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How to Start a Car Detailing Business from Home

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Home » Blog » ABCs of Car Detailing » How to Start a Car Detailing Business from Home

If you’ve tried looking for a job without much success, you may want to consider starting your own business. It’s an efficient way to earn a decent income while becoming your own boss. Talking of business, why not consider starting a car detailing business from home?

Auto detailing is a versatile business that yields attractive profits and has a strong customer base. It entails the comprehensive upkeep of a car’s appearance both on the inside and outside. Your tasks include vacuuming the floors, getting rid of stubborn stains, maintaining the gloss of the paint, and giving the windows a streak-free shine.

If you’re responsible and dedicated enough to the course, you can become a full-time home-based car detailer. Once the business breaks even, you'll quickly be able to pay off the initial expenses, and from that point, there's no limit to how much your business can grow.


Getting Started

If you think this is something you'd like to do, you're probably wondering how you can get started. Read along for the ultimate guide on how to start a car detailing business from home.

1. Training is Essential

Your car detailing business will only be successful if you know the essentials and tricks of what it entails. Training may seem unnecessary, but it’ll help to have in-depth knowledge of how to fix some car issues. Understanding how cars work is also vital, not forgetting that there’s a lot that goes into detailing.

Through training, you’ll get to understand the physical demands of the job. For example, it requires that you crouch and bend very often. You also need to know how to work with a variety of cleaning supplies and power tools.

We've designed an online course specific to car detailing and new hires. We use the online course as a resource tool to hire new employees with zero car detailing experience. The online course is very budget friendly and takes about four hours to complete. Topics include: how to hand wash, basic interior detailing, comprehensive interior shampoo and basic paint protection application.

We've had tremendous success in onboarding new hires in about two weeks time into our working car detailing business.

Product Description - Detailer Course

You can further your training by working for a pre-existing car detailing company to get hands-on experience. Alternatively, you can learn online by doing plenty of research and watching tutorial videos by experts in the field (such as the case with the above video).

2. Certification and Licensing

Before taking the next step, check what your local zoning board says about this business. You need to know if it allows auto detailing businesses to be done from home. If your home is not zoned for commercial use, you may have to request a variance to run the business.

You then need to register a name for your business to obtain licenses for operation and incorporation. Consider establishing a legal business entity that will protect you from personal losses in case the company is sued.

Other legal aspects of the auto detailing business to take care of include tax registration. The first step for this is to apply for a business licenses. You'll need both federal business registry by visiting the CRA website and also visiting your local provincial registration body as well.

Below is a curated video from the Canadian Business Network which offers great information you'll need to get your car detailing business up and running.

Additional measure you want to look at includes getting business insurance to cover you against any unnecessary liability while working on customer vehicles. 

3. Acquire the Essential Business Tools

One of the good things about an auto detailing business is the low startup costs. You don’t need to invest thousands of dollars as you start, neither do you have to initially buy expensive equipment.

Some vital equipment to get you started includes:

You also need cleaning agents like car shampoo, wax and polish, window cleaners, and spot remover to name a few. With an investment of about $3,000, you’ll be good to go with your venture. You can buy more and bigger equipment depending on the amount of money you have, or save this for later.

4. Create a Marketing Plan

You have the skills and tools required, but one thing is still missing to get you started: customers. Marketing skills are among the most critical aspects of running any successful business. Upselling and cross-selling are crucial skills you'll need to grow your venture.

Below we curated a great short video highlighting some important steps to take when creating a marketing plan.

Once you start selling a set of services to customers, you can successfully entice them to purchase extras. This will be pretty useful in increasing your profit margins.

One way to market your business is to detail your car. The work you do on your car will speak for itself and show potential customers what to expect. Remember that every car owner you meet and every vehicle you see is a potential client.

Below we've complied a cheat sheet to help you with your marketing efforts in attracting new customers:

  • Build a website and setup your Google My Business Page
  • Setup Social Media accounts and start branding your services 
  • Create flyers and setup a local mail out in your area
  • Advertise using Google Adwords & on social media platforms 

In today's fast past digital world it's very important to develop a firm understanding on the business-side of car detailing to have long-term success.

Our car detailing resource guide is an excellent starting point to get your business-side up and running.

5. Open a Business Account

Amazon Your Garage

For personal asset protection, it's ideal to both both incorporate your business and then setup a business bank account purely for your business. Mixing your business and personal accounts sets you up for financial and legal trouble. Your personal finances will be at risk if your company finds itself in the middle of a legal suit.

A separate business account also makes accounting easier more transparent for tax filing. Remember to get a business credit card which will help build your company’s credit history. This will come in handy when you need to raise money or invest later on.

Don’t forget to set up and maintain good business accounting practices. This will help in understanding the financial performance of the business and will simplify your annual tax filing.

6. Grow as the Business Booms

With time, you’ll find it necessary to make further investments in your business. One of these will entail relocating your business to an actual business location where customers can find you. You'll also need to hire a workforce as demand for your services grows.

Don’t entirely do away with mobile operations. Some commercial accounts may require that you go to them for the detailing work. Some clients may also not always want to come to your workshop.

Finally, don't remain static in your skills. New detailing methods will keep emerging along the line. Be sure to stay relevant in the industry by retraining every so often to keep up with new approaches.

Final Words

Learning how to start a car detailing business from home is something you can easily do if you have the right information. Equip yourself with the most appropriate set of skills to ensure you can deliver what your clients need.

Get the necessary documents and certifications. Once the business sets off, there's no limit as to what you can achieve through the venture.

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