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Legitimizing The Detailing Industry Part 5 of 5: My Experience


This is a five-part article series. Click here for parts 1 through 5!

One of my closest friends asked me, “where do you find these people?!”  (referring to my clients)


Do you want to be a successful business owner?  The products listed on the right will not save you.  This fragment of my reading collection does not account for mentorship that I have paid money for and hours of networking with people more successful than me.


This message is for those that believe success in the professional realm comes down to whether you charge more or charge less, word of mouth advertisement, and thoughtlessly hustling until you live the dream.  If you see professional detailing as merely an escape from your frustrations in the workplace it will show.  I can see it in people’s social media posts.  Those same problems you are avoiding in the workplace will find you in an ownership setting.  Ultimately potential customers will see you as not credible.

I have been through difficult times in my personal life.  I do not believe I would have been mentally strong enough to run a detailing business 15 years ago.  My personal evolution will always continue and be ongoing.  If you are leaving your workplace for professional detailing as merely an escape you are asking for greater frustration.  When you start a detailing business you quickly find out really were your friends.  A lot of people do not respect what you do as a legitimate business.  Being able to operate with professional decorum and set boundaries for people who will try to take advantage of you is part of running a business.  One of the big problems with a low barrier to entry businesses like this comes down to our motivations for entry.  If I could give one piece of advice to a business owner, that would be to take care of your inner demons.  The pressure the outside world puts on your fears and insecurities will derail you.


Rodney Tatum
Mirror Reflections Auto Spa
Gainesville, Florida
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3 comments on Legitimizing The Detailing Industry Part 5 of 5: My Experience

  1. Gunny says:

    Not a Professional Detailer by any means here, however I take great pride in what I am able to accomplish using the products I choose (Mainly GTechniq & Ammo) This past year a local Co had my beautiful Lexus RCF for much longer than I expected, BUT in their defense – what they did to it was absolutely mouthwatering! Many people seem to think that “New” Cars have a true “Showroom” condition which may actually be much worse than they think! Despite only having it for 2-3 weeks, there was quite a bit of paint correction required prior to laying down a Full Suntek Ultra PPF and CQuartz Finest Reserve coat to it. THAT is what justified the duration of its stay at the Shop in Sterling, VA.

    After reading every word of this 5 Part Series of yours, I’ve risen to a new level of admiration and respect for those who choose to make their living by awesome-izing vehicles (Just made that word up now!) The avg car owner truly has no idea of what’s going on beneath their last Drive Thru Car Wash job! There are so many things that are only visible to the trained eye, and once pointed out it creates a whole new level of respect to those small business owners out there making our prize possessions stunning to look at.
    Therefore, I try my very best to maintain the hard work put into this unreal car of mine, and every time I receive a compliment on it – I had out a business card for those Detailers who made it happen.

    If you are the owner of a vehicle worthy of a TOTAL Detail, PPF, and Ceramic Coating- please dont “Price Shop” your reputable local Detailer. Read their reviews, visit their shop, and base your decision on the things you CANT see on your car. I now refer many friends and family to these guys because they earned my trust and business 100 times over! Lastly, pay it forward if they do you right. Spend 10-15 minutes writing a review for them, and most importantly- read this 5 Part Series word for word so that you gain a whole new level of respect for these folks. Thank you Detailed Image for printing this story. You’ve definitely made an impact on this humble writer!

    Semper Fidelis! …🇺🇸

  2. Baxter R. says:

    To respect the Detailer, you just have to try doing a first class detailing. That will earn your respect and admiration

  3. David Durr says:

    Great article. Now I need to put this to work for myself.

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