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Starting a Mobile Car Detailing Business

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SC87Dominik

Contributor
Feb 3, 2022
12
37
It was after I received an email from a retailer, denying my part-time job application, when I felt the pressure rising. My micro-FTE. A few days earlier, I remember feeling a sense of relief when I got the interview, I was so convinced I’d be working again. I was supposed to go and apply to more retail jobs. I don’t know if it was social anxiety, or laziness, or my brain stopping me from wanting to work another job with a boss, but I couldn’t get myself to go and apply in person. Fast forward to job rejection day: the realization of what I needed to do hit me right after I opened the email with my rejection. I need to start working on a business, now.

I’ve edged in life before, and now it takes on a different format. In my (ex) strict aviation college program, I was placed on probation every other semester. At one point I was taking a probation exam. Had I scored 2% lower, I would have been booted out of the program. Due to authoritarianism, I had to leave my program and halt my pursuit of becoming a commercial pilot.

Now I am edging financially. Thankfully, I genuinely learned that money doesn’t buy happiness. Although it helps, your mind is the ultimate factor for being happy and fulfilled. Your self-consciousness of knowing that you are in a position of growth beats having a large bank balance. I am now $20k in debt, less than $200 in the bank, but I am reassured that this will probably be the last time in my life that I’m broke. Luckily, I am 21 and living with my parents. I am now uniquely positioned in my life to go from a slowlaner to a sidewalker to a fastlaner. Resilience is how I am going to go from working as a grocery delivery driver to reaching the beautiful process of the unscripted , fastlane dogma.

As MJ preaches, FTE’s have the capacity to propel your life into a ruthless pursuit of Fastlane entrepreneurship. I cannot attest to having a singular large FTE, and I believe this is what happens to people who were not contrarians to the mainstream world views before (most of the time). In my case, I’ve been trying to piece the puzzle together in the past few years, and finally decided that I just need to do… something. Anything. I’m tired of action faking, I’m tired of being picky, I’m tired of analysis paralysis, I’m tired of having an ego that “I can make a way better business than that” so I end up just circle jerking and doing nothing, I’m tired of looking to God to give me an idea that I could work with, I’m tired of dismissing everything, I’m tired of making excuses, I’m tired of wanting to avoid small problems. I just want to do something rather than nothing.


I’ve decided to go into mobile car detailing. Do I think this follows CENTS? Not necessarily. I just need to do something. My main issue right now is determining a value skew. Also, as a disclaimer, I have just started to look into this yesterday. I will look at local competition, research how to get the job done, and deal with the rest of my problems as I go.

So here’s what I’m going to do:


  • I will continue to work as a grocery delivery driver. This will allow me to be flexible on time.
  • I will invest that money into a few things:
    • A vacuum and a pressure washer
    • Cleaning/detailing products
    • A website (landing page)
    • Google ads
    • Facebook ads
  • I will post on Kijiji (Canada’s craigslist) and facebook marketplace (I don’t have facebook so idk how this works)
  • I will find a single person who would pay me to drive to their house and wash/detail their car.
  • I will figure out how to do that by watching youtube videos and asking my friend who worked as a detailer.
  • I will practice on my car.

I don’t care about anything after this point right now.

I’d also appreciate pointers on how to validate the business given the relatively low barrier of entry. Like I mentioned earlier, I would encourage to give me different ways to think about value skew. Please let me know if there are any fundamental mind blocks/ points of inexperience/ obvious setbacks/ wrong mindsets I have.

This is my “first business”. I will make mistakes along the way. But I’m damn happy that I even wrote this piece today (which is a part of execution). I’m happy to finally get started with something even though I don’t really “like” cars or detailing or cleaning.
 
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Johnny boy

Legendary Contributor
EPIC CONTRIBUTOR
Speedway Pass
May 9, 2017
1,790
8,762
25
Washington State
Get some customers, make some money, try different things

and then ask.... "How do I pay an employee $15 an hour and get him to do $100 an hour worth of work?"

That's the million dollar question. If you can find a system that gets $15 an hour workers to do $100 an hour worth of work consistently, you'll have something great on your hands.

Do the numbers. $100 an hour = $800 a day. How can you get $800 a day worth of work for 1 guy? Would you do 16 cars for $50? 10 for $80? 5 for $160? 2 for $400?

Is there a model that people can subscribe to? Is there a common problem that all of your leads tell you? Listen and keep your ears open so you can learn what people actually want and you'll be able to spot opportunities. What would be incredibly valuable in the auto-detailing industry? Is it hard to find a mobile detailer? Is it hard to find a detailer in general? Is it hard to find a high end paint correction expert?
 

JamesAce

New Contributor
Read Fastlane!
Feb 9, 2014
6
4
This is actually motivational for me since I’ve just recently gone through my own FTE. I’m rooting for you in you journey to the fastlane.

