How to Start a Mobile Detailing Business

The birth of any new business is an exciting time for an entrepreneur. What was once an idea spinning around in your head is now starting to take shape and come to life. Planning out your business rather than jumping right in can pay dividends down the road. To help you with your new mobile detailing business, we’ve put together a set of steps for getting started.

Create your Business Entity
The first step you’ll want to take as a new business owner is to establish a legal entity for the business. For example, will you be operating as a sole proprietor, LLC or corporation? There are plenty of options available and you’ll want to pick what’s right for you based on your situation. Contact a qualified attorney or your local SCORE office to help you get started in the right direction.

Obtain Permits
Each city and state has their own unique regulations on what you’ll need to operate your business. Contact your local county clerk to check on special permits that may be necessary to conduct business. Also be sure to register with your state for tax certificates and tax id numbers. Here’s a helpful link to all the Secretaries of State:

http://www.coordinatedlegal.com/SecretaryOfState.html

Research the Competition
Customers today have instant access to the competition. You’ll want to be armed information on what your competitors are charging, the services they offer, and what people are saying about them. Much of this information is normally available on their website. Be sure to also checkout Yelp or other social review sites to get a sense of how people are rating their business and how you’ll compare.

Here’s a list of some helpful questions to ask while researching the competition: 

What services are they offering?
How much are they charging? 

What clientele are they targeting? 
Are they fixed or mobile? 
What are their customers saying? See Yelp, Yellowpages or Google. 

Create Your Brand
How customers perceive your new business is just as important as the quality of work you provide them. Establishing yourself as a professional company which is well-branded will set you apart from “Joe” down the street who does detailing on the side. Some key elements to creating a reputable brand are as follows: 

• Name
• Logo
• Slogan

Creating a memorable brand name is harder than it seems. As consumers we are constantly bombarded by advertisements throughout the day. For your detailing business there are a few different directions you can take…

Name after the services you offer. For example, you could incorporate the following words into your name: mobile, traveling, to-you, premium, luxury, easy, convenient, etc.

Name after your geographical location: For example: coast, inland, city, bay, mountain, etc.

The second step in preparing your brand is to craft a professional logo. By all means, spend the extra money and hire a graphic artist to make this for you. In fact, there are now websites you can use to effectively “crowdsource” your logo and receive hundreds of different options. Check out either designcrowd.com or crowdspring.com  for more ideas.

Some more resources for you to check out:

Free Detailing Business Card Templates
7 Keys to Creating a Killer Brand

Three Best Ways to Create a Brand Name
Visual Thesaurus

Obtain Insurance
Obtaining the right insurance is absolutely critical to protecting both your own (and ultimately your clients) vehicle. The most popular type of insurance is referred to as “Garage Keeper’s Liability”. Even if you are simply showing up at someone’s house to detail their vehicle you’ll want to be protected, you just never know what could happen on the job. The cost for this type of insurance is relatively low, and is well worth the peace of mind.

If you plan on hiring employees you’ll also want to get worker’s compensation insurance. This will protect you and your employees in case there is ever an accident on the job.

Purchase Your Products
Selecting the right products depends on the services you’ll be offering. For example, are you just doing a quick wash and vacuum? Or a full detail? Eco Touch offers some excellent detailer starter packages which give you a full range of products to get your new venture off the ground.

Detailer’s Starter Kit Level 1

Detailer’s Starter Kit Level 2

Market, Market Market!
There’s nothing worse than launching a business and just waiting for the phone to ring. Customers need to find you! Thankfully you don’t need to spend a small fortune to get the word out there. Here’s some easy and free ways to market yourself:

• Flyers on billboards across town
• Create a Facebook business page and invite friends/family
• Yelp
• Create a press release and submit to local newspapers

If you’re willing to invest a bit more into marketing, consider creating a highly targeted campaign through Google AdWords. You can segment based on geographical region and other demographics. For just a few dollars a day you can be reaching new customers right away!

