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Starting car valeting detailing business

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Markvalet, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. Markvalet

    Markvalet UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 1
    Hi everyone

    I am currently starting a new mobile Valeting and Detailing business, I have a few regular customers, have done all the usual advertising, website Facebook Instagram Google business cards. With the above places advertised I have not been getting much response, looking for any pointers to help. This is something I am doing on weekends and on evenings but want to do this full time and have an accreditation course booked in with Slim's Detailing.
    Thank you in advance for any advice
    Posted: Jul 28, 2020 By: Markvalet Member since: Jul 27, 2020
  2. Darren_Ssc

    Darren_Ssc UKBF Ace Free Member

    1,088 311
    Since every man and his dog are doing this now you have to play the long game. Do the best job you can, be reliable and honest even if that means you lose money some times.

    In short, plan to be around after most other people have given up and moved on to something else. There isn't a magic advertising system that's suddenly going to have your turning customers away.
    Posted: Jul 28, 2020 By: Darren_Ssc Member since: Mar 1, 2019
  3. getsetgonline

    getsetgonline UKBF Regular Full Member

    384 14
    Start building a social media profile and post regular offers and engaging content.

    Concentrate on your strengths and maybe specialise in a particular niche - perhaps start up packages for new businesses. As many people are now taking the decision to work for themselves this is a growing area.

    Regarding valeting, as you work weekends and evenings this is already a selling point. Flexible service for all clients.

    Best of luck
    Posted: Jul 28, 2020 By: getsetgonline Member since: Oct 10, 2006
  4. mattk

    mattk UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    2,227 828
    Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer. Presumably you're not targeting the person who washes their own car on their drive, so you'll be aiming at the lazy (that's me) who currently pays a tenner at the hand car wash.

    How much do you charge?
    What do you do that the hand car wash doesn't? Clean water, two buckets etc.?
    Emphasis the convenience - presumably you'll come to my home?

    If you're aiming for the really high end all day jobbos, then I'd suggest car forums, owners clubs and personal recommendations.

    Not really a recommendation for right now, but I always found it strange when I used to work at an office with 1,000 cars parked outside and no one came around and offered to clean them. Seemed like an untapped gold mine.
    Posted: Jul 28, 2020 By: mattk Member since: Dec 5, 2005
  5. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

    23,486 2,835
    Companies often do not want people who don't work there wandering around the car park, they think liability and think problems.
    Allow one service and you have no grounds not to allow another.

    Perhaps the people rejected by 20 companies from washing cars on their car parks don't bother trying company 21.
    Posted: Jul 28, 2020 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
  6. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,236 1,193
    With marketing, it's not what you do but how you do it. Any of the promotional tools you tried would have worked if done well. You need to work out why what you tried didn't work, not try new things.
    Posted: Jul 28, 2020 By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
  7. Markvalet

    Markvalet UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 1
    Thank you to all of you for the suggestions there is a few things in every post for me to think about with what I want to do :).
    Posted: Jul 28, 2020 By: Markvalet Member since: Jul 27, 2020
  8. cts1975

    cts1975 UKBF Regular Full Member

    221 39
    My view with car valeting is you have 2 types of customers. 90% of people will take it for a quick £10 lash over with some TFR and Highstyle on the tyres. The other 10% will be car enthusiasts who will see cleaning/detailing their own car themselves as a nice thing to do at weekends.
    Stick to doing it in your spare time and at weekends. You'll enjoy it more as you won't have the stress of running a full time business mainly competing with people who do valeting/detailing in their spare time at the weekend!
    Posted: Jul 29, 2020 at 2:14 PM By: cts1975 Member since: Apr 29, 2012
  9. Awinner2

    Awinner2 UKBF Regular Free Member

    478 110
    The company that my son works for in Leeds had a local car guy come in every 2 weeks to valet the director's cars and any of the staff who wanted it done too. Now due to CV19 there are no cars at the office as those still working are working from home. So the car guy has lost out for now but still works from his factory unit down the road. And is still busy. To get more clients as suggested use your local FB pages with regular posts showing before and after images, get your own vehicle sign written, and keep it in tiptop condition as an advert for your business, And good luck with your new business.
    Posted: Jul 29, 2020 at 3:18 PM By: Awinner2 Member since: Aug 4, 2017
  10. Mitch3473

