If you are looking to run an on-demand mobile car detailing service like Schmicko, then most likely, one of the main questions you need to consider is ‘What services should I offer?’.
During my decision-making process, I consulted several other mentors and business owners and received an array of answers. Some of those answers included
- Offer all services possible, not doing so is leaving money on the table – expand fast
- Focus small and niche down – grow slowly
Although both options offered their fair share of pros and cons, when it came for me to decide whether to offer car wash or car detailing or both, I found that starting small first was the way to go. Don’t get me wrong, growth and expansion are tremendous goals to strive for, for any business but growing too fast can be a double-edged sword, especially if you are new to the business. I realized that even growing at a slow pace still exposed me to many problems, often wondering how I would have managed if I had introduced all services at the one time.
If you’re new to business or even new to this industry, the best advice that I could give would be to start with a small, yet strong foundation, make mistakes and learn from it quickly. No matter how much planning or analysis we performed, problems existed inevitably.
My point is, cast your net wide and you may attract many problems beyond your reach and knowledge. In starting small with a few services, in this case, car wash services, I was able to address these problems without burning out and more importantly survive.
Detailing is at another level compared to car wash services and demands a greater level of expertise, knowledge, providers and of course its fair share of ‘tough customers’. Customers pay a much higher price for car detailing and that attracts a higher expectation for your services.
Get it wrong and it can be detrimental, especially in the beginning phase where you are trying to build social credibility and brand equity, a negative review can really tarnish all that. Understand that detailing involves abrasive products such as cutting compound, polish and machine buffers/polishers, all of which have the capacity to cause permanent damage if not handled correctly.
You need experienced detailers to perform this or else risk damaging cars and finding great detailers is a timely process that should not be performed with haste.
Some may argue that by not offering detailing services that you are leaving money on the table. However, at this early stage of your business, the main concern shouldn’t be about money or revenue, but about offering a solution.
If you are not offering detailing to a satisfactory level of quality, then you aren’t really delivering a solution, are you? The revenue will follow through once you are able to establish yourself as a reputable Detailing company who can get the job done.
So with this thought in mind, I focused on car wash services and eventually included add-ons as I progressed. I managed to figure which add-ons to include based on the popular requests made by our customers, from shampoo seats, carpets and mats to waxing the car.
As we started to pick up the pace, I eventually decided to introduce detailing packages but had to first ensure that we had the right detailers to do the job. As you can see, there is no hurry to include everything at once and doing so can really open a can of worms.
Starting small also makes it easy for you to find the right workers. The demand for knowledge and expertise of car wash services is a lot less than that of detailing. You can find people with car wash experience more abundantly as opposed to automotive detailers.