A mobile detailing business is a realistic startup opportunity that can be carried out by anybody with an eye for detail. Mobile detailing companies have several major advantages over similar businesses that operate from land-based premises. Most importantly, overheads are nonexistent once a trailer has been purchased and equipped. Furthermore, owners can take their business directly to the customer, which is beneficial for advertisements and sales campaigns. Finally, a successful mobile detailing business can reproduce its operational formula to put more trailers out on the road as the company grows.
Draw up a business plan and decide how your trailer is going to be funded and equipped. Keep equipment and material projections to a minimum in the early stages to minimize capital expenditure and determine how you will advertise to draw in business. Take the business plan to your bank and talk over your ideas with a business adviser, who will be able to give you advice on grants, loans and other financial incentives that may be available to you.
Purchase a trailer from a reputable local dealer or online resource (see Resources). Ensure the trailer is going to be big enough to cope with your business requirements.
Establish how your trailer is going to be powered. Consider the use of a compressor that operates on a bank of rechargeable batteries if you intend to use air-powered tools. Use a generator if you are going to be using electrical tools. Find a location for your power unit that makes use of hidden space so you have easy access to your other tools and products at all times.
Select a range of products you’d like to use and make an appointment with a sales representative to talk through your ideas. Tell the representative you’d like to use his polishes and compounds exclusively and see if a discount can be negotiated. Ask whether imprest stock can be installed into the trailer to minimize your own levels of financial risk. Negotiate a preferable deal that allows for free shelving and racking for the trailer. Agree to display advertising for the products and purchase merchandise such as caps and T-shirts to promote the materials yourself.
Obtain a water holding tank with enough capacity to carry out one full day of work. A minimum of 50 liters is recommended. Stock the trailer with all the tools you require including polishing mops, a power washer and electrical extension leads. Ensure ancillary products such as hand-washing equipment and waste disposal units are also available.
Use your trailer as a principle form of advertising by having the outside panels painted in your company colors and purchase transfers or signs that display your business name, the nature of your business and telephone contact details. Ensure the vehicle that pulls your trailer is carefully detailed as this can be used as another source of free advertising.