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Detailing In The Moment


Being a car enthusiast can lead to the start of a detailing company and usually at a young age. Nothing is cooler than having a hobby you enjoy and getting paid for it. Being around cars all day is a path that most want, but they never get the opportunity. A detailing company can very easily put you in the moment of doing what you enjoy, but have you ever gave it a thought about where it will lead or where it will take you?

The Beginning

At the beginning of any detail operation we end up teaching ourselves the basics, which could take a decent amount of time to learn. After learning the basics we begin to hone in on our skills and practice them to perfection. Education in detailing will never end as it’s a business that is ever evolving and requires consistent motivation and a willingness to learn. Everybody will learn at a different rate of speed over the years and it takes just that, years, to be good and even more years to be great. For the first several years of detailing the objective is to understand the job and get good at it.

Working Towards

Meeting the customers expectations and understanding the craft will lead to a career that you never saw coming. Like myself and most young adults, it started because of the excitement and love of being your own boss and working on cars that most people admire and dream about. Now it’s a reality and the progress moves forward with a continued education to meet higher demands. Through meeting higher demands we also learned valuable business structure. We didn’t see that one coming when getting started either, but it’s needed to be the complete package. Speaking from my own experiences, I can tell you it takes years to get to this point. Once you are committed to the craft, being a detailing business begins. The thought of where you want to take your business? Most people don’t start with a plan, some do, but not many.


I’d be willing to bet that most detailers who have gone through trial and error would tell you, “I wish I would’ve known this or done that” from the beginning. Mostly because you really don’t think about it from the start, but imagine how much time you could have actually saved yourself. At this point you now have goals for you and your company, or at least a sense of direction. I would highly recommend considering your goals from the start (at least in a more in-depth thought process). Imagine if you spent several years detailing to find out that it’s not the path for you and you learned your heart now lies somewhere else. Becoming a parent or other life altering circumstances may be in your future, and could possibly play a heavy role in your detailing company. Establish who you are and where you would want to be for the later parts of your life and set goals within your company to better your future.

A Few Goals to Consider:

  • Establish a brand/logo quickly (try not to change it every year)
  • Training (hands on)
  • Set your services to your knowledge (don’t over or under do yourself)
  • Develop within your budget (customers, experience, marketing, sales, value, reputation, education, tools etc.)
  • Savings (as we like to say “for a rainy day”)
  • Foundation (are you comfortable and will you be comfortable)
  • Where do you want detailing to take you?


Not all will make it to having a future with a detailing business. As I mentioned a bit ago, most detailers start young and grow into the craft or fall off and go a different direction. Once you’ve made it through the rough waters and you’re now neck deep and fully committed to a life of detailing, whats next? It’s a very good question to ask yourself. Very few will have built a detailing life with a retirement planned. This is where I get the title “Detailing In The Moment“.

If you’re just getting started or considering starting, it’s important to think what you want out of it. Long term goals come quicker with a detailing company as an extremely physical job on an aging body is without question. 2 years ago my wife came into the garage and asked me “are you ever going to get sick of this” as I was kneeling on one knee polishing a door panel of an Aston Martin. For the first time ever I put a lot of thought into what she just asked me. Will I ever be sick of this? Well… two years later with 10 plus years prior and still going strong I think I have answered the question, no I will not. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t think about it. For some reason I think that particular moment will always haunt me. I’m really glad she asked me because I think that moment really got me considering my detailing future as well the future of detailing. It’s a lifelong commitment to learning in a career in the car care field. Are you ready for that?

Being committed to the education process is the key to success in detailing. The more you put in the more you get out, being out there and just providing a service is not enough. In my opinion, it would be “doomed to fail” and not just the business, but also a lost feeling one may have in life when trying to figure out what you want at an older age. Education and surrounding yourself with like minded positive people will open doors you never thought about in a detailing career. Pioneers and educators are the reason it’s developed with remarkable strides leaving a good future for those willing.

End Results

The end result should be exactly what you wanted and what you built, it shouldn’t be a head struggle. It should make you feel happy and have a feeling of success. Ultimately you want a business that is profitable and able to provide you a future with an established foundation and returning customers. You want the knowledge that your customers deserve and to have a trusted brand that impacts those around you. You need a future for your family and health that is not a burden. Honestly, I’m still to young (35) to even say what the end results should be, however I’m quite pleased to see where it has taken myself (At the time I started, I had no family or direction). The course of a detailing career is truly inspired from the love of some unknown automotive passion. This passion will take you places and introduce you to people you never thought possible. Doors will open and provide you with so many options from the priceless knowledge gained along the way.

Don’t detail in the moment, detail for the lesson!

That’s it for now! Thanks for reading!

Brian Guy
Brian Guy
AOWheels Auto Detail
Orlando, FL

12 comments on Detailing In The Moment

  1. Sav Loizides says:

    Great write up Brian

  2. Dean Evans says:

    Very nice!! Know where you are going!!

  3. Tony Pies says:

    Think you can get down on that knee at 50 ???
    Wife might have hidden message for you ???
    90 outside how hot in garage ???
    Good Luck

    • Brian Guy says:

      1) I hope so…
      2) Of course she does. ( I love her. She looks out for my best interest )
      3) My garage stays a cool 72-76 degrees. Gotta love AC (I don’t work outdoors)

      Thank You!

  4. Hey Brian,
    great write up, i have got a lot from this and it gives me more of an insite to my business.
    Thank you!!

  5. Ray Scott says:

    Great write up. I started a detailing business when I retired to the beach in Delaware. I detailed part time for many years before retirement and learned some valuable skills. When I retired I was bored very soon and decided to start a retiree (part time) business. I did 10-15 cars my first year and last year did about 65. I work alone, set my own hours and have gained a local reputation as a quality detailer. I am always learning and this site and staff has helped me immensely, especially Reece. I set up shop in my Uncles beach home garage for 7 years and last year he sold his house. My 2 car garage is way too small for bigger vehicles. A local garage that works on mostly German vehicles liked the work I did on his personal cars and asked me to set up my shop in his huge garage which has great lighting, heat and A/C. This opportunity should provide me with more business opportunities. I was very excited and when I return from Naples, Florida on Tuesday I will be setting up there. I am 71 and love the work and my customers. I strive for complete customer satisfaction through my skills and work ethic. I offer a fair price and free pick up and delivery. I learned when I worked as a quality manager that if you satisfy your customers they will remain customers and will provide you with more customers through referrals.

  6. Kevin Hannum says:

    Great write up Brian. That was deep. It gave me a lot to think about. Especially about where I want to go and where I want to be within the field of detailing.

  7. Dave says:

    Great comments. These comments don’t vary all that much from any other career that you enter. I was a tax accountant for 38 years, and I had no idea where it would take me (other than I wouldn’t have to be on my knees at age 50!). These comments should be considered by anyone entering any life choice. Initial love for something will change, and you’ll need to make decisions along the way.



  9. Sandra Smith says:

    Hi back in the1990s I bought a PT
    Product called “Paint Protector” I believe it was by black could use in on most parts of your car Body and trim and glass it was a white cream just rub it on and wipe to shine and Shine it did I had a 86 Monte Carlo SS and it looked so beautiful because of this product. But then I couldn’t find it at all I think it had Teflon in it but hay it was the Best stuff I ever used! So do you know anything on the Market now that works like Paint Protector! Did! 🙂
    Thank you
    Sandra Smith (Sass)

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