James Dudra on Google+

Hands-on with Leather Care – Cleaning & Conditioning Leather Car Seats

Leather is in many ways similar to our own skin. We need to keep it cleaned and conditioned to stay in the best shape possible. Over time and with neglected maintenance, leather may start to crack and fade losing its original luster. Adding to the problem is the fact that many people new to owning a car with leather interiors have no idea of the best way to maintain its appearance.

Eco Touch Leather Care is formulated to be a 2-in-1 product for both cleaning and conditioning. It’s pH balanced and contains natural emollients that will leave a supple matte finish. We’ve also incorporated a pleasant almond fragrance to make the cleaning experience all the more enjoyable.

Leather Photo1 (8)

1) Start by vacuuming out the car’s interior. You may find that using a brush attachment and crevice tool will allow you to completely work all sections of the leather seats.

Vac

2) Apply a quarter-sized amount of product onto your towel. You may want to fold the towel a few times with the product inside to help spread it across the surface.

Photo1 (9)

3) Gently work Leather Care into the surface buffing gently across the surface. You’ll notice that the formula is readily absorbed into the pores of the leather material, while any surface contaminants are pulled into the microfiber towel.

Photo1 (10)

4) Flip to a dry section of towel and buff dry.

Buff

And that’s it, you’re leather car seats are now cleaned, conditioned and ready to ride again. Remember to stick to a regular cleaning schedule to avoid excess build-up of body oils, dirt and grime on the surface.

Photo1 (12)

How to Wax a Car in Under 15 Minutes

Some of us might remember the days when ‘waxing’ a car meant applying a paste-like substance to your paint, waiting for it to dry to a haze, and buffing for eternity until your arms looked like Popeye. Thankfully, advances in polymer chemistry have greatly enhanced the speed and efficiency of car wax products today. Yes, there are still the diehards who insist on spending hours in the driveway buffing and polishing away. But, for the average consumer who simply wants a great finish without the hassle, there exist some excellent options. Here’s what you’ll need to get started:

24 oz. Eco Touch Quick Wax
24 oz. Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash
2 – 4 high-quality microfiber towels
15 minutes of time

1) Move your car into a shaded location for best results. While it’s possible to wax in direct sunlight, you’ll be fighting against the formula evaporating too quickly on the car’s paint.

2) Star by washing the vehicle from top to bottom to remove surface contaminants. We suggest using Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash for vehicles that are lightly-moderately soiled. If it’s during the winter months and you have heavy salt, sand or mud debris, do a quick pre-rinse and then continue with the Waterless Wash method.

3) Now that the surface has been cleaned you can apply your wax. Eco Touch Quick Wax is a spray car wax that dries clear. That means no white chalky residue or intense labor to remove.

4) Apply Quick Wax one section at a time. For instance, work in 1/2 panels by lightly spraying the formula onto the car and buffing clean. Be sure to use a high-quality microfiber towel with at least 300 GSM or higher. Lower-quality towels tend to fall apart more quickly and can leave a trail of fibers on the paint.

Once the car has been waxed, be sure to re-apply as needed. During the summer months you may find that the protective layer of polymers/waxes degrade more quickly due to the increased intensity of the sunlight. As a general rule of thumb, waxing every 3-4 weeks will keep your car in it’s best condition for the long term.

James Dudra on Google+

Eight Tips for Cleaning Car Windows Without Streaks

While cleaning your car windows isn’t exactly the most glamourous part of detailing, it is certainly one of the most important when the rest of your vehicle is shining. To help rid yourself of those unsightly streaks, we’ve put together a list of tips to get your glass sparkling for the upcoming summer season.

1. Clean out of direct sunlight. 

Ever see those little white streaks after you’re done cleaning? That’s probably the cleaning agents from your window cleaning formula which have dried on the surface. Be sure to clean on an overcast day or in the shade. Otherwise, if you clean in direct sunlight, your car windows will be too hot and the formula will evaporate on the surface before you have a chance to wipe clean.

Clean on an overcast day or in a shaded location.

Clean on an overcast day or in a shaded location.

