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  1. #11
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    Re: Home Based Legitimate Detailing Business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    The first thing you need to do is find out of your locality allows you to run a business out of your home, it's one thing if you're doing it on the side and they stop you, it's another thing if you quit your regular job, pour money into garage upgrades, then find out it's illegal. But maybe you've already researched that and made a decision.
    ^^^ this! After years of detailing my own vehicles as a hobby, I recently started detailing for-profit. I started small, first a co-worker's car, then another, then my neighbors, and word got out. Needless to say, if I wanted to continue this route, I needed to become legitimate. I looked up business license with the state, and found that the town I live in requires a business license as well. I'd be working in my garage, so not a disruption at all, right? Well, my town prohibits any type of automotive repair, including detailing, as a home business. I'm currently renting...and now this is motivating me to buy out in the county!

  2. #12
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    Re: Home Based Legitimate Detailing Business?

    Quote Originally Posted by sudsmobile View Post
    I love how customer centric you are. You remind me of myself. It's refreshing when you read other mobile detailers saying things like "Oh, I charge $30 to the cost of the job to drive to your their house." YOU'RE A MOBILE DETAILER. It's right in your name. Stop charging for services that should be included in your pricing. Stop wanting your cake and eating it too. You don't have RENT, that's your cost of doing business. All I can say is they must not have much or any competition.
    I agree, I feel like for it being such an unregulated Industry with fluctuated scale of knowledge, skill, and price. some people’s price set ups and the way they present themselves reminds me of a designer perfume commercial, eau de toilette, but really most of us loose this job and we’re “in the toilet” lol, won’t quit my day job. When did the detailing become so “prestigious”? I don’t know about all y’all but I get dirty, dry hands, wake up with aches, and to be honest, don’t have much to turn to if my business would fall under, I would literally end up homeless quick with 2 months of no business, yet and I still feel sooo blessed, not “I’m the best”. we are all blessed to even be a part of a rising and open Industry that hasn’t been bleed to death by policy and raw materials price gouging, though trying to filter through the luminous circles of the celeb detailers and a never ending product carousel is the modern labyrinth. In other words, I feel so thankful for every single person that makes a CHOICE to call and receive my services, and pay hundreds of dollars for a service that isn’t fundamental to their survival, and could easily be dropped from a persons priorities, it is NOT a necessity, we aren’t digging ditches or delivering babies.Like, if the economy goes down again, and I were charging $30 to go to a home with a mobile service, guess who’s not gonna get called bc u gouged them the first time?. Just bc people pay it doesn’t mean it didn’t upset them either, they just won’t call you again. I’ve detailed cars a week after they took it to get detailed, and didn’t even realize it had been “serviced” until the client told me they charged more than I did. I try my hardest to think about how hard people have to work for that vehicle and things life, and I relate to every single person, everyone has a struggle and everyone needs to be accommodated, that’s what they are paying for, to not have to worry, that’s what we as detailers are responsible for, not correcting clients on formal technicalities and upcharging because we are smart enough to do it, it’s pompous. that’s why this countries pressed in the first place. Care for people, take care of them, and that energy and strong moral rapport will carry you when you need to be carried. Also, becoming a famous detailer is over rated. I’m happy with my working class income and my little home, let’s restore the middle class, instead of trying to extract it more


    Sent from my iPhone using Autogeekonline mobile app

  3. Likes Jon TDS, dlc95 liked this post
  4. #13
    Senior Member sudsmobile's Avatar
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    Re: Home Based Legitimate Detailing Business?

    Yay for the middle class working man! LOL Even though my station in life has changed as I've gotten older, I still consider myself a blue collar working man. I was fortunate to stumble into money when I was younger and I married very well, but I've always worked with my hands. I agree with a lot of what you wrote. I value my customers and I appreciate their business.

  5. Likes Manifestingdetails liked this post
  6. #14
    Senior Member Calendyr's Avatar
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    Re: Home Based Legitimate Detailing Business?

