As a detail shop business owner, the question you need to ask is why should I add any additional services other than detailing and washing cars. Why add window tinting? Why add bumper scratch and scuff repair services? Why add paint chip repair? Why? It’s simple, actually. Profits. The lifeblood of any business. Just like profits, detailing businesses need additional profit centers to survive.
Detailing Shops Need Additional Profit Centers to Survive
Detailing services are considered a commodity business. I don’t care how good you are or how loyal you believe your customers are. There is always going to be somebody out there running a business out of their home that can undercut your prices. If you rely on your current customers or pricing levels, you are setting yourself up for failure. Detailing shops need additional profit centers to survive and hedge their bets against business downturns and pricing pressure.
There are so many things that can happen to cars while they are driving that the possible ways for you to improve profits in your shop become almost endless. The issue though is time and money with the learning process. You need to learn how to do bumper scratch and scuff repair services before you can offer it to customers and make sure you are doing it perfectly. Detailing a car is one thing, but when you tell a car owner that you are going to make their scratched and scuffed-up bumper look new again, you better be able to perform as expected. Otherwise, your reputation will suffer and so will your bank account if you end up having to pay another business to fix your work.
The great part about having so many options is that you get to pick and choose the services that you want to offer. One of the things
that we did in our shop was simply found in local one-man operators that did the service that we were looking for and then add that to our offered services list. This got our name out there as being an expert in this area even though we weren’t actually the one’s performing the work. As you can see from the picture at the right, adding Bumper Scratch and Scuff Repair services is not something you can just decide to do overnight. You need to get some training on a few things, but mainly these primary areas of skills development:
- First and foremost, you need to get great a properly mixing paint for the exact color match to the car you are painting. This is harder than it sounds because even the tiniest percentage off in mixing the paint and your bumper scratch and scuff repair won’t match the rest of the car.
- Second and just as important, you need to practice spraying techniques to get your proper spraying pattern down. Spray too heavy and it will run. Not enough and you will need to go back and recoat several more times. Another problem area when spraying is applying too light a coat and then recoating several times after with the same density. This results in an almost powder coating type texture like a lot of outdoor furniture. Obviously none of these results will sit well with your customer. They are paying you for perfection and in their minds a bumper scratch and scuff repair will look like that section of their car is brand new again.
There are other areas that you will learn as you get trained on the proper ways to do the bumper scratch and scuff repair services, but issues like masking the car properly, having adequate ventilation and lighting, using the right sprayer and always wearing a respirator are a few that come to mind as being important.
One of the things that just amazed me was how much more credibility and respect we starting getting from local dealers and our own clients when we added these specialty bumper scratch and scuff repair services. It was like we were “just detailers” before, but now we can do things that a limited number of other people in town could do well. I also immediately noticed the quality and experience levels of job applicants at our shop improved dramatically because we advertised all of our services, including specialty add-ons like bumper scratch and scuff repair services and the fact that we provide on-the-job training. Employees will take a pay cut for things like quality training and even moreso for benefits. This also greatly improved our shop profitability because I could add a $300 bumper scratch and scuff repair add-on charge to a $150 detail and my profit ratios went through the roof. Supply costs are basically just the paint, some mixing equipment, sprayers and a larger compressor than you probably use now unless you have all air buffers, which usually isn’t the case.
I could probably write for days on this subject, but I figured I would post this and get some new information uploaded to our new auto detailing news and updates board. If you have some comments or questions you would like to add, we welcome the participation. Please complete our 2 question member form and that will give you access to post to areas of the site.
Thanks for stopping by and let us know if there’s anything we can help you get answered.