Detailing is a business. With any business, as they say, time is money. In a service based business this could not be more true. You have to make sure you are being compensated for what you feel your time is worth. Now of course this means quoting clients based on the time it will take you to do the detail. However, there is another part of detailing that takes up a significant amount of time.
This extra work is the cleaning of pads, refilling bottles, re-diluting products, washing microfiber towels, etc. You have to make sure you are taking this extra time into account as it is work directly related to providing a quality service.
This work involves many steps before AND after your detail. For us, our process is as follows, keep in mind we are a fully mobile operation specializing in paint correction and only do waterless detailing so our process may differ slightly to those of you who do maintenance washes and foam cannons, but the idea is the same.
- Ensure my vehicle is clean (crucial as first impressions are huge)
- Make sure all bottles necessary for the specific detail are full (refill/re-dilute as necessary)
- Make sure I have ample microfibers cleaned and ready to go
- Wash all contaminated microfiber towels
- Clean all contaminated pads
- Check inventory and restock as necessary (wait for larger orders if possible to save on shipping)
On top of that there are other aspects of your business, not related to the detail but crucial to the success of your business.
- Check appointment schedule
- Confirm appointments
- Watermark all photos used for marketing
- Post photos on various outlets
- Check and reply to emails
Now, I understand that the price you have are based upon several factors, location, clientele, skill level, etc. So there is no set price for what you can/should make for this additional time as well. Just keep in mind that the detail job is the only thing bringing in income for that business and that income must support your time in all aspects. Do not sell yourself short. Many detailers get caught up in a price competition with the local car wash companies and this is one of the most detrimental things for your business. If you are a detailer who offers premium services and premium quality, you are not a commodity, you offer value for the price. You own a business, and business need to be profitable. Make sure you take all aspects of your work into account.