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Do you want to start a business that doesn’t require a lot of money?

This is a follow up article to our post about part-time business ideas. One of the part-time business ideas in our post called – 76 Part Time Businesses You Can Start Now – is car detailing.

There are six major challenges you need to address to start your own mobile detailing business.

The first is to determine if you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur.  Check out this article to determine if entrepreneurship is a good fit for you.

Having your eyes wide open to the challenges and rewards in the world of entrepreneurs is the first step in building a successful business.

The second is to determine your company name and register it.  Before you start your own mobile detailing business, give some thought to the image you want to portray to the world. Many new entrepreneurs use their own name for their company – ie: Bob’s Mobile Detailing.  While this may sound good to you as you plan to start your own mobile detailing business, there are a few reasons not to be tempted by this easy name choice.

The name of your company should say something about the kind of work you will do – not just the detailing but the quality of your work.  Here is a quick example of that thought process – A-1 Quality Mobile Detailing – this name has impact in a number of ways.  It says that the service is top notch.  As well, it will come up first or very early in a search for mobile detailers (whether in the phone book or on the web).  And even more importantly, you can sell that business down the road to someone named Sam and he can carry on the great reputation you have built under that company name.

The third is to obtain a business license.  Once you have your business name registered you can go ahead and get a business license.  First determine the department to approach for an application.  Calling your local City Hall will give you that information.  The process you will need to go through varies widely across the country as do the fees.  Be aware too that you may need two or even three licenses depending on the services you will be providing.

Will you only do detailing?  Are you planning to sell vehicle care products as well?  Are you planning to add other service e.g. minor mechanical repairs/maintenance? – changing oil, tires and the like?

The fourth is to determine what kinds of marketing tactics you will use to advertise your new business.  For some people the marketing of their business comes easily.  They are outgoing and have a sales type personality that makes it easy for them to distribute cards and flyers while chatting up people who might be interested in utilizing their services.  For these people print tools are good.  For others, while they might be excellent at doing the detailing job, the thought of making cold calls makes them feel just that – cold!  For these folks, the best route is the web.  A basic website is easy to develop and inexpensive to maintain.  Your website can easily introduce your company name and logo, list the services you deliver and provide your most up to date hours of operation and fees for services.

Further down, when you explore your needs for tools and equipment, you will see that your service vehicle can be a large billboard for your business.  Developing a logo with impact and having that placed on your service vehicle along with your contact details will be highly effective.

Of course both personalities can use all mediums to advertise.  It is up to you to determine what works best for you in terms of your personality and your advertising budget.

The fifth is to gather the tools required to do the job well.  This includes a reliable service vehicle and all the tools, equipment and supplies you will need to start your own mobile detailing business.

First the vehicle – It may seem obvious to you that the vehicle(s) you use for your business should be maintained in tip top condition to advertise your business.  However, we’ve all heard the old stories about the shoe maker’s children going barefoot and the Doctor’s children being ill.  Keep in mind that when you start your own mobile detailing business your vehicle will be one of your greatest advertising tools.  A sparkling service vehicle with a well-designed logo and lettering will draw business your way.

Next – you will want to explore detailing tools and products to ensure you have reliable equipment as well as a range of products to offer customers when you detail their vehicles.  Think in terms of equipment to wash and polish exteriors including chrome, glass, wheels and paint.  As well, you will need interior tools from vacuums and a rug/upholstery shampooer to multiple products for leather, vinyl, chrome and glass.  Research the best products for your business. The important part here is that you don’t need to spend a fortune on equipment. You can start with simple of used equipment. Once your business takes off you can invest more money in tools and equipment.

And finally, in the preparation of tools, equipment and supplies, spend the time to prepare your service vehicle with shelves and hooks or at least well labelled bins to keep everything in good order and easily accessible while you work.

The sixth, and probably most important, ongoing challenge for a new entrepreneur is to always maintain a positive attitude with yourself and your customers.  Keep in mind that with consistent passion, perseverance and positivity you will build a solid clientele and move confidently toward making a profit while providing a service you enjoy doing.

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