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  1. #1
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    How to Expand Mobile Business and make more money

    Greetings good people. Iím looking for some mentorship. I took over a mobile business from the previous owner who I learned from and worked for to start. Very busy, I donít even answer calls. I get them to text me to schedule. Great reviews. Prices start at $160 for full detail with shampoo and wax up to $310. Cant keep up with all the work. I have 1 full time detailer, 1 part time detailer and 3 helpers. But for how busy I am and the demand and everything Iím not making that much more money. I bring home around 50k maybe that will get up to 55k this year but a lot of my stuff is under the table, I have very little overhead. Iím looking to either make a big jump in income or I want to look at keeping the business and manage it, do as little labor as possible and possibly maintain that 50k or even if I could make 20k, it it could be somewhat passively then I could do something else. We do mostly residential higher end type detailing. Retail you might call it. We spend a lot of time on the cars $20-$30 per man hour. I could raise prices and I could get more help. I know to expand one route I would go would be to have a location and send out a mobile crew (like we do it now, we use customers water and electricity) and have another self-contained mobile unit that goes out to offices, fleets, etc. But of course that is taking on a lot more overhead and headache etc. Iím looking for advice on what my next step would be. I do plan to tweak my prices this year and maybe hire an assistant to help me with scheduling or at least some scheduling software. Also looking at raising my pay for detailers to try to attract better candidates. Right now I have 3 guys at $11, 1 at $12 and 1 at $15. Thank you for your help

  2. #2
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    Re: How to Expand Mobile Business and make more money

    I donít know where your at but your rates seem a little low. Maybe raise by 20$ this year 10$ next year.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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  4. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: How to Expand Mobile Business and make more money

    Quote Originally Posted by patman View Post
    Greetings good people. I’m looking for some mentorship. I took over a mobile business from the previous owner who I learned from and worked for to start. Very busy, I don’t even answer calls. I get them to text me to schedule. Great reviews. Prices start at $160 for full detail with shampoo and wax up to $310. Cant keep up with all the work. I have 1 full time detailer, 1 part time detailer and 3 helpers. But for how busy I am and the demand and everything I’m not making that much more money. I bring home around 50k maybe that will get up to 55k this year but a lot of my stuff is under the table, I have very little overhead. I’m looking to either make a big jump in income or I want to look at keeping the business and manage it, do as little labor as possible and possibly maintain that 50k or even if I could make 20k, it it could be somewhat passively then I could do something else. We do mostly residential higher end type detailing. Retail you might call it. We spend a lot of time on the cars $20-$30 per man hour. I could raise prices and I could get more help. I know to expand one route I would go would be to have a location and send out a mobile crew (like we do it now, we use customers water and electricity) and have another self-contained mobile unit that goes out to offices, fleets, etc. But of course that is taking on a lot more overhead and headache etc. I’m looking for advice on what my next step would be. I do plan to tweak my prices this year and maybe hire an assistant to help me with scheduling or at least some scheduling software. Also looking at raising my pay for detailers to try to attract better candidates. Right now I have 3 guys at $11, 1 at $12 and 1 at $15. Thank you for your help

    Just a tip to help you out when asking for help....


    When you type all your words in one HUGE chunk of text it makes it hard to read. What happens is people WON'T read. It's just too hard for the human eyeball to track from the end of one sentence to the beginning of the next sentence. This is true for about 3-4 sentences.

    So hit the [ENTER] key after 3-4 sentences and break up your huge block of text with some white space. NOW people will read it and then you'll get more help.


    Like this,



    Greetings good people.

    I’m looking for some mentorship. I took over a mobile business from the previous owner who I learned from and worked for to start. Very busy, I don’t even answer calls. I get them to text me to schedule. Great reviews. Prices start at $160 for full detail with shampoo and wax up to $310. Cant keep up with all the work.

    I have 1 full time detailer, 1 part time detailer and 3 helpers. But for how busy I am and the demand and everything I’m not making that much more money. I bring home around 50k maybe that will get up to 55k this year but a lot of my stuff is under the table, I have very little overhead.

    I’m looking to either make a big jump in income or I want to look at keeping the business and manage it, do as little labor as possible and possibly maintain that 50k or even if I could make 20k, it it could be somewhat passively then I could do something else.

    We do mostly residential higher end type detailing. Retail you might call it. We spend a lot of time on the cars $20-$30 per man hour. I could raise prices and I could get more help. I know to expand one route I would go would be to have a location and send out a mobile crew (like we do it now, we use customers water and electricity) and have another self-contained mobile unit that goes out to offices, fleets, etc. But of course that is taking on a lot more overhead and headache etc. I’m looking for advice on what my next step would be.

    I do plan to tweak my prices this year and maybe hire an assistant to help me with scheduling or at least some scheduling software. Also looking at raising my pay for detailers to try to attract better candidates. Right now I have 3 guys at $11, 1 at $12 and 1 at $15.


    Thank you for your help



    See how that's easier for the average person to read?


    Mike Phillips
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  6. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: How to Expand Mobile Business and make more money

    Then to answer your question(s)


    I agree with Coatingsarecrack,

    I think you need to raise your prices.


    Besides that, sounds like you have a money making machine well in place.