    • Would you recommend a sole proprietorship or an LLC? Is one or the other better suited for doing this work at home?
    A: I don't know about the rules in the US. Here in Canada, I feel that Sole Proprietorship has many advantages. You can deduct a part of your house as business expenses. For example, I deduce my office, my garage and half of a room as business space. I also deduct the same percentage of my electricity bills, half my internet access cost and half of my phone expenses. Insurrances can also be deducted the same way. So overall you are getting a lot of savings this way. The LLC would protect you more against lawsuits I believe. Would have to talk to a lawyer to see if it is really the case when it comes to detailing where liability is very low and the kind of damage you could potentially do is very low as well. Personally unless I was working regularly on multi-million dollar cars, I don't see the advantage.

    • What could I do for insurance? I want to be sure both myself and my client's vehicles are covered and protected in case of any unforeseen incidents.
    A: Insurrance is good. But it depends on the premiums. Here in Canada, getting covered for both garage keepers and general liability was over a 1000$ per year. So you need a lot of volume to justify that kind of expense. When you think about it, the potential for damaging a customer's car is extremelly low when doing detailing. And if you do damage a car, it's usually a low cost repair. The only exceptions would be: 1) If you drive customer's cars for some reason. 2) If you do more risky work like wet sanding and polishing with a rotary tool and wool pad. If you are just starting out, I suggest you put money in a saving's account and use that as a reserve to pay for any damage you might do. When business picks up and you start bringing in real money, then insurrance would just be the cost of doing business. But if you are doing 10,000$ a year in revenue from detailing, paying 1000$ insurrance is crazy.


    • Any recommendations on books or other sources of information to further educate the accounting side of the business, such as bookkeeping, taxes, etc? Do you guys do everything yourselves or do you have an accountant?
    A: I don't know any books, sorry. I took the charts for income tax and entered them in excel. I give everything to my accountant once a year and they produce the final work. Costs me 200$ to do that.

    One thing you really have to do is make sure to put all the money aside that you have to. So calculate you typical tax rate and put that part aside in a bank account for tax season. Same for taxes you receive from customers, do not leave the money in you operations account... but it in the tax savings account. If you don't do that, you can have a very nasty surprise at tax time where you own a lot more money than you have!

    When I do my taxes, I usually end up having a 4000$ to 5000$ return. I usually re-invest all of it in the business, buying new equipement and products. So that turns into more tax returns for the following year. This is how I was able to grow for the past few years, started with minimum equipment and every year added more. The biggest expense was the van 3 years ago. Now I have everything I could possibly need except a big hot water extractor. I don't feel it is needed but I will very likelly buy one next year because I have nothing else I need.

  7. #15
    Senior Member WindyCity's Avatar
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    Re: Home Based Legitimate Detailing Business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Calendyr View Post
    • Would you recommend a sole proprietorship or an LLC? Is one or the other better suited for doing this work at home?
    A: I don't know about the rules in the US. Here in Canada, I feel that Sole Proprietorship has many advantages. You can deduct a part of your house as business expenses. For example, I deduce my office, my garage and half of a room as business space. I also deduct the same percentage of my electricity bills, half my internet access cost and half of my phone expenses. Insurrances can also be deducted the same way. So overall you are getting a lot of savings this way. The LLC would protect you more against lawsuits I believe. Would have to talk to a lawyer to see if it is really the case when it comes to detailing where liability is very low and the kind of damage you could potentially do is very low as well. Personally unless I was working regularly on multi-million dollar cars, I don't see the advantage.

    • What could I do for insurance? I want to be sure both myself and my client's vehicles are covered and protected in case of any unforeseen incidents.
    A: Insurrance is good. But it depends on the premiums. Here in Canada, getting covered for both garage keepers and general liability was over a 1000$ per year. So you need a lot of volume to justify that kind of expense. When you think about it, the potential for damaging a customer's car is extremelly low when doing detailing. And if you do damage a car, it's usually a low cost repair. The only exceptions would be: 1) If you drive customer's cars for some reason. 2) If you do more risky work like wet sanding and polishing with a rotary tool and wool pad. If you are just starting out, I suggest you put money in a saving's account and use that as a reserve to pay for any damage you might do. When business picks up and you start bringing in real money, then insurrance would just be the cost of doing business. But if you are doing 10,000$ a year in revenue from detailing, paying 1000$ insurrance is crazy.


