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  1. #1
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    Very inconsistent

    Iíve been detailing for over 5 years now and been running my own mobile show for almost 2 years now. It does and has paid the bills but itís so inconsistent from week to week. One week Iíll be booked up and the next week Iíll have nothing. I used to keep customers in my contacts and contact them once a month had passed to see if their interested again. I stopped doing that because I felt like 1. If they want my services they have my number and 2 I donít want to seem like Iím asking them for money.

    Ive made it with 1 customer that is weekly maybe 2x a week on his vehicles and he always pays full price. The others are like soccer moms with a Yukon xl they only get done every other month or quarterly.

    Im thinking about getting a shop but I would hate to see it sit empty for periods of time.

    Is there a way to make this more consistent?

    I have a Facebook I get no new customers or local interactions on and I have a Instagram
    i have google mybusiness and my numbers are always in the green
    sometimes I run an adwords or others Iíll run a Facebook promo.

  2. #2
    Senior Member garyg7133's Avatar
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    Re: Very inconsistent

    Before jumping into a shop situation which will add loads of overhead, try getting involved with a local HOA. One of my customers posted a review of my work on their HOA FB page and I have gotten a ton of calls (which turned into 2 immediate jobs and 2 future dates. I basically spaced all of those bookings out so that regardless of any other bookings that I get I will have those dates locked up and can add other jobs within that community on the same days without adding a ton of travel. As far as promotions or discounts, The only things I offer are referral discounts when repeat customers send me work, military/veteran discount, multiple car (same day) discount and senior discount. All of these are small discounts but the average customer loves to see a number come in lower than what you originally quoted or what they paid for a previous service. I wouldn't just start running promos and lowering your prices because that leads to an overall decline in what you're getting for your time and work.

  3. #3
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    Re: Very inconsistent

    Quote Originally Posted by garyg7133 View Post
    Before jumping into a shop situation which will add loads of overhead, try getting involved with a local HOA. One of my customers posted a review of my work on their HOA FB page and I have gotten a ton of calls (which turned into 2 immediate jobs and 2 future dates. I basically spaced all of those bookings out so that regardless of any other bookings that I get I will have those dates locked up and can add other jobs within that community on the same days without adding a ton of travel. As far as promotions or discounts, The only things I offer are referral discounts when repeat customers send me work, military/veteran discount, multiple car (same day) discount and senior discount. All of these are small discounts but the average customer loves to see a number come in lower than what you originally quoted or what they paid for a previous service. I wouldn't just start running promos and lowering your prices because that leads to an overall decline in what you're getting for your time and work.
    I stopped giving discounts it’s full price from about a month ago and on. I do offer multicar same location like 5-10 off package. My basic is $60 for cars $80 trucks suv next up is 120/150.

    I’m in like 6-8 different neighborhood password locked community pages. I get quite a few from that. I’ve done nice cars 2 488’s and a 458 often. Usually do higher end cars.

    I guess they’re talking just not enough. One week I make 300 and the next week 2200 when will it even out

  4. #4
    Senior Member DaveT435's Avatar
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    Re: Very inconsistent

    You can look up car clubs in your area and try to meet with the presidents of the clubs.. I've got a friend who would be booked solid year round doing ceramic coatings from doing this. He also paid to be sponsore some of the Facebook groups which allowed to advertise on their pages. He has a Camaro ZL1 so he belonged to a couple of the Camaro groups in this area. I don't know where you are, here we have warm weather year round pretty much. You should be able to make 50.00 an hour doing coatings. Get the right kind of clientele and you can make more than that per hour. Also a lot of people who pay for coatings don't mind paying for maintenance washes.
    2015 F-150 Crew Cab Lariat
    2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS

  5. #5
    Senior Member Calendyr's Avatar
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    Re: Very inconsistent

    I was in your shoes for a few years. For me it was difficult because I had a part time job that took a lot of my time and sometimes people would call while I was working and I could not anwer the phone. In my experience only about 20% of people leave message to call them back. Then last year I decided to quit my part time job and focus on detailing. I really improved the number of details I was doing but I still had weeks with no jobs.