You could market yourself as a luxury mobile detailer. I’ve seen YouTubers who detail cars make their own chemical solutions that rival commercial brands. You could offer engine cleaning services which isn’t that difficult but the result is mind blowing. With services you can get creative and offer something unique with what you have and can afford. Consider the kind of neighborhoods you market yourself. Could make the difference between hagglers and those who know your worth.

Just my two cents
 
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Move the chains

Contributor
Read Rat-Race Escape!
Read Unscripted!
Dec 15, 2019
53
51
Ih
It was after I received an email from a retailer, denying my part-time job application, when I felt the pressure rising. My micro-FTE. A few days earlier, I remember feeling a sense of relief when I got the interview, I was so convinced I’d be working again. I was supposed to go and apply to more retail jobs. I don’t know if it was social anxiety, or laziness, or my brain stopping me from wanting to work another job with a boss, but I couldn’t get myself to go and apply in person. Fast forward to job rejection day: the realization of what I needed to do hit me right after I opened the email with my rejection. I need to start working on a business, now.

I’ve edged in life before, and now it takes on a different format. In my (ex) strict aviation college program, I was placed on probation every other semester. At one point I was taking a probation exam. Had I scored 2% lower, I would have been booted out of the program. Due to authoritarianism, I had to leave my program and halt my pursuit of becoming a commercial pilot.

Now I am edging financially. Thankfully, I genuinely learned that money doesn’t buy happiness. Although it helps, your mind is the ultimate factor for being happy and fulfilled. Your self-consciousness of knowing that you are in a position of growth beats having a large bank balance. I am now $20k in debt, less than $200 in the bank, but I am reassured that this will probably be the last time in my life that I’m broke. Luckily, I am 21 and living with my parents. I am now uniquely positioned in my life to go from a slowlaner to a sidewalker to a fastlaner. Resilience is how I am going to go from working as a grocery delivery driver to reaching the beautiful process of the unscripted , fastlane dogma.

As MJ preaches, FTE’s have the capacity to propel your life into a ruthless pursuit of Fastlane entrepreneurship. I cannot attest to having a singular large FTE, and I believe this is what happens to people who were not contrarians to the mainstream world views before (most of the time). In my case, I’ve been trying to piece the puzzle together in the past few years, and finally decided that I just need to do… something. Anything. I’m tired of action faking, I’m tired of being picky, I’m tired of analysis paralysis, I’m tired of having an ego that “I can make a way better business than that” so I end up just circle jerking and doing nothing, I’m tired of looking to God to give me an idea that I could work with, I’m tired of dismissing everything, I’m tired of making excuses, I’m tired of wanting to avoid small problems. I just want to do something rather than nothing.


I’ve decided to go into mobile car detailing. Do I think this follows CENTS? Not necessarily. I just need to do something. My main issue right now is determining a value skew. Also, as a disclaimer, I have just started to look into this yesterday. I will look at local competition, research how to get the job done, and deal with the rest of my problems as I go.

So here’s what I’m going to do:


  • I will continue to work as a grocery delivery driver. This will allow me to be flexible on time.
  • I will invest that money into a few things:
    • A vacuum and a pressure washer
    • Cleaning/detailing products
    • A website (landing page)
    • Google ads
    • Facebook ads
  • I will post on Kijiji (Canada’s craigslist) and facebook marketplace (I don’t have facebook so idk how this works)
  • I will find a single person who would pay me to drive to their house and wash/detail their car.
  • I will figure out how to do that by watching youtube videos and asking my friend who worked as a detailer.
  • I will practice on my car.

I don’t care about anything after this point right now.

I’d also appreciate pointers on how to validate the business given the relatively low barrier of entry. Like I mentioned earlier, I would encourage to give me different ways to think about value skew. Please let me know if there are any fundamental mind blocks/ points of inexperience/ obvious setbacks/ wrong mindsets I have.

This is my “first business”. I will make mistakes along the way. But I’m damn happy that I even wrote this piece today (which is a part of execution). I’m happy to finally get started with something even though I don’t really “like” cars or detailing or cleaning.
I have some mobile detailing lead gens.

There's a quiet time of year (namely, colder weather) and there's only so many jobs that can be done in a day.

As mentioned here already in the thread, start where you are and when you have the customer base, add an employee or two for scaling purposes.

If you're in Canada, what's the reason that people need to detail their car? From living in snowy climates, I'm guessing it's the toll paintwork?

Can you drill down on why people need to invest in a detailer? What are the benefits to the owner of the vehicle.

Another route is to reach out to dealerships or companies who have fleets of vehicles that need washing. Bus charter companies are also in need of help if they outsource. If you can land these kind of contracts, it's easier to scale quicker.
 

