When I first started this business, I loved the aspect of being mobile. I could load up my car, get on the road and commute to work, get to the clients house, perform the work, and get back on the road to commute home. I didn’t have the added expenses of having a brick and mortar shop setting which would necessitate more volume in order to pay for those expenses. It was great to offer my clients the ability to carry on with their day at home while I detailed their car for them and most loved it. However, there were always those times when some clients lived in an apartment and don’t have access to power and water for me (I never ran a trailer setup), they don’t want to leave me in their garage while they weren’t home, or they simply wanted to drop the car off somewhere. For as far and few between those clients came around, I hated not being able to take care of their needs.
While being mobile is very convenient and allows for a bigger pool of customers stretching from one end of the county (or beyond) to the other end of the county, having a shop offers much more and allows more services to be performed at the same time leading to higher customer satisfaction and higher profits. For example, I can now offer clear bra installations, paint correction services, vinyl wraps, dent removal, wheel repair, window tint, bumper resprays, coating applications, and more all at the same time. One guy doing the film installs, the wheel repair done by another, I can do the paint correction, and we will have a dent repair going on all at once. Customers can drop off their car at one place and have all their service needs done with one appointment instead of having to make several and have it take up more of their precious time. Its a win win situation for everyone! I can stock products to sell as well in order for a client to maintain their freshly detailed car, add a sealant to their new clear bra, or take home some quality microfiber towels instead of having to run to the local store and buy cheaper ones that are available. Providing a simplified process and great customer experience is what I am all about these days!
Some other great benefits of shop life I have found:
- Never forgetting any supplies at home
- Ability to work earlier and work later if necessary (not in a clients house at 10pm trying to finish a job)
- More controlled environment where one can oversee everything being done
- Less wasted work time due to less driving
- Display products to sell to clients
- Capacity to offer more services at once
- Ability to now leave work at the shop instead of doing more work at home after going mobile (more family time)
- Take on more jobs at once in order to never turn anyone away due to a busy schedule
- Ability to take on dealer volume type of work to keep the schedule full at all times if necessary (I haven’t done this yet, but plan on doing it in the future)
Some drawbacks of having a shop:
- Added expenses of rent, insurance, utilities, etc
- More supplies to stock and carry due to increased volume
- Adjustment to scheduling around jobs
- Not being mobile to get to those people who need work to be performed at their house or who live further away
- Added costs for more office supplies, lobby furniture, pictures and banners, etc.
There are other benefits and drawbacks from having a shop location, but the static location proves to be more advantageous with each passing day. I encourage anyone to go from mobile to a shop setting if they have the opportunity. I flirted with the idea for a while (2 years) before I pulled the trigger and it was honestly the best business move I could have made for both my business and personal life! I still go mobile from time to time for some clients, but the shop is where I would rather work!
Once we get some things settled in, I will do a photo spread of the move in with before and afters. There are lot of expenses I never saw beforehand!