Results of the 2013 Survey of Professional Car Reconditioners

60 car detailers, PDR techs, and interior techs participated.  Lucky winner of the $50 VISA card is Tom Ellis…though he’s yet to claim his prize!

6 things you will learn from this survey:

1.  Offer a service that’s scarce, and you’ll make more money this year.

2/3rd of techs reported that they offer detailing, odor removal, or PDR.  Just 15% reported that they offer bumper repair, windshield repair, and wheel repair.

When I talk to auto dealerships, car washes, and detail shops, they all tell me that the very busiest techs in town are the wheel repair guys.  It’s hard to get them on the phone and it’s hard to get them to show up.  There’s just not enough wheel repair companies to meet demand.

So take look closely at your local market for reconditioning services.  Where is the market underserved? Go serve that market!

2.  Start a detail business, without having worked for a detail business.

More than half of the professionals who responded are completely self-taught.  I suspect these are mostly car detailers.  With the help of other pros on the forums at Autopia and Autogeek, as well as my best-selling online course, it’s possible to own a profitable car detailing business having never worked for a detail business yourself.

3.  Get a website this year.  Just do it.

One-third of respondents stated they have no website.  In 2013, every business–even if you only service car dealers–should have a website because car owners’ #1 source for finding  detailers, PDR techs, wheel repair techs, and more is the Internet.  And without a website you have no chance of seeing their money.

For $495, we’ll build you a fantastic, custom site in just 2 weeks.  You’ll make your money back in three months…guaranteed.

If that’s out of reach, build a free website on Yola in about an hour.

4.  Invest in your business, because business in 2013 is good.

82% of you expect to earn more in 2013 than 2012.  So buy new equipment, hire help, and advertise, because investment makes growth possible.

5.  Don’t just study your craft.  Study the business of selling your craft.  

48.2% of you said your single greatest challenge was sales and marketing.  Challenge yourself to meet new prospects, and turn a higher % of them into loyal customers this year.  Read the best-selling book, Guerilla Marketing:  Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business.

6.  Be at your very best when Spring arrives.

Business is very seasonal for 52% of survey takers, who noted that they earn 3 to 4 times more in the Spring & Summer than they do in the Fall & Winter.

By April, be certain that you have no vulnerabilities that could cost you sales sales.  In March, you must:

  • Lay off lazy employees.
  • Fix or replacing shoddy equipment.
  • Buy clean, professional uniforms.
  • Perform all maintenance on your work vehicle(s).
  • Improve your health habits.  Sleep well and drink less beer!

View survey results here:

How long have you been in business?

How long have you been in business?

What service(s) do you offer?

What services do you offer?

How did you learn the services you offer?

How did you learn the services you offer?

What is your hourly profit after all expenses?

What is your hourly profit after all expenses?

Mobile or fixed location?

Mobile or fixed location?

What is your biggest expense?

What is your biggest expense?

Do you have a website?

Do you have a website?

Do you expect your earnings in 2013 to be less than, more than, or the same as 2012?

Do you expect your earnings in 2013 to be less than, more than, or equal to 2012?

What is your #1 source for new customers?

What is your number 1 source for new customers?

Do the majority of your sales come from wholesale or retail customers?

Do the majority of your sales come from wholesale or retail customers?

What is your biggest challenge?

What is your biggest challenge?

How “seasonal” is your business?

How seasonal is your business?

Which of these is most important for a tech to be successful?

Which is most important for a tech to be successful?

What’s the best part about your job?

What is the best part of your job?


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