2. Use a low pile microfiber towel. 

Outside of the actual window cleaning product, your selection of a high-quality microfiber towel is perhaps the most important factor in streak-free window cleaning. You’ll want to use a low-pile tight weave microfiber cloth. The tight weave on these towels provide a little extra scrubbing ability which is excellent for glass surfaces.

Low pile microfiber towel.

Low pile microfiber towel.

3. Clean the interior windshield from the passenger seat. 

For easier access to the windshield, sit in the passenger seat. You’ll avoid having to contend with the steering wheel which will ensure that all areas are cleaned.

4. Use the back of your hand for cleaning the windshield. 

To give yourself a bit more leverage and cleaning power, put the microfiber on the back of your hand and press against the glass. This will also allow you to reach those top and bottom corners more easily.

Use the back of your hand for more leverage.

Use the back of your hand for more leverage.

5. For interior windows, spray on the towel first. 

When cleaning interior windows (especially the windshield) be sure to spray your microfiber towel first. This will help avoid overspray onto previously cleaned areas, and keep the cleaner off the dashboard.

For interior windows, spray the towel first then wipe clean.

For interior windows, spray the towel first then wipe clean.

6. Roll down your windows. 

To reach the top sections of glass, be sure to roll down your windows about halfway. This will allow easier access and ensure all sections are cleaned.

roll down windows

Rolling down your windows halfway allows access to top sections of the glass.

7. Work methodically and don’t rush the process.

Many people mistakenly believe they can simply spritz down the glass and quickly buff clean. Unfortunately you will end up rushing the process and most likely end up with poor streaky results. Taking your time to slowly and methodically clean each window will pay dividends at the end of your cleaning process.

8. Use the right product. 

Select a product designed specifically for cleaning automotive glass. Traditional household cleaners can contain ammonia which will damage any coatings or tint on the glass. Eco Touch makes a solvent-free glass cleaner which is safe for cleaning all automotive windows.

Select a glass cleaner safe for automotive windows.

Select a glass cleaner safe for automotive windows.

James Dudra on Google+

The Basics of Performing a Waterless Car Wash

Let’s start by being clear about something – using a waterless wash product is not hard. I know, it can sound intimidating at the start. Where’s the hose? Where are the suds? But trust me, after cleaning just a few panels you’ll be hooked on the process. The speed at which you are able to simultaneously clean and protect your car in one simple step is quite amazing. To help anyone just getting into this method of washing, we’ve assembled a list of best practices.

1. Work from the top of the car down. 

Car’s naturally accumulate dirt along the lower body panels and you’ll want to tackle these areas last. Start with the roof->hood->door panels->trunk->lower body panels. Be sure to pay extra attention near wheel wells where heavy debris t.

Cleaning Sequence

2. Use quality microfiber towels. 

Outside of the waterless product you use, make sure you have a good stock of high quality microfiber towels. We suggest towels with a 300 GSM rating, as they offer the best combination of cleaning and polishing. While many people think that using a higher GSM towel is better, it can surprisingly work against you. We’ve found that those fluffy 400+ GSM  towels do not clean as effectively as their lower 300 GSM counterparts.

3. Fold your towel in half and half again.

You’ll want to maximize the number of sides on your towel. By folding in half twice, you’ll effectively get eight sides to work with. Use at least one side per panel depending on how dirty the vehicle is.

foldedtowel

4. Work in small sections. 

Start with a 2ft x 2ft area for applying and buffing off the waterless formula. If your car is completely cool and relatively clean you may be able to work in larger sections.

2ftcleaningsection

5. Wipe in one direction. 

Follow the contours of the car’s body and wipe in the direction of normal airflow over the panel. This will help prevent re-soiling the areas of the car you’ve already cleaned. You should not use a circular buffing motion as if you were using a wax.

onedirectionwipe

6. Apply light pressure on first stroke to remove contaminants. 

You’ll want to apply light pressure on your first pass over the panel. We suggest using the wipe and ‘lift’ technique where you are simultaneously rotating the towel while wiping across the surface.

wipeandlift

7. Keep your buffing towel separate, clean and dry.

Pick one set of towels for the cleaning and one for buffing. For best results you want to have your buffing towels near 100% dry. Many times we’ve seen detailers use two towel colors so it’s easy to remember which is which.

cleaningpolishing

Eco Touch manufactures a complete line of professional detailing supplies in Dover, NH. We are a family owned and operated company since 2007. Have any other questions? Call us today at 888.375.7970.