    This year I have started using Facebook advertizing. I have been crazy busy since May. It is just starting to slow down now. So if you have not started advertizing yet, do it. Make sure you have a good website first so you can send people there with your ads. What I do is make a focus offer for something I want to sell, and narrow the ad delivery to people I know can afford my services and might want to have the service performed on their cars. I use a 5$/day budget and make the ad last for a week. So it's not expensive and it keeps my schedule book full. Also, since I focus on coating jobs, every job I do is very lucrative. This year 80% of the jobs have been coatings, full details and Paint correction jobs as where in the past years I did have about 50% of my clients wanting basic details or such.

    If you have not done so, you should think about joining a mentoring program. The one I am in is Detail Mentor (search on facebook to find it) by Mark Barger from Visual Pro Detailing. I learned a few things from him regarding coatings, and a lot from him regarding advertizing. He covers pretty much every aspect of running a succesful detail company. I know that there are several of these programs available, I have not tried any other so I don't know if they are better or worse but I am sure any of them will help you greatly. No matter how good you are, there are things you can learn from someone else. Also it help with focusing your efforts in the right places.

  6. #6
    Senior Member osiapstndp's Avatar
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    Re: Very inconsistent

    Quote Originally Posted by Calendyr View Post
    If you have not done so, you should think about joining a mentoring program. The one I am in is Detail Mentor (search on facebook to find it) by Mark Barger from Visual Pro Detailing. I learned a few things from him regarding coatings, and a lot from him regarding advertizing. He covers pretty much every aspect of running a succesful detail company. I know that there are several of these programs available, I have not tried any other so I don't know if they are better or worse but I am sure any of them will help you greatly. No matter how good you are, there are things you can learn from someone else. Also it help with focusing your efforts in the right places.
    I second this. Mark and I have been working together for the past few months and he's a great guy who is very helpful. I can't say enough good things about him and his mentoring service.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sudsmobile's Avatar
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    Re: Very inconsistent

    Quote Originally Posted by RiverCityAutoSpa View Post
    I’ve been detailing for over 5 years now and been running my own mobile show for almost 2 years now. It does and has paid the bills but it’s so inconsistent from week to week. One week I’ll be booked up and the next week I’ll have nothing. I used to keep customers in my contacts and contact them once a month had passed to see if their interested again. I stopped doing that because I felt like 1. If they want my services they have my number and 2 I don’t want to seem like I’m asking them for money.

    Ive made it with 1 customer that is weekly maybe 2x a week on his vehicles and he always pays full price. The others are like soccer moms with a Yukon xl they only get done every other month or quarterly.

    Im thinking about getting a shop but I would hate to see it sit empty for periods of time.

    Is there a way to make this more consistent?

    I have a Facebook I get no new customers or local interactions on and I have a Instagram
    i have google mybusiness and my numbers are always in the green
    sometimes I run an adwords or others I’ll run a Facebook promo.
    I've never had a $300 week, but I'm feeling you. It's either $2k and I can't fit another job on the schedule, or I'm trying to make jobs from thin air. I always try to figure out what's going on and frankly, I think this time of year, with the 4th in the middle of the week, alot of people are on vacation. Plus, it's been really hot here. I tend to think when it's really hot, people don't want to schedule a detail because that means they might have to leave the house for 10 minutes to talk to you. LOL

    Luckily, my son has been on vacation for 9 days, so I don't have to pay him. I did $1400 by myself last week, which is a really slow week for us. I've done $400 this week, didn't work at all yesterday, and I have maybe another $600 on the schedule. Hopefully, it will pick back up. I'm somewhat grateful, being by myself until Thursday, that I haven't been slammed.

