How to Start a Mobile Auto Detailing Business

Being able to detail someone’s vehicle where they happen to be can create a business opportunity when on a budget. Because a physical office isn’t required, a mobile auto detailing business can often be started at home. Most of the cleaning supplies that you will need are also rather inexpensive and their purchases are often scalable. As long as you don’t mind going to parking lots, driveways, and anywhere else a customer may be in your community to clean a vehicle, you’ll have a potentially lucrative business opportunity.

There are a couple of disadvantages with a mobile auto detailing business. If it is raining outside, you’ll generally not be able to perform your services. You’ll also need enough space to bring the supplies you need to effectively clean, which includes a large amount of water. Here are some other steps that you’ll want to follow as well to get this business up off the ground.

1. Make it easy for your customers to be able to contact you.

Because your business will always be moving, you’ll need to have a way for your clients to communicate with you that is reliable. Have a cellular phone that is always on your hip and answer it whenever you can. Then secure a pickup truck, an SUV, a van, or even pull a trailer so that you can bring your supplies to the next job site. Insurance is also a must have since you’ll be liable for damages, chemical spills, tool breakdowns, and other private property damage if it occurs.

2. You’ll need to be licensed to perform work.

Your local clerk or Department of Revenue can let you know what business licenses you will need for a mobile auto detailing business. Everyone will need a general business license, but you may be required to collect sales tax or have permits to transport the cleaning materials. Some jurisdictions may forbid your presence unless you have written permission from the owner of the property – which may mean not being able to work in the parking lot of a business.

3. Begin to promote yourself to the community.

There are a number of different ways that you can promote yourself without having to spend a lot on the materials. The easiest way is to have magnetic signs printed up that can be affixed to your vehicle. Consider having business cards and fliers printed that you can leave on vehicles in parking lots. You can often save money on these costs by ordering the items online, but if you shop locally, you’ll begin to develop a network of relationships that can help bring in future work.

4. Don’t settle for retail cleaning chemical prices.

When your business is setup so that you can start to accept customers, then you’ll need to have materials on-hand so that you can do that work. Talk with distributors so that you can get wholesale prices on these items instead of shopping at your local retail outlets. You’ll wind up saving thousands at the wholesale price over the course of a year. Don’t forget to get cleaning tools as well, including buckets, brushes, squeegees, and any other tools you may need.

5. Determine how you’ll bring water to the job site.

A mobile auto detailing business needs to have water on the job site in order to provide comprehensive services. In a private driveway, that’s as simple as hooking up a hose to an outdoor faucet. On the 5th floor of a parking garage, however, there isn’t going to be a water source anywhere to be found. If you can bring a water supply tank with a pump or have a portable generator that you can bring along, then you’ll be able to provide full services everywhere you go.

6. Focus on the environment.

Chemicals damage the environment. Purchase green products whenever possible. Not only can this be a point of emphasis for your marketing, it will keep you out of trouble with local chemical disposal laws as you are detailing.

7. Now is the time to start getting into shape.

Running a mobile auto detailing business is very demanding. You need to have stamina that can last throughout the day so that every job receives a high quality finish. You’ll need to be healthy enough to do this work daily and be in good enough shape that your body won’t break down on you.

Knowing how to start a mobile auto detailing business means securing inventory, finding clients, and working hard for long hours at times. If you can follow these steps, then you may be able to begin building profits right away.