Before retirement, I was in the franchise business, and amongst other things we franchised mobile auto detailing rigs around the country. Each time a new franchise buyer would contact me, I can see they had dollar signs in their eyes, and they were hoping to detail customers who might own a Ferrari, Bentley, or Rolls-Royce. The reality is that although there are plenty of customers with those types of vehicles, most detailers make their money detailing for the middle class.
Therefore most of the cars they are detailing our BMWs, Mercedes, Corvettes, Cadillac, Range Rovers, Jaguars, Lexus, and yes, the higher end vehicles too. But interestingly enough, if you really want to make a lot of money and auto detailing, it pays to have wholesale auto detailing accounts, and actually skip the personal cars. Of course, there isn’t as much prestige in doing it this way, but there is often less competition, and an abundance of work, in fact there is usually enough work in any given city to keep a crew of 10 people or more busy full-time.
Sometimes there is so much work you can’t get it all done, and you experience constant controlled chaos in your scheduling, and trying to keep track of it all. There are auto auctions, car dealerships, bank repos, and fleet vehicles. Wholesale auto detailing is a nice business model, and it’s much different than just concentrating on high-end cars for high net worth individuals. Often you will find the proprietor of a wholesale automotive detailing establishment with their sleeves rolled up, whereas you will find someone who does only prestigious automobiles sporting the fancy clothes, expensive watch, and fancy shoes – basically a ten-gallon hat, but no cattle.
The reality is that the chances are very good that the business owner engaged in the wholesale work is actually making quite a bit more money, and lives in a nicer house, and probably even drives a nicer automobile, might even own a private plane too. Perhaps it is for this reason that I always looked at the franchise buyers rather funny when they told me that they wanted to clean in detail very expensive cars for rich clientele. That might sound nice, but it’s not a very good business model as compared to automotive detailing at the wholesale level.
Interestingly enough, those companies that try to do both, often lose control of their shops. It’s almost as if they need to be in separate buildings, because the business models are so very different. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.