    • Any recommendations on books or other sources of information to further educate the accounting side of the business, such as bookkeeping, taxes, etc? Do you guys do everything yourselves or do you have an accountant?
    A: I don't know any books, sorry. I took the charts for income tax and entered them in excel. I give everything to my accountant once a year and they produce the final work. Costs me 200$ to do that.

    One thing you really have to do is make sure to put all the money aside that you have to. So calculate you typical tax rate and put that part aside in a bank account for tax season. Same for taxes you receive from customers, do not leave the money in you operations account... but it in the tax savings account. If you don't do that, you can have a very nasty surprise at tax time where you own a lot more money than you have!

    When I do my taxes, I usually end up having a 4000$ to 5000$ return. I usually re-invest all of it in the business, buying new equipement and products. So that turns into more tax returns for the following year. This is how I was able to grow for the past few years, started with minimum equipment and every year added more. The biggest expense was the van 3 years ago. Now I have everything I could possibly need except a big hot water extractor. I don't feel it is needed but I will very likelly buy one next year because I have nothing else I need.
    For a home based business with low risk of liability like auto detailing I would go with a sole proprietorship. It’s easy to set up and cheap to maintain every year. Easy to file taxes as well


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    David

  8. #16
    Senior Member sudsmobile's Avatar
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    Re: Home Based Legitimate Detailing Business?

    Agree with the accountant thing. $268/year is what my guy charges me to do my business and my personal taxes. Each. Well worth the money.

  9. #17
    Member Jon TDS's Avatar
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    Re: Home Based Legitimate Detailing Business?

    LLC is likewise cheap... I think. It's less than $200 and that's thru the online registration, I bet it's cheaper if you go directly to the Secretary of State.

    Insurance... I think I pay about $30 each month for $2m general liability coverage. I didn't get the garage keeper as I don't keep the client's cars in my garage.

    Accountant... Mine is charging $300 I believe.

    Good thing of all of these are you can list them as expenses for your business so your taxable income will be lower.

    Sent from my Mi A1 using Tapatalk

  10. #18
    Senior Member dlc95's Avatar
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    Re: Home Based Legitimate Detailing Business?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manifestingdetails View Post
    I agree, I feel like for it being such an unregulated Industry with fluctuated scale of knowledge, skill, and price. some people’s price set ups and the way they present themselves reminds me of a designer perfume commercial, eau de toilette, but really most of us loose this job and we’re “in the toilet” lol, won’t quit my day job. When did the detailing become so “prestigious”? I don’t know about all y’all but I get dirty, dry hands, wake up with aches, and to be honest, don’t have much to turn to if my business would fall under, I would literally end up homeless quick with 2 months of no business, yet and I still feel sooo blessed, not “I’m the best”. we are all blessed to even be a part of a rising and open Industry that hasn’t been bleed to death by policy and raw materials price gouging, though trying to filter through the luminous circles of the celeb detailers and a never ending product carousel is the modern labyrinth. In other words, I feel so thankful for every single person that makes a CHOICE to call and receive my services, and pay hundreds of dollars for a service that isn’t fundamental to their survival, and could easily be dropped from a persons priorities, it is NOT a necessity, we aren’t digging ditches or delivering babies.Like, if the economy goes down again, and I were charging $30 to go to a home with a mobile service, guess who’s not gonna get called bc u gouged them the first time?. Just bc people pay it doesn’t mean it didn’t upset them either, they just won’t call you again. I’ve detailed cars a week after they took it to get detailed, and didn’t even realize it had been “serviced” until the client told me they charged more than I did. I try my hardest to think about how hard people have to work for that vehicle and things life, and I relate to every single person, everyone has a struggle and everyone needs to be accommodated, that’s what they are paying for, to not have to worry, that’s what we as detailers are responsible for, not correcting clients on formal technicalities and upcharging because we are smart enough to do it, it’s pompous. that’s why this countries pressed in the first place. Care for people, take care of them, and that energy and strong moral rapport will carry you when you need to be carried. Also, becoming a famous detailer is over rated. I’m happy with my working class income and my little home, let’s restore the middle class, instead of trying to extract it more


    Sent from my iPhone using Autogeekonline mobile app
    Celeb detailers and the product carousel...

    Good points.

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