SSTrey

Contributor
Read Fastlane!
May 24, 2021
61
43
It was after I received an email from a retailer, denying my part-time job application, when I felt the pressure rising. My micro-FTE. A few days earlier, I remember feeling a sense of relief when I got the interview, I was so convinced I’d be working again. I was supposed to go and apply to more retail jobs. I don’t know if it was social anxiety, or laziness, or my brain stopping me from wanting to work another job with a boss, but I couldn’t get myself to go and apply in person. Fast forward to job rejection day: the realization of what I needed to do hit me right after I opened the email with my rejection. I need to start working on a business, now.

I’ve edged in life before, and now it takes on a different format. In my (ex) strict aviation college program, I was placed on probation every other semester. At one point I was taking a probation exam. Had I scored 2% lower, I would have been booted out of the program. Due to authoritarianism, I had to leave my program and halt my pursuit of becoming a commercial pilot.

Now I am edging financially. Thankfully, I genuinely learned that money doesn’t buy happiness. Although it helps, your mind is the ultimate factor for being happy and fulfilled. Your self-consciousness of knowing that you are in a position of growth beats having a large bank balance. I am now $20k in debt, less than $200 in the bank, but I am reassured that this will probably be the last time in my life that I’m broke. Luckily, I am 21 and living with my parents. I am now uniquely positioned in my life to go from a slowlaner to a sidewalker to a fastlaner. Resilience is how I am going to go from working as a grocery delivery driver to reaching the beautiful process of the unscripted , fastlane dogma.

As MJ preaches, FTE’s have the capacity to propel your life into a ruthless pursuit of Fastlane entrepreneurship. I cannot attest to having a singular large FTE, and I believe this is what happens to people who were not contrarians to the mainstream world views before (most of the time). In my case, I’ve been trying to piece the puzzle together in the past few years, and finally decided that I just need to do… something. Anything. I’m tired of action faking, I’m tired of being picky, I’m tired of analysis paralysis, I’m tired of having an ego that “I can make a way better business than that” so I end up just circle jerking and doing nothing, I’m tired of looking to God to give me an idea that I could work with, I’m tired of dismissing everything, I’m tired of making excuses, I’m tired of wanting to avoid small problems. I just want to do something rather than nothing.


I’ve decided to go into mobile car detailing. Do I think this follows CENTS? Not necessarily. I just need to do something. My main issue right now is determining a value skew. Also, as a disclaimer, I have just started to look into this yesterday. I will look at local competition, research how to get the job done, and deal with the rest of my problems as I go.

So here’s what I’m going to do:


  • I will continue to work as a grocery delivery driver. This will allow me to be flexible on time.
  • I will invest that money into a few things:
    • A vacuum and a pressure washer
    • Cleaning/detailing products
    • A website (landing page)
    • Google ads
    • Facebook ads
  • I will post on Kijiji (Canada’s craigslist) and facebook marketplace (I don’t have facebook so idk how this works)
  • I will find a single person who would pay me to drive to their house and wash/detail their car.
  • I will figure out how to do that by watching youtube videos and asking my friend who worked as a detailer.
  • I will practice on my car.

I don’t care about anything after this point right now.

I’d also appreciate pointers on how to validate the business given the relatively low barrier of entry. Like I mentioned earlier, I would encourage to give me different ways to think about value skew. Please let me know if there are any fundamental mind blocks/ points of inexperience/ obvious setbacks/ wrong mindsets I have.

This is my “first business”. I will make mistakes along the way. But I’m damn happy that I even wrote this piece today (which is a part of execution). I’m happy to finally get started with something even though I don’t really “like” cars or detailing or cleaning.
I think everyone's FTE moment is the seed driver to continuous pivotal growth. My attitude toward freedom comes from a point of EXECUTION. It matters less what you do, and more about just doing it.

I own a SAAS mobile platform/marketplace operating in South Africa & Mauritius currently, we are expanding into various African countries right now.
Feedback from my onboarded mobile auto service providers is always 2 things:
1. Scale --> They battle with reaching enough users. There definitely is business available city wide but they can't service far enough customers due to price and operational limitations. (To travel further means more expenses which means higher price points - margin is affected).
2. Cost/Price --> Customers have an average range price they willing to pay for a service. Above which they won't be interested and will just drive nearby to a brick and mortar business instead - this destroys your value skew.

You need to find a way to achieve more scale with lower expenses so you can keep reasonable price points with enough margins to be profitable and to grow more.

I hope this helps. Feel free to message me for help or a chat.
 

SC87Dominik

Contributor
Feb 3, 2022
12
37
Currently under $30 in my bank account. Just got a part time detailing job at enterprise. This way I can learn the basics, have a lot of free time, and most importantly acquire potential leads. Talked to the dude working there and he said people ask him if he's got his own gig going on so I see opportunity. Watched a few vids here and there to get more accustomed to the work. I will continue updating as I see fit.
 
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