James Dudra on Google+

Hands-on with Eco Touch Wheel Cleaner

Keeping your car’s wheels clean isn’t just about looks, it also prevents damage from taking place. Every time you drive your vehicle brake dust is created from the friction between the brake pad and the rotor. If left untreated, these tiny particles will accumulate and slowly eat away at the coating and eventually pit your wheels.

Eco Touch Wheel Cleaner was designed to quickly and safely remove all types of brake dust from your wheels. Traditionally, car enthusiasts and detailers would rely on harsh acids (hydrofluoric and sulfuric) to do the job. While these products are effective they have serious health concerns and when used improperly they can actually do more damage to the wheel itself. Eco Touch Wheel Cleaner uses a proprietary mix of plant-based cleaning agents and natural citric acid to effectively clean car wheels. For 2013 we also changed out the sprayer head which creates a generous amount of foam when the product is applied.

Dirty Wheel

Start by spraying down the wheel completely and letting it dwell on the surface for a minimum of 30 seconds. You can also use Wheel Cleaner on the rubber tire if it needs cleaned.Wheel Cleaner Spray

After the product has been allowed to work on the surface, take a towel (microfiber or terry) and wipe clean. Quick tip – some detailers prefer using a soft wheel brush as this aids the cleaning process and removes heavily soiled areas more effectively.

While many traditional products state the wheel should be ‘rinsed’ clean, we do not recommend this practice! The highly toxic brake-dust mixture is a complete hazard for the environment and should never be directly released. Alternatively, we suggest wiping the wheel clean and laundering as normal.IMG_4038

That’s it, you’re done with the cleaning process! If you wish to add a protectant to help prevent future build-up, we suggest applying either Eco Touch Waterless Car Wash or Quick Wax. Both contain polymers that are safe for wheel finishes and will give a nice shine.

Eco Touch makes a full range of wheel cleaning products available in 24 oz. and 1-gallon re-fills. Purchase online at ecotouch.net.
Wheel Cleaner Clean

The Best Uses of Eco Touch All Purpose

Eco Touch All Purpose  is one of our most versatile products for interior and exterior auto cleaning. Many times we get asked where specifically the product is best used. Whether you are a detailer or DIY consumer, we’ve put together a short pictorial outlining the product.

engine degreaser using eco touch

Engine degreasing.

One area where All Purpose excels is as an engine degreaser. Granted, unless you are doing car shows the average person really doesn’t have much use for engine cleaning/degreasing, unless you just like keeping things tidy. Before you start spraying down the engine components make sure the car has been turned off and everything is cool to the touch. To help avoid overspray you can apply All Purpose directly onto a microfiber towel and wipe. However, some spots may require you spraying the formula and letting it dwell for 30 – 60 seconds for maximum effectiveness.

all purpose car cleaner

Door jamb cleaning.

Cleaning door jambs is one spot where All Purpose excels. Since it is safe for metal, vinyl and plastic you will have complete peace of mind when spraying down this section.

all purpose car cleaner

Removing old protectants using All Purpose

Removing old dashboard protectants is another specialty of All Purpose. Use in conjunction with a q-tip for those vents so you don’t miss a spot. Once you’ve cleaned make sure you follow-up with Dashboard Protect to restore the finish.

Leather cleaning (spot test first to ensure compatibility)

Leather cleaning (spot test first to ensure compatibility)

Yes, you can apply All Purpose onto leather. This is typically done when you have a very aggressive stain that won’t come out with Eco Touch Leather Care. However, we always suggest spot testing on an inconspicuous area to ensure compatibility.

Are there other uses for All Purpose you’ve found work well? If so, let us know!

James Dudra on Google+