the day job is the one that pays the mortgage, bills and health insurance...).

    Startup costs are minimal, but then again it depends on who the clientele and type of vehicles. The only piece of advice I can give, is don't buy tons of product and gear in bulk until you know how your business is going to do. It's best to buy in small batches and see what you use the most.

    Once you've got a few packages worked up (good/better/best), and you start performing the tasks and develop a flow or process, then you'll know how long it takes to perform each task. From there you can fine tune your pricing. Make sure you check with other local detailers to see what they charge for similar type services. Competition is good, but you don't want to undercut your competition to the point you drive the economy down.

    Watch and read as many Mike Phillips video's and "how-to-articles." and good luck!!!

    Paul_G IDA CD-SV

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  3. #52
    Senior Member
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    Dec 2006
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    Re: Anyone who does pro detail on weekends while having a regular 5 day 37.5 hour a week job?

    If you need the cash and have the time to burn, a side gig is great, especially if you love the work.

    But if you feel a lack of time, don't do it. Life is way too short. I don't think many people on their deathbed say they should have worked more hours.

  4. #53
    Senior Member UncleDavy's Avatar
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    Aug 2017
    Taunton, MA
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    Re: Anyone who does pro detail on weekends while having a regular 5 day 37.5 hour a week job?

    The weekends are set aside for my three personal vehicles and my neighbors drive by and see me out there in all kinds of temperatures. Now I have them coming to me asking if I could work on their vehicles. I gladly agreed because I enjoy the activity and I like helping my neighbors. They offered me money but I didn't accept it at first because I consider them family. We have been neighbors for 20 years. They insisted that I take the money. It was $120 per vehicle. It made me realize that I might be pretty good at this. One of the neighborhood dads asked me to work on his truck as he took the kids out trick or treating a few weeks ago. Now I am considering detailing as a side hustle and I would like to continue into retirement.

  5. #54
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Chula Vista, CA
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    Re: Anyone who does pro detail on weekends while having a regular 5 day 37.5 hour a week job?

    Sounds demanding. But, since you have a career, you can accept and decline as many jobs as you want. Pick and choose according to your schedule. I did the same at one point in my early 20's. Would get off work at 3pm and fit in 3 basic details at business parks. What really helped me was DI water and foam cannon.

    I'd line up 3 cars in a row, side by side. Spot treat bugs, wheels, tires, and rinse entire car very well. Foam all cars, hit wheels with brushes while foam did its job, wash mitts with rinse bucket on body and rinse. (no blow drying) dried with microfiber and drying aid. Any excess water in crevices had time to dry during interior vacuum time. After basic interior vac and wipe down, dressed tires, spray wax paint, finished with glass. I know it sounds like a lot but I was able to do 3 cars like that in 1 hour. System worked well for me.

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  7. #55
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Re: Anyone who does pro detail on weekends while having a regular 5 day 37.5 hour a week job?

    I am in the same spot. I work a normal 8-5 M-F job. I started out doing my own, then friends, then word just kind of spread. My stuff varies greatly. My last two jobs were a 2014 F250 and a 2015 Bentley. I do it when I can usually in the evenings and on weekends. Unless family life takes my time, I actually enjoy doing it. I can either do this or sit on the couch and watch TV I suppose. One thing I am very open and upfront with people is time. I tell them that if it is a daily driver and you are in a hurry, I am likely not a good fit unless you can live without it for a couple days and we can wait to schedule a weekend that's good for BOTH of us. If its a show car or weekend cruiser, folks do not normally have an issue leaving it with me for several days or a week depending on what they want done.

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  9. #56
    Senior Member DeviousDetail's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
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    Re: Anyone who does pro detail on weekends while having a regular 5 day 37.5 hour a week job?

    This is something that I have been doing for many years now. I had hopes of making it my full time job in the future. Currently work for a school district doing IT for them. Its not that I don't enjoy doing the IT work it is more I don't like to waste time. IT though was never something that I really wanted to do for a living, but was more hobby that I was forced into it. Do what makes you happy in my opinion, you have to risk it to get the biscuit. After doing this for many years I am very close to opening up a full time shop. I would be doing more if it were not for my shitty neighbors giving me a hard time for washing other peoples cars, thus why I am looking to get a location and take it full time. Its all about getting the right customers. Most of my customers do not have an issue leaving the car with me for a week or more to allow me enough time to complete the job. Just be honest with your customers and tell them that you are part time and that you work a full time job on top of detailing. I usually would work 7-3:30 then I would go home and start working on a car from around 4:30 to 8:30 - 9:00. That way I could leave the weekends for either pickup or drop off giving myself my own time on the weekends to relax.

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  11. #57
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2019
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    Re: Anyone who does pro detail on weekends while having a regular 5 day 37.5 hour a week job?

    I work 45-50 hrs a week as a Supervisor in a Production Plant and do both auto and rv detailing on Saturdays. Its a lot at times, but the extra cash income is a huge help....feels good to do a 5 or 6 hr job and bring home $300-$400 in your pocket.

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