    Mitch3473 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,117 273
    As mentioned above, every man and his dog is valeting, you have to be savvy, think 'Old School'.
    Back in the late 80's I set up a mobile valeting operation, granted no one else was doing it, I eventually sold out my 4 van operation to one of the guys working for me...sorry to go on but....There was no social meedya in those days and nowadays it's just too polluted with crap hence go Old School...
    My first clients, several hundred if I remember rightly came from a thing we used to call 'a mail shot' Basically a LETTER explaining who you are, what you do and possibly how you do it, to the MDs, Operation managers, CEO, Chairmen of local businesses etc etc. These letters fell on the desks, right in front of the people you want as clients, from one man bands to the boardrooms of many multi national companies. My initial response rate was about 5% and I sent out 3 x 1000 of these, drip fed over a period of 2-3 months . More enquiries followed as introductor letters can be saved or pinned up....
    You will need someone proffesional to write you an introductory letter explaining yourself and the business and you will need a company that will supply up to date names and addresses of all business owners etc etc in, lets say, a 10 mile radius. ( you could do it yourself but it's extremely time consuming and soul destroying ) These companies usually offer a letter stuffing and postage/delivery service, being cheaper than the Royal Mail.
    I'll bet my house that your local competitors wont have done this and you will stand out clearly above all the other aimless facebooking and emailing they will have done.

    Note, Charge more than your competitors and stand out above the crowd.
    Posted: Jul 29, 2020 at 4:54 PM By: Mitch3473 Member since: Aug 25, 2011
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  11. Markvalet

    Markvalet UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 1

    I like the idea of this and something I never thought of thank you very much it's something that I can explain my approach to valeting car's. :)
    Posted: Jul 29, 2020 at 6:31 PM By: Markvalet Member since: Jul 27, 2020
  12. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,236 1,193
    Are you valeting or detailing? I think I usually pay £75 for a valet, and about £600 for detailing. They aren't the same business model, and can't be treated as such.
    Posted: Jul 29, 2020 at 7:46 PM By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
  13. Markvalet

    Markvalet UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    4 1
    I will eventually be doing both will be doing a course on the detailing in September depending on how things go with Covid19.
    Posted: Jul 29, 2020 at 8:01 PM By: Markvalet Member since: Jul 27, 2020
  14. AllUpHere

    AllUpHere UKBF Ace Free Member

    3,236 1,193
    They are very different markets. If you are going to do both make sure that the kind of clients for whom you valet, are also likely to need detailing work carried out on occasion. If you focus on 'washing cars' nobody is going to take you seriously as a detailer. You want to be expensive.
    Posted: Jul 29, 2020 at 8:06 PM By: AllUpHere Member since: Jun 30, 2014
  15. Tin

    Tin Just an SEO Staff Member

    5,937 1,647
    I've got a guy in my course, he joined last July and he does primarily detailing, secondary valeting. I gave him some help and he ranks number 1 in Google for one of his keywords and number 2 for the other keyword. Both keywords target his county (it's his patch) and he was doing extremely well but Corona knocked him back for a few months . Have you checked how many people are looking for detailing in your area? It might be worth checking.
    Posted: Jul 29, 2020 at 8:29 PM By: Tin Member since: Nov 14, 2005
  16. billybob99

    billybob99 UKBF Regular Free Member

    1,617 492
    Is having 7 guys all over your car, armed to the teeth with all sorts of brushes and liquids considered detailing?
    Posted: Jul 30, 2020 at 12:51 AM By: billybob99 Member since: Apr 23, 2013
  17. Talktime

    Talktime UKBF Newcomer Free Member

    1 0
    In the 1990's a mate of mine that a mobile car valeting business, and came to me for marketing ideas.

    I created a mailing list of local car dealerships in the area and sent them a mailshot offering outsourced new and used car valeting and washing down the car on the front forecourts.

    It worked! he had a full book for regular work that kept him busy all week and earned about £50K a year, a substantial sum back then, but he did have some very high profile car dealerships on his books.

    I'm not a professional marketer but may have told me I have the knack for it.
    Posted: Jul 31, 2020 at 1:58 AM By: Talktime Member since: Jul 19, 2016