how to get customers? already had one business failed

Discussion in 'Detailing Bliss Lounge' started by rightaway, Sep 11, 2012.

  1. rightaway

    rightaway Virgin Detailer

    since i cant find a job and have been out of work for awhile, i have started detailing cars again. I'm only getting one car maybe every 3 weeks. i got nice card to hand out, i go to car show and friends to hand out.i try to promote on local forums.

    i had a small tire shop and lost all my money in there. i had radio, newpaper, flyers, cards, signs all around the building but couldnt get people through the door. so before i jump head first in, i want to make sure that I can get customers. what should i look into?
  2. Kilo6_one

    Kilo6_one DB Forum Supporter

    that is a loaded question, because there are all sorts of factors:

    your skills and services you can offer
    do you have the proper equipment
    do you have all the products (basics if needed)
    are you willing to pound the ground
    are you mobile, can you be mobile
    how much business can you handle, or support........ and many more questions.

    There are cheap solutions to getting business, craigslist, word of mouth, walking office complexes, hanging flyers etc. everyone here has been in your situation and there is alot of good information from the guys here, I would post up some more details about you, etc so we can better tailor an answer.
  3. Darkstar752

    Darkstar752 Horizon Detailing

    Referrals from good work is really the only way you'll ever make it.
    Website is second best
  4. rightaway

    rightaway Virgin Detailer

    market - eastern pa- not many detailing places around. house range from 200k-500k

    your skills and services you can offer- i detailed cars for infiniti for 5 years.

    do you have the proper equipment- i have most tools.

    do you have all the products (basics if needed) most

    are you willing to pound the ground- im willing to do what it takes. im also in a band, and i planned a whole USA tour, diy. just me calling and emailing peole.

    are you mobile, can you be mobile- i can be mobile if they have water and a electric.

    here is a website a friend made for me....
  5. rightaway

    rightaway Virgin Detailer

    i dont have many referrals. i havent detailed many cars yet. i cant get people in.
  6. rightaway

    rightaway Virgin Detailer

    i have a degree in business management and was a service manager for many years.
  7. Pureshine

    Pureshine DB Pro Supporter

    I got all my business from word of mouth. I went full time 6 months ago and I've been booked from May-Oct. I built my own website and show my work.
  8. stottie

    stottie Birth of a Detailer

    like every one has said your best way of making it is word of mouth from customers that were happy with your work. now to get your name out there. make a craigslist add and make it stand out!! they might not be your bmw or ferrari type of cars, but it is getting you customers and making you money. Next thing is to make a google places page. its free and you can link your website to it. than read up as much as you can about seo and making your google places page make it to the frount of your areas search list for detailing or car wash ect.
    the best part of all the suggestiongs i just gave is they are free and only cost you your time. ive had pretty good luck in my area using a speical section in my news paper, a lot of other detailers ive read have said the paper did not work. it is going to depend on your area.
    also what kind of services do you want to offer. are you going for high end paint correction? wash & wax? basic interior exterior? also find a niche in your market and go with that. good luck
  9. bjungx007

    bjungx007 Birth of a Detailer

    if you are serious about this inquiry please contact me directly through pm. I have a marketing team that i work with that will be able to assist you. Its actually very cost friendly.
  10. Kilo6_one

    Kilo6_one DB Forum Supporter

    its all about building and building steadily, it wont happen over night, but you for sure want a website. Proof of your abilities speaks volumes. I only do referrals, and do not advertise, I do this part time.

    But I come from a similar backround, business degree and managed a auto shop for the last 5 years, so the business sense and the automotive knowledge is handy.

    Your website is clean and very simple and not over hyped which is good.

    Build off that, distribute cards to business parks, sponsor local car forums, car shows, raffle off your services to charities. Sales is a contact sport, the more contact you have the better.
  11. Pureshine

    Pureshine DB Pro Supporter

    In my area there is no other detailing shop that does the same kinda of work I do. They are all high volume shops and there work is crap. I make sure my work is stands out over there's. They only use fillers to hide everything.
  12. vtec92civic

    vtec92civic Nuba Guru

    I hate to burst your bubble so don't take this the wrong way but just because you detailed for infinity for 5 years doesn't mean dirt. To the normal person it might sound good but to the rest of us we all know how dealership detailers can be. With all that asside talk to people. When you see someone with a nice car while you are out and about go up and introduce yourself and perhaps hand them a card. Try and slowly educate people and let them know your skillset as well as what you have to offer them that is better then the other detailer or better then them washing it themselves. Once you can get to their home or place of business for a estimate you can them offer to do a test spot for them and explain to them the work it entails and how you can bring there car back to like new condition and make them fall in love with their vehicle again.
  13. Mike Lambert

    Mike Lambert Birth of a Detailer

    I started 12 years ago by doing a few details for local used car lots for free to show my work,on the condition they placed my cards in the cars.
    It took awhile but word of mouth spread. If your work is better than everyone else's and a reasonable price for your area,that will get you started. I now have been booked 6 to 7 days a week for the past 11 years, doing a whole lot of exotics and several collections for a lot more money than when I started
    Good luck
  14. Andy6228

    Andy6228 Birth of a Detailer

    I'm sure you have already checked but how is your pricing compared to your local competition?
  15. togwt

    togwt Nuba Guru

  16. mrd0t

    mrd0t Obsessive Detailer

    Referrals and more referrals are all I get. Granted i'm not booked 6 days a week yet, I just have to be patient with it and continue to show quality work every car that comes through my studio.
  17. ACE2790

    ACE2790 Jedi Nuba

    Market the shit out of yourself. Take an amount you would feel ok with spending on a campaign, then multiply it by atleast 1.5. If no one knows you exist, you can't make money. Utilize free services too like craigslist. Second, its going to take time to build a client base plain and simple.
  18. rightaway

    rightaway Virgin Detailer

    I’m going to try to answer all the questions, plus I have a few….

    I never thought of Craigslist because I thought people on there just wanted the cheapest detailer out there. What are a few things that I could do to make my Craigslist ad stand out? I will also put myself on Google places. I always thought that I had to pay for that. And what “special” section of the paper did you put your ad in, the classifieds?

    I would rate my detailing skills from 1-10, 10 is best, honestly 7/8. I don’t know how to wet sand; I don’t have a hot water carpet cleaning machine. But what I can do is take out most swirl marks, and make the car shine. First I wash, than clay bar, compound, polish and use wax or paint sealant. It takes me about 8-10 hours to do most detail jobs. I would take a detailing class to make my skills better but not too sure on what/whom I should go to for more training. I live about 1.5 north of Philly. I searched but didn’t find much out. Any recommendations? Are those schools worth the money?

    I know that I need to market myself. Like I said before, I had bad luck with radio and paper ads. I was thinking of printing an ad out and placing them on every car at a nice mall or try USPS Every Door Direct Mail system. I have a few hundren dollars that I have to spend on marketing. What is the best bang for the buck?
    Last question, how does everybody business going into the winter and winter months? Does it slow done?
  19. rightaway

    rightaway Virgin Detailer

  20. QUENGA

    QUENGA Any Rag Vehicle Washer

    Pounding pavement, hand shaking, referrals and repetition. If you go to one meet where a particular group shows up, you have to keep going to those meets. The more they see you, the more likely they are to trust you. I personally sell myself more than my services. I've tried most marketing ideas and got some business from it, but I'd rather wake up super early and catch a "Cars and Coffee" meet than spend a few hundred $$ on promotional services.

    Good luck!

Share This Page