  8. #8
    Senior Member TTQ B4U's Avatar
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    Re: Very inconsistent

    Work on joining auto enthusiast groups, forums, attend the events and really get out there. "earn" the right to post on say a specific forum and hit up their detail section. Have your customers vouch for you there and welcome you in. I don't own a BMW or a Porsche but I'm on various forums by invite and my customers end up posting their cars there for all to see and I get word of mouth only business. Customers who attend cars and coffee are great too. Locally, I donate some prizes for Cars and coffee related events and shows too. Always helps that I can stack the deck with my customer cars in hopes they win I do 1-2 cars per weekend and have been farming out a 1-2 per week for the past 2 months to a local fellow that I know and trust to do good work and mentor as we go. This is a side gig for me only but it's easily something I'm going to push into more and perhaps work to manage more than do.

    I agree on the coatings piece. I do nothing but any more. Tomorrow is my second low-end basic clean up package for $350 that will involve an AIO likely D166 on a vehicle that is being sold. The rest have been coatings and decent size correction package.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Dan Tran's Avatar
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    Re: Very inconsistent

    So I live theoretically in a really good wealthy area. By Iíve only had lived here for less than 7 months. So I originally had kind of went through what is described here. Partly, people ARE on vacation.

    A main part of my problem is what Mark from Visual Pro had mentioned a couple of years ago to me.

    ďPart of a failing business is obscurity.Ē ó Mark

    If they donít know you , they wonít use you. So because I am new it the area, I knew right away this was going to be a challenge. In order to build up trust fast, I decided to do one thing well, FIRST before I can move to the next marketing effort. And that is building up my Google presence.

    I have only been in business professionally since late 2015. Since then, I decided to work STRONG at my ĎGoogle it!í game. What does that mean?

    I donít know about you, but anytime you need to know something online (as far as I can tell), the first instinct is ĎGoogle it!í

    What did I do? I take in AS MUCH GOOGLE REVIEWS as possible.

    From then till now, I proudly have 29 Five-Star Google reviews. It doesnít sound like a lot. But in detailing world, itís like having 300 restaurant reviews on Yelp.
    you
    EVERY SINGLE phone call, success or not, I ask them, ďTo keep track of my marketing effort, may I ask how did you hear about me?Ē

    Themó ďI Googled Car Detailing and you came up first!Ē

    NOTICED: In my area, people top search phrase is car detailing. Just FYI...

    Bottom line?

    I hate being the new guy in the area, but ALL my successful calls had something to do with my reviews. I know this because I ask and they answer.

    My newest client Google searched Ďthe guy off of exit 7í for his phone number and saw that he had zero reviews and that I have reviews overall. As a result? 7 cars!!!

    Another guy because of Google reviews contacted me last night. The result? 3 cars. Not crap cars either. Like brand new 2018 cars. Iím not trying to be showy. My point is new car owners then to want it ALL at the beginning even if it means paying more.

    Anyway, happy reading. And thanks for reading.


    Dan Tran
    www.thebuffingmoose.com

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  11. #10
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    Re: Very inconsistent

    my thing was i had a full time job and quit cold turkey to detail about 3 years ago. its been going well but ive had a lot of unexpected expenses come about lately. bought a boat( cant stop breaking out another thousand for it), dog had a mast cell tumor surgery followed by an acl surgery. I went and got a part time cooking job locally at night to keep some consistent cash flow.

    I live in a very wealthy area. Dont mean to sound rude or whatever it just is what it is ive never done a honda accord or a toyota camry. its usally a benz gls or a yukon xl to Ferrari 488 spiders and range rover svautobiography g63 etc.

    ive found a lot of these cars are leases. My number 1 customer has a 18 rover and 18 650i, he gets them done weekly but could care less for a wax.

    coatings ive done 3 on customer vehicles and 3 on my vehicles, have 2 coating jobs booked in august for the same guy.

    Google has been my go to for advertising. I do have a website. My google i think has 8 reviews.

    i operate under Ken the Detailer if anyone cares to check it out.

    Ive done the CEO of avis, CEO of united airlines, Managing director of UBS, few former NFL players. I cant get them to commit though, usually just basic insides and out.

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