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Winter Season: Are You Prepared?

The winter season presents challenges to the mobile auto detailing professional who can erroneously equate freezing temperatures to a freeze in profits. That’s why I think any detailing business owner must gear his or her advertising and promotions for the winter season.

Start promoting your autumn and winter protection and maintenance packages and services in mid-September or early October. And this all starts with suggesting they consider keeping their vehicle cosmetically maintained during the winter months. Promoting exterior services that will protect and enhance the surfaces against natures elements during the winter months is essential.

Today’s clear coats are better than ever but they still need to be protected against the havoc that winter will bring down on them. One suggestion would be to offer a six-month protection paint sealant/car wash package in the fall. The sealant will protect and enhance the painted surface the duration of the fall and winter months. And you might just want to toss in a good monthly hand wash with that package.

Encourage your customers to pay for the complete package up front and receive a significant discount. Now they’re pretty much committed to visiting your shop every month over the next six months. This gives the shop owner a chance to keep their customer’s vehicle cosmetically maintained and offer other services during that period. These might include undercarriage power washing, carpet and mat soil extraction, plastic carpet protectors installed, glass anti-fog treatment, ozone treatment, headlight restoration or convertible top protection, just to name a few. This will be a great opportunity for reoccurring revenue on a monthly basis for your business.

Come December, you should aggressively promote gift certificates and even a “Gift Basket of Car Detail Products” that customers can purchase and give as presents to family and friends. Auto detailing gift certificates make great gifts — plus you add a new customer to your database! Your Gift Basket or “Gift Bucket” might include a five-gallon bucket, a quart of car wash soap, tire dressing, microfiber drying towel, car wash mitt, and even a quart of express wax. Be sure you include directions, your company collateral and a coupon towards a discount or free service for a future car detail.

Just before the New Year, you could suggest customers set new goals, including “Get Your Car Back In Shape” for the coming year. Some services that are not too costly for the consumer but are profitable may include express services like express waxing, interior spruce ups, carpet soil extraction with fabric protection, interior ozone freshen up treatment, etc. These are all good moneymakers that will make your customers happy with the value and the service you provided.

February is a lean month and in fact, is the slowest month when it comes to consumer spending. That means your customers are looking for value, which should prompt you to offer free services with the purchase of a package. Maybe a free hand wash for every complete interior service sold, or possibly a free undercarriage power washing with every polishing service sold. Or a complimentary engine shampooing with every complete detail booked.

And by March, you should be promoting spring-cleaning services and packages. These might include custom hand washes, buff and wax services, rock paint chip repair, interior soil extraction and carpet dying, undercarriage power washing and wheel detailing. Keep promoting winter clean up services from March through May.

The bottom line is this: No matter the weather outside, your job is to continue to promote and advertise your business. Don’t burry your head in the sand and wait for the phone to ring. Get out there and make something happen!

Nick Vacco, Founder

Detail King LP and Detailking.com

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