Does age matter in detailing, in starting out a business and also just in physical demand on detailers? This is a very good question and I will break this down into three parts.
Does age matter in detailing? This question could be viewed differently by a client then it would by someone in the industry. Many people would be under the impression that with age comes experience and more refined skills, however this does not always hold true in the detailing industry. There are many highly skilled young detailers that are turning out exceptionally high quality work all around the world. With proper training someone young or old could come into the industry and be very successful. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are examples where people have been “detailing” for a long time however have never really been trained properly and are using poor practices resulting in very poor work. It is very important that you thoroughly research someone if you intend to have them perform any extensive work on your vehicle.
Another aspect to this part of the question is just how physically demanding this industry is. Detailing can be extremely hard on your hands, arms, shoulders and back. You are constantly using all of these parts of your body no matter what you are doing. There are many ways to make doing this work easier on yourself however. Speaking for myself as someone with a history of back problems along with shoulder problems you will find yourself with some aches and pains on a regular basis. One way to help avoid this is to purchase tools that will make the work easier on yourself. One of the best adjustments I made was to go from a standard buffer, such as the Porter Cable 7424XP to a large throw polisher like the Rupes Big Foot or Griot’s The Boss. When using a standard throw polisher, you need to maintain roughly 15 lbs. of pressure when operating the tool, while a large throw machine like the 15 or 21 mm machine require very little pressure as the large throw is doing most of the correction. While this may seem like something small, when you spending an entire day running a polisher this little difference could be a life safer for someone with shoulder or back issues like myself.
The purchase of a good stool like the one shown will also be well worth the investment in comfort while doing your work. Another item shown in this picture that makes like much easier is a lift. Rather than needing to lay on the floor while working on the lower areas of the body, you can simply lift the car up to a comfortable height to perform the work. These are just a few examples of making smart purchases of tools that will make doing this type of work easier on your body.
Does age matter in starting out a business? It is my opinion that age does not necessarily matter, however it can certainly be an advantage. Starting a business is not cheap and it always helps to have cash on hand when starting out. Typically, someone older will have more disposable cash on hand or better credit to get the business rolling. Another aspect that comes with age is contacts. In most cases someone that is older will have been exposed to and know a larger number of people that could be potential clients.