Day in the life of
Auto Detailer – Matt Paskow
I have an incredibly fun job! I am the owner of a small mobile car detailing business in Southern California. My job is basically broken into 2 separate roles; Marketer & Technician.
After spending close to 20 years in the technology industry as an Account Manager of several software companies, I was tired of getting laid-off due to factors out of my control. I decided it was time for a career change.
Pros and cons
The best part of my job is I get to make people really happy. It feels great to do something that gives joy to people. I have a lot of customers who spend time in a dirty, grimy vehicle. When their car detail is finished and they see the final results I see an instant smile and genuine joy. I’m not curing cancer, but it still feels good to make people happy.
The worst part of my day is the actual work of making a car look clean. It is a lot of hard work, on hot days. I need to always work fast to keep deadlines and be sure I can make my next appointment. I also detail large trucks & SUV’s which can sometimes take up to 8 hours for a full detail. Car detailing is a physically demanding job and hard work is not for everyone.
Also, while working in the heat all day, it is necessary to drink a lot of water. And the bathroom situation is usually not good. It is unprofessional to ask a customer to use their bathroom, so I almost alway do not ask. So, if I can’t hold my pee any longer, I have to pack up my truck and find a fast food restaurant or a gas station with a public restroom. This is a big hassle and zaps a lot of time from the day.
I find the marketing aspect to be fun. It is also a lot of hard work. Staying on top of SEO trends and prioritizing my time is tricky. I am only 1 person with a finite amount of time & energy per day. So, time management is very important. Planning each day to make the most of my time with the projects that are urgent or will (hopefully) provide the most marketing ROI.
Advice for aspiring auto detailers
I think the first thing to consider, like all businesses, is your market. Is there a market for mobile car detailers in your area? Is there a need for this service and are people willing to pay for quality work?
Next, check out the competition. Spend some time online searching for car detailers in your area. Spend some more time on their websites. If there is a lot of competition, this is not necessarily a bad thing. If there were no competition, there would be no market, and if there is no market, you should probably find something else to do with your time than create a market. 🙂
Now, find out what you think you can do to stand out or add value to the market. How can you market differently? Make a list of what you feel your competition does well and not so well in terms of their web presence. Make a user-friendly website. No matter what direction you plan to take with marketing, you have to have a website. There are plenty of cheap hosting companies out there and companies like Wix, GoDaddy, and Weebly. Do the research and pick one that works for you. You can also pay a freelancer to the work using a site like Fiverr.com or Upwork.com.
On the technician side of things you will need basic cleaning products to start out; vacuum, all-purpose cleaner, spray bottles, car shampoo, wheel brushes, buckets, a generator, 30-gallon water tank, at least 50 microfiber towels, a pressure washer, and a van or SUV.