Starting a mobile detailing business can be a great way to make money and have freedom in your work schedule. However, there are a few steps you need to take in order to get started.
Here are the 10 steps you can take to get started on building your very own mobile detailing business.
10 Steps to Launching a New Mobile Detailing Business
1. Choose Your Type of Mobile Detailing Business
The first step in launching a mobile detailing business is to identify the type of mobile detailing business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- Car interior and exterior detailing
- Boat cleaning and detailing
- RV cleaning and detailing
2. Name Your Mobile Detailing Business
Give your mobile detailing business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your mobile detailing business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your mobile detailing business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that potential customers will be motivated to use your services.
3. Determine Your Mobile Detailing Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for a mobile detailing business including:
- B2C (business-to-consumer): You offer detailing services directly to the customer.
- B2B (business-to-business): You partner with other businesses, such as car dealerships or auto body shops, to provide them with mobile detailing services for their customers.
- Franchise: You buy into a franchise that provides a mobile detailing business model and support system for your mobile business.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the services you offer.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your mobile detailing business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your mobile detailing business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common mobile detailing business structures.
5. Write a Mobile Detailing Business Plan
All mobile detailing business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
Read our article about how to write a mobile detailing business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your mobile detailing business.
For example, you will need to obtain a business license, as well as a permit, to discharge wastewater.
You must also register your mobile detailing business as a legal entity with the state where you plan to do business. You can simply file an online form through your Secretary of State website.
Registering with the federal government is also essential so you can properly pay taxes for your business. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for at the IRS website, if you plan to hire employees.
Read our article about obtaining the proper mobile detailing business licenses.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your mobile detailing business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your mobile detailing business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your mobile detailing business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting a mobile detailing business to help you determine if funding is needed.
Read our article about how to fund your mobile detailing business.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your mobile detailing business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in additional software to manage your appointments, customers, and bookings. There are many software programs available that offer a wide range of features, so it’s important to choose the one that’s right for your business.
Read our article about the technology and software you need to run a mobile detailing business.
9. Market Your Mobile Detailing Business to Potential Clients
Before you start selling your services, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your services and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the mobile detailing industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. Mobile detailing businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Distribute flyers and business cards in high-traffic areas
- Offer a free mobile detailing service to generate word-of-mouth buzz
- Participate in local fairs and car shows
- Advertise in local publications that cater to your target market
Read our article about how to market your mobile detailing business for more tips.
10. Get New Clients & Grow Your Business
When you promote your services, you’ll start to get interest from potential clients.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these clients. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your mobile detailing business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your mobile detailing business to learn more.
Starting a Mobile Detailing Business FAQs
There are many reasons to start a mobile detailing business. Mobile businesses have low overhead costs, are convenient for customers and offer a great way to earn income while being your own boss.
Mobile businesses continue growing in popularity because they are so convenient for customers. Customers appreciate not having to take their car to a shop and wait for hours or even days to get their car detailed.
There are a few key things you need to start a successful mobile detailing business:
- A passion for cars and detail-oriented work
- A customer-centric focus
- The right technology and software
- Marketing materials and promotional strategies
- The right team to help you grow your business
Here are a few tips to help you start your mobile detailing business:
- Choose the right location. You need a space large enough to store your equipment and supplies, as well as room to work on cars.
- Get the necessary permits and licenses. You may need a business license, and depending on your location, you may need a special permit to operate a business from your home.
- Invest in the right technology and software. You need a computer and printer to create invoices, and you may want to invest in additional software to manage your appointments, customers, and bookings.
- Promote your business. You need to let people know you exist and that you offer mobile detailing services. Consider promoting your business online and offline, through social media, flyers, and word-of-mouth.
- Train your team. If you plan on growing your business, you’ll need to train additional staff members on how to provide mobile detailing services.
- Get new clients and grow your business. Once you start promoting your business, you’ll begin to get interest from potential clients. Be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs, and find and train the right people to help you grow your mobile detailing business.
- Consider franchising. If you want to grow your mobile detailing business quickly, franchising may be the right option for you. Franchises offer many benefits, including name recognition, marketing support, and access to a proven business model.
A simple checklist to use when starting a mobile detailing business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of Mobile Detailing Firm: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your Mobile Detailing Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your Mobile Detailing Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write a Mobile Detailing Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your Mobile Detailing Business to Potential Clients: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the services they truly need.
- Get Clients & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your services.
Starting a mobile detailing business can be a great way to make money while working from home. It can be an especially good option for entrepreneurs who are already familiar with car care and cleaning products. There are many things to consider when starting a mobile detailing business, such as choosing the type of business, naming it, writing a business plan, and getting the necessary permits and licenses. Marketing your business to potential clients is also crucial. If you follow these steps, you’ll be on your way to starting a successful mobile detailing business.