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Posted by turboman 
January 10, 2002 05:10PM
I wanted to throw this out to you all of you. I am new here, and I ask many stupid questions, I also notice a little competitive spirit amoung the professionals on this board. I will be the first to say that my knowledge is limited in this businuss. That does not stop me for pursuing this hobby/passion of detailing. Many of you already have helped me a great deal, and I will continue to seek help on my road in this field. I wanted to know how some of you advertise (without spending lots of cash) for your services? My situation is this. I work about 30 hours a week as a commodity broker, I cut back my hours to spend more time detailing. I work part time at a car wash/detail center near my home and I have acquired many repeat customers because of my work. I take pride in what I do, and know my limitations. I have earned the respect of many owners, one of which is letting me do a 41 ford and a vintage rolls this spring. I will admitt, before I attempt these cars you will see many questions from me later on. I have printed an advertsing sheet for my services and have dropped them off at business/homes, but the response has not been what I thought. Any suggestions on how to get the word out beyond getting customers through the shop? thanks guys.....the turboman

Re: advertising
January 10, 2002 05:36PM
The key to this business, seriously, is word of mouth. My first year was HARD, I had to go out and talk to people that I dont know everyday and try to act professional to someone new every 5 minutes. Dropping flyers doesnt really help much, you have to talk face to face with them, unless can afford a yellow pages add.

If you find a customer that you make friends with, that helps too, especially if they have a big mouth! Every detailer I talk to says the first year is a bitch, its a little over a year since I started my business, now its WAY better. It takes time to build a clientele. Good luck, hope that helped.
Re: advertising
January 10, 2002 08:16PM
Dan, thanks. Can I ask if you own/rent/lease space? did you jump right in the first year? I know some people in the sun belt can afford a mobile wash deal, but in Chicago, forget that deal. I guess I'm fortunate in that I have another job to fall back on, so this detail business is more of a hobby. so making money is not my #1 priority. (although it is nice) face to face is the key. My first Ferrari I got was by seeing one parked in front of a store, going in and asking who owned it. After a half hour of talking to the owner, I convinced him to give me a try. After his second car and his wife's car, I proved myself worthy of the Ferrari. I love this work so much that I wish I could do it full-time...I guess thats why I'm on this board...who know's what the futrue holds........now if I only had Todd's clients, I'd be set

Re: advertising
January 11, 2002 03:14AM
That is another key, sorting out all of the @!#$ customers. I am mobile and work out of a '99 ford e250, I can get 3 cars detailed a day, I average 300 a day, Im pretty happy since it is only my second year. I have NO advertising except for the sign I have while working and word of mouth. dont get me wrong, detailing a Ferarri is tricky, but the more challenging cars are the neglected ones. Good luck, and always keep learning.
Re: advertising
January 11, 2002 05:18PM
i worked for a guy that had a fixed shop in a good location. in the winter when it would slow down, we would send out flyers advertising specials. the major problem that i had with this(of course me, because i was doing all the work!)was that there is a certain segment of the population that will not respond to anything otherthan a coupon(coupon clippers, discount shoppers etc..)these people will usually not get anything done until they think they are getting it dirt cheap. and they usually expect more. word of mouth always worked best for us and once we got somebody "hooked" on the good job we did, it was always easier to maintain because they would come back every couple of months and sometimes with a friends car. btw, i grew up with a family full of coupon shoppers!
Re: advertising
January 14, 2002 06:29AM
Here is a promotional idea that I've seen work well and can be easily repeated.

Invite a local car club to a detail demonstration day at your shop. You could do a club members car while explaining what you do. I'll bet many of you are extremely skilled at talking about your craft and would be a big hit.

Your cost outlay would be minimal. You might want to serve coffee and sodas, as well as some munchies. You know, donuts, chips and dips, maybe a vegetable platter.

A few people might just take your ideas and do it themselves but others will see the expertise and work that is involved and gladly turn the task over to you. Car enthusiasts are great at word of mouth advertising which, as pointed out in an earlier, post is valuable.

You'll want to hand out some discount coupons and maybe a free detailing job as a door prize. I know my local Southern California Miata club had a detailing seminar a few years ago and although I did not attend, I was told it was a great success.


Paul Pollock
WebCars Webmaster
Re: advertising
January 15, 2002 06:40AM
An excellent theory indeed!
Re: advertising
January 16, 2002 12:48PM
I took a bold step in regard to this subject the other day. I made an appointment at Remax Reality in town to put on a presentation on my services. I figured these people drive around customers all day showing houses, and are dressed in nice clothes. I talked for about 10 minutes and the response was fantastic. I got 4 appointments from that seminar. The business is out their, all you have to do is go get it. In the spring I plan on putting on some classes on automotive car care. I haven't had this much fun since I played in a rock band........

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