Keep it Detailed
Things that find their way onto my Saturday morning, automotive to-do list are:
- Wash and Hand Dry — I drive a black car in a city that is often enveloped in storm of red dirt, enough said.
- Vacuum — When your favorite co-pilot is a 92-pound dog that insists on riding shotgun every chance she gets, this is a must!
- Clean the windows — While the pup thinks she has this one handled, nose prints and slobber aren’t exactly a competitor of Windex.
- Get the Oil Changed — Comes around like clockwork!
What if I could get all of these chores checked off my list and only make one stop? Oh how convenient that would be!
Instead of going to two places, I could pull up and wait in the car while the oil was changed. Next, I could drive through the adjacent carwash and head over to a detail center. At the detail center, I could leave my car to be attended to while I headed to a waiting room. Once there, I could slump into a comfy chair to enjoy a cup of coffee, magazine and free Wi-Fi. My car to-do list is quickly sounding less foreboding and more enjoyable. Best of all, by getting all of these services completed at the same place, I could save $5 on my detail!
Most operators are looking for add-on services to supplement revenue and grow their businesses. Incorporating detailing into your fast lube/carwash is a great way to do just that.
The 2014 Auto Laundry News Detailing Survey reported that 58 percent of participants improved their income in 2013 from their income in 2012.
Whether you have the land and facilities to run a fully incorporated detail center, have a freestanding friction wash or just a few oil change bays, there are several ways to incorporate detail add-on services to your menu. As a result, you could increase your bottom line and customer loyalty.
Andrew Zamora is the co-owner and operator of several Racer Classic Carwash locations. Zamora’s carwash was named Southwest Car Wash of the Year at the 2014 Southwest Car Wash Association Expo, and he gave us some good insight into the world of automotive detailing.
“Detail shops are good profit centers. However, it’s important to understand that it’s a different business and will need to be staffed with individuals who are trained and know how to detail,” Zamora said. “Before you open a detail center, I would suggest consulting with someone in the carwash and detail industry. This way you’ll be informed and able to provide detail services that are as high quality as the oil change services you already provide.”
A detail center typically incorporates interior and exterior waxing services. There isn’t much space required.
“It could be done in a garage with anywhere from one to five bays. However, you have to be able to wash the car to detail the exterior, so having a carwash will determine the services you can provide,” Zamora said.
Instead of adding a full detail business in addition to the fast lube you already run, consider providing detail services people most frequently request. This express detail plan will allow you to train staff quickly and provide customers with cost and time efficient services.