If you own a mobile car wash company or auto detailing firm sometimes the best clientele are companies, which are normally not sought by your competitors due to the stigma of their brand name. But I would advice such mobile cleaning service companies to re-consider such quick judgments and let me tell you why.
With Ugly Duckling and Rent-A-Wreck there is much work in washing and detailing for their car sales lots. As these companies expand we see much potential in the washing for them. For instance Ugly Duckling had our company in San Antonio TX wash all of their cars. They have several more dealerships in Austin TX to sell their used cars as well. Each lot has about 100 cars and takes about an hour to complete. Our team does had done an excellent job keeping them happy. Rent-A-Wreck also has Rent-A-Cars in Florida, California, Arizona and all over Texas in Dallas, Amarillo, Austin, San Antonio, Brownsville and Lubbock. Ugly Duckling has many locations and you can visit their web site to see if they are in your area.
They are in Virginia, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and California. They have 85 sales lots in 8 states and they are growing. We saw another one being built in College Station TX when we drove through. Their corporate office is in Phoenix and they sell just over 3800 cars per month on average. Rent-A-Wreck is an awesome company to work with. They have over 400 agency offices and are in nearly every state. They are a publicly traded company also.
I would advise any Auto Detailing Company or Mobile Car Washing firm to consider these possible accounts if they have locations in your region of operation and not allow the silly names to cloud your judgment. We have found success in doing business with both Ugly Duckling Rent a Car and Rent-A-Wreck. If you are looking to expand your customer base you ought to go in and ask them if they need your services. So, consider all this in 2006.
Finding new clients for your detailing business is an ongoing process. Having business cards and fliers is the first thing you will want to have on hand when you are getting started. Asking your friends to hand them out to people they know with high end cars will begin to get the word out.
Most cities have business networking groups that meet once a week. These groups will have one person from any given industry allowed in the group. Find one with no membership fees or as low as possible. You will most likely want to find one that does a breakfast meeting rather than a lunch meeting so as not to interfere with your schedule. These other industry professionals will most likely try out your service and if they are happy with you they will enjoy sending you a lot of referrals. This method is capable of building up a list of Realtors, Lawyers, and other successful industry leaders who need your service.
Golf and Country clubs may allow you to come on the weekends and offer your service to their memberships. Many times you will not have to share any of the money you earn, as they are just happy to offer a service to keep the members happy.
Professional office complexes are great for finding high end cars that you would want as clients. Walk through the lot and place a business card on the drivers side window in between the weatherstrip and the glass. Even if the car is clean they may call you the next time it is dirty.
You can go into these offices if you are clean and not sweaty for the purpose of speaking to the front desk receptionist and asking if you could leave a flier that explains the services you offer. They may have to get approval from an office manager first but it is possible that they will want to have you come out on a set day of the week and provide multiple cars for you to detail at one time. It is to your benefit to do as many cars as you can at one location in order to limit the time spent on the road in between jobs.
Just being out and doing work will cause people to stop and want to inquire about your service. Always have some cards ready to hand out and ask them for a phone number you can contact them at when you are not working. You want to let them know that as a client of yours their car will get priority service too and that you cannot lose focus on the car you are currently doing at the moment. This way you won’t get into any long conversations while the soap is drying and making your job harder after they have left.