When you're always working for the business, how do you find time to work on the business?
In the automotive detailing business, it can be easy to get caught up in the detailing itself rather than building out the business. If all you’re doing is detailing and not selling your services, your growth is going to go stagnant pretty quickly. So what do you do to keep your business expanding?
First, you gotta look at your company’s specifics. Do you service individuals or businesses? What does your pricing structure look like? Are you charging by the vehicle or by the amount of time it takes to complete a detail?
Then, you gotta find your sweet spot for hiring really good detailers. What are the crosshairs between what you’re able and willing to pay a detailer and the amount that would actually attract a good detailer to work for you?
Say that number is $20 an hour–that’s how much you can pay and it’s enough for good detailers that will do the job right with little to no supervision to want to work for you. That supervision part is key…if you have to stay on top of this person all the time and you can’t fully trust their work, it won’t work out. And let’s say that it takes about an hour per detail, so you’re paying this person $20 per car.
Next, consider whether you’d be able to go out and get enough new business to cover that $20 per hour if you passed the detailing off to someone else so you could go and sell. You’d go to used car lots and dealerships to sell rather than spending all of your time actually doing the detailing. If you can say that you’d feel confident that you can get new business if you have more time, which most people could, then you can totally justify paying someone $20 for each new car you bring in, because you’ll be bringing in so much new business.
And it’ll be good for that person too, because they have a steady stream of work at a good rate…all because you’re out there selling. So you could keep doing it that way until you need to hire another good detailer cause you’ve got so much business coming in…and so on and so forth.
If you run into the issue of finding and retaining good detailers, you might be structuring your payments wrong. If, for example, you’re offering a lower hourly rate with a commission or bonuses, that can get confusing. People want to know upfront what they’re making, even if the commission or bonuses would have ended up being more than the flat-out hourly rate.
When it comes to auto detailing, quality matters. I have yet to see a detail shop that's really good that isn't booked out. It’s just how you go about it as the business owner–you have to step back and get solid people doing the labor so you can curate the culture and the feel and the sales of your business. It might take you a month where you're paying somebody else to do what you would normally do yourself, but if you spend two or three hours a day going out and shaking hands and kissing babies, and really listening to potential clients about their needs, and just keep checking in with them, eventually they're gonna throw you a couple cars. And then if you and your team does a great job, you're gonna get their business.
Your job is a, as the owner of the business is to be a marketer and a salesperson. The best entrepreneurs out there that I know get good at sales. So get good at selling it. And hire detailers. Your weakness is gonna be that you are a detailer, so to you it's easier and more comfortable to revert back to detailing. But where your freedom and the money is at is in selling and marketing. Don't do the easy thing. Do the hard thing.