    Mike Phillips
    Director of Training Autogeek & Marine 31
    IDA Board Member - Certified Detailer - Skills Validated Detailer - IDA Recognized Trainer
    Mike Phillips Facebook Page
    Twitter
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    Mike Phillips Detail Files YouTube Playlist
    Sign-up for Mike's Tips & Techniques Newsletter


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  8. #5
    Senior Member sudsmobile's Avatar
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    Re: How to Expand Mobile Business and make more money

    I see several issues. First, as stated, you're not charging enough. I'm not saying that from a point of I know how much you charge or I know what your market will bear, I say that from a point that you're too busy to answer the phone. Your prices are low enough now that you can easily stay booked without doing anything. Raise your prices until that changes. You'll lose business, but the goal is to make x amount doing y amount of work, not make x amount doing 1.5y amount of work. You need to find your equilibrium. Next, by not answering the phone, you're losing potential customers. Those customers are not going to decide not to have the car cleaned, they're going to your competition. Your taking money out of your pocket and putting it directly into your competitor's pockets. That's not good. Every phone call is a customer. Every phone call could be a customer that spends $2k a year with you or more. Run your business like a pro. Pros answer the phone, pros return phone calls, pros return texts, emails, yelp messages, ig dm's.

    If you do all that and you are still too busy, I guess consider yourself lucky and successful and know that the next step is probably a shop and keep the mobile rigs up and running to help that portion of the business get started.

    I'm having a lot of the same issues as you, although I'm just running a two man crew. I could easily be running 2-3 rigs right now full time but at my age and my limited time left in this business, I'm not inclined. I'm trying to get my son to take over and build the business properly. Our vision for the future is a shop with 2-3 mobile rigs.

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  10. #6
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    Re: How to Expand Mobile Business and make more money

    As a business professor, I feel the need to chime in here. You are experiencing what is called price elasticities of demand. Basically, your prices are low enough that it is driving significant demand. However, you do not have the ability to serve, or supply, to the current demand. There are 2 options.

    One is to scale the business to meet that demand. However, this would add more overhead costs, more variable costs, and increased likelihood that the people you hire may damage the reputation of the business.

    The second is to raise prices. This would temper some of the demand and allow you to provide the supply to match the demand. At the same time, you should experience an uptick in profits and money in your pocket.

    If you find that increasing prices by $20 this year doesn't curb some demand, then you can expand to bring in more clients and spend a little more with proper incentives to make sure your employees focus on customer satisfaction.

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  12. #7
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    Re: How to Expand Mobile Business and make more money

    This is very valuable stuff for me. Thank you everyone. I donít feel good about missing customers so it does make sense to raise prices. I actually relatively recently raised prices. People would go with me because my prices were on the low side. Then I raised prices and things did slow down a bit but then I started getting these great reviews and now Iím getting customers because of my reviews and quality of work my prices are prob medium-high for North Florida maybe just medium. The issue I have is with my long term customers. Itís hard to raise my prices on them.

    Other than that, what I need to decide is if it is realistic for me to create a jump in income to get up to $75-$100k and if it is, how do I get there.

    Or, is my ceiling right around here and if it is then I want to start backing out and try to keep my income up as I drop down my labor hours as much as possible so I can do something else.

    It seems like either way I need to get a physical location because either way itís seems necessary. If I want to expand and go for more income Iíll need a shop and if I want to cut down on my labor then itís much easier to keep quality control at a central location vs having 3-4 different mobile jobs going. Would yíall agree?

    Right now on busy days I can have guys spread out at 3-4 different locations and Iím putting in anywhere between 28-35 labor hours myself. If I could have a shop with a good detailer on site and then send out a mobile crew with a good detailer and add on 2-4 helpers and I can manage and handle quality control, that would seem much better. That seems the next step
    either way, whether aggressively going for more income or if Iím going to cut down my personal labor hours. What do you think?

    Of course what Iím hearing is my first next step is to raise prices and get all my incoming calls answered.

  13. #8
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    Re: How to Expand Mobile Business and make more money

    Quote Originally Posted by diablojota View Post
    As a business professor, I feel the need to chime in here. You are experiencing what is called price elasticities of demand. Basically, your prices are low enough that it is driving significant demand. However, you do not have the ability to serve, or supply, to the current demand. There are 2 options.

    One is to scale the business to meet that demand. However, this would add more overhead costs, more variable costs, and increased likelihood that the people you hire may damage the reputation of the business.

    The second is to raise prices. This would temper some of the demand and allow you to provide the supply to match the demand. At the same time, you should experience an uptick in profits and money in your pocket.

    If you find that increasing prices by $20 this year doesn't curb some demand, then you can expand to bring in more clients and spend a little more with proper incentives to make sure your employees focus on customer satisfaction.
    100% spot on! Wow, Thank you so much

  14. #9
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    Re: How to Expand Mobile Business and make more money

    You are welcome and good luck! And with that you can follow sudsmobile's advice and the like. Plenty of options to think about.

    You mentioned being concerned about some of your longer tenure/loyal customers dropping. What I would highly recommend is to talk to them about the price increase. If they are truly loyal, they'll understand that your costs have increased and you are having a hard time meeting all demand. Offer them a 20 dollar discount, or whatever, off their first service post price increase. If they're truly happy with your service, they'll absorb the cost increases over time. If they were just using you because you were cheap, they will drop you. Don't worry about those. The most important thing is to make sure your future customers are exceptionally pleased with your services. You'll create new, additional loyal customers.

  15. #10
    Senior Member sudsmobile's Avatar
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    Re: How to Expand Mobile Business and make more money

    To expand on that, I've gotten rid of my "cheap" customers. I didn't want to initially because I like customers and I like money, but I did. I swear to you, nothing feels better than never doing those jobs again.

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