My Wild Journey to a Crazy Profitable Detailing Business
My story is like many detailers. I started as a small detail shop and over 20-years grew it into a multi-million dollar, multi-location business with 25 employees. My motto “Where Cleaning is a Profitable Religion” took awhile to develop. Early on, I realized the opportunities for specialty cleaning was so much more than just detailing cars. I added teams with five mobile detailing rigs that traveled to commercial locations across multiple states. Eventually, I added industrial and specialty cleaning to our services. While other shops in my area were buying cold water pressure washers, I was cleaning commercial trucking fleets with multiple hot water pressure washers on the back of 18-wheeler flatbeds. Detailing is an amazingly fun and sometimes dangerously wild business. And so profitable when you do it right.
At AutoDetailGuide.com, our motto ““Where Cleaning is a Religion” isn’t just something we say. It’s how we live. Detailers are cut from a different cloth. We see dirt where others see nothing. We look at car paint and notice even the smallest imperfections. The art of cleaning perfection is our mission. It’s how we roll. Many detailers know how to clean cars like a pro, but have no idea about keeping their business consistently profitable. That’s why ADG is here.
I’ve cleaned everything from cars and 18-wheeler tractor trailers to multi-million dollar yachts, helicopters, and corporate jets. When you’re a genius at what you do, word gets around. Most detailers I talk to are happy cleaning cars. I tell them to be more open-minded about opportunities. Over 20 years in the detailing industry, one of my most profitable recurring cleaning gigs was being suspended from a bucket truck 40 feet in the air while steam cleaning industrial hammer presses in steel mills. I wore a rubber biohazard suit in 100-degree environments, firing steam at big metal steel anvils as my boots filled with sweat. It was incredible, and I loved every minute of it. You need to stop thinking of yourself as “just a car detailer”. In our business, we clean and detail the world. And get paid handsomely to do it.
When it comes to cleaning, I’ve been there and done that. It’s why I live and breath the “Where Cleaning is a Profitable Religion” motto even years after I sold my businesses. I retired at 40. Didn’t really want to, but there’s only so much wear and tear a body can take. Plus, the price was right. Now I write about my two decades building my detailing and specialty cleaning businesses. I love our industry and wanted to stay involved by sharing my experience with other detailers. My goal is to help others build their businesses, become profitable and achieve their dreams.
If you like the site, I welcome your feedback or questions. Either way, I appreciate you taking the time to stop by and visit. You can subscribe to the AutoDetailGuide E-Newsletter. We’re also very active on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. So consider following us there also.
If you don’t think insurance is important enough to protect yourself, consider it as a marketing ploy. Either way, regardless of how you look at it you can’t run a business without insurance. There are too many variables if you don’t have downside protection. That’s how we use it. I tell people it’s like hedging bets when you gamble in Vegas. You always want to have a downside limit to how much you can lose. If you have your life invested in your business and no insurance, your losses have the potential to be more than 100% of your investment.read more
I’m going to come right out and say it. 1099 contractors are almost always employees. Almost always is probably shooting low because as far as detail shops and similar businesses, you fail the IRS criteria test probably over 90% of the time. I know this may surprise some of you reading this, but if you didn’t think this was the case you probably wouldn’t be here reading this. I wrote 5 reasons your 1099 contractor is actually your employee to highlight this important compliance subject for small businesses.read more
Many detail shops have big problems classifying their employees correctly. Why? Mainly because some shop owners try to save a few bucks on the taxes paid for employees. So they think they can pull a fast one and pay their employees cash under the table. Even worse, some shop owners will tell their workers that they are “independent contractors” and just cut them a check each week. Either way, both methods are illegal. This behavior is the reason there are so many looming IRS problems for small business detail shops in this country. What’s worse is you hurt the people working for you. And you make the entire industry look like fly by night operators when you get caught.read more
This is awesome news. If there is one truck/SUV that I grew-up with that I loved more than nearly all other similar vehicles, it was the Ford Bronco SUV. You remember the square/boxy design? It was a man’s truck. There was no prettiness about it, just “here I am, love me for my brute force and power”.read more
Technology is affordable and not as complicated as you might believe. If you automatically think you can’t afford to improve your business with simple and inexpensive technology, eventually your competitors will if they haven’t already done so. Detail Shop Technology is one of the most important upgrades you should be making in your detail shop.read more
Adding profitable bumper scratch and scuff repair services to your existing detailing services is not an easy process. Let us show you how to get started.read more