Time to Grow

Growing a Business


So, you took the plunge.

You quit your job, bought some equipment, maybe leased a van or a small unit and started your detailing business!

That was a year or two back now, and it’s going… fine. You have got through winter slowdowns, battled weather issues, sent your first tax return, and you’ve got some regular clients as well as a good local reputation. So what’s the next step? How do you grow?

Business growth is basically your second of many dice rolls in your company development. Depending on the investment and time devotion, it could be low or high risk.

Low risk would be adding a service you know there is a demand for that you can complete with little to no investment – possibly; odour removal, chassis cleaning, or something relevant to your local market. It involves a bit of promotion, maybe adding a page to your website, but if it doesn’t take off it can sit in the background and not cost you anything further.

High risk is perhaps a step into the unknown with a brand new service you want to be an early adopter of or something that requires a chunk of investment and time spent to master a new skill – maybe PPF or dry ice blasting. The higher the risk, generally, the greater the reward as fewer people will be offering it, but let’s have a look at what options you could take for a first toe in the water at taking your business up another notch.



Brand Identity

Don’t be afraid to freshen things up.

A battle plan rarely survives the first encounter. Often the business plan or expectation we start out with will change and adapt to how the market receives a business, and what proves to be a dominant income stream.

If you started up “Soapy Bubbles Splash and Dash” to provide quick, high turnover washes in car parks, and you instead find your niche as, for example, a pet vehicle cleaner spending time exclusively on deep interior cleaning and deodourising, you may find you’ll get greater reach and improve this connection by rebranding or altering your brand image to reflect this avenue – maybe as “The Smelly Pooch Car Cleaner”. You don’t have to close your old business, but you can start the new brand, run it side by side for a bit and see if it takes off!

Develop a strong brand identity that reflects your business values and appeals to your real-life audience. This includes a memorable business name, a professional logo, and a consistent colour scheme, with a style that appeals to your target market and their needs.


Training and Skills Development

Better results give you a better reputation

Whilst it probably seems obvious that we’d suggest this, proper training in detailing techniques is essential for development, improvement and efficiency. Attend workshops – and not just with us, there are opportunities at shows, industry events and trade bodies to aid development and stay updated with the latest industry trends.

Take skill courses in new niche markets, such as motorcycle detailing, interior cleaning, or look at efficiency training in practical skills to maximise your hourly income. High-quality service is the backbone of a successful detailing business, and ongoing education is key to maintaining and improving standards and gives you the ability to offer new options to customers.


Loyalty Programs and Incentives

Keep people coming back

Introduce loyalty programs and incentives to retain existing customers and attract new ones. There’s a reason major companies periodically create offers for “half price for the first 3 months”, and “buy two get a third free”. They work, and they keep customers returning long after the offer has ended.

Offering discounts on future services, referral bonuses, or exclusive deals for repeat customers will swell your income from an existing customer pool and help retain customers longer term. With the current trend for subscription-style living, paying a smaller amount regularly for a quarterly service helps people budget and removes another obstacle to purchasing. These incentives encourage loyalty and can boost your business, especially during slower periods.


Partnerships and Collaborations

Build your business off the backs of others

Use your burgeoning reputation to form partnerships with local businesses, such as car dealerships, repair shops, and car rental companies. These collaborations can provide a steady stream of referrals and mutually beneficial opportunities. Additionally, consider joining industry associations to network and learn from other professionals. These have a double-edged benefit by adding credibility and professionalism to your own business.


Expanding Services

Offer more options

Consider expanding your service offerings to attract more customers and increase revenue. This could include adding premium services like leather repair, dry ice blasting, paint protection film, or fleet detailing options.

Continuously assess market trends and customer demands to identify new opportunities, and if you subcontract out certain jobs regularly, look to see if you can increase your profit over the long term by bringing the service in-house.


Hiring and Training Staff

Increase your capacity

As your business grows, you may think about needing to hire additional staff, maybe a mobile employee for maintenance washes, or another pair of hands in the workshop to handle demand.

Recruit carefully, and choose employees who seem genuinely interested in the work. Invest in their training, both your own time and others, to ensure they meet your quality standards. A well-trained team will enhance your capacity and enable you to take on more customers.

You’ll need to verse yourself in employment law and remember the price of hiring someone costs more than just their wages, including employer national insurance, pension contributions, annual leave, insurance implications, etc.


Investing in Technology

Automate tasks and enhance your relationships

Adopt technology to streamline your operations and improve efficiency. This could include customer relationship management (CRM) software – such as Urable, Monday.com or Square – for appointment and invoice management. You can also use automated marketing tools – such as Brevo (formerly Sendinblue), Sprout Social, Sendible or Loomly – and detailing equipment – such as those available from Rhopoint, or NXT PTG – which can generate and send vehicle reports directly to customers in PDF format.

Technology can help you manage appointments, track customer preferences, inform customers, and maintain service quality. All of this gives you back time to spend earning money and further adding to your diversification.


Growth is going to be unique to every business. You may find that after you start, things pivot and you’re on a different track than you set out on – treat your first year or so like live market research, and don’t ignore trends – or you could be missing an opportunity.

Balance the risks with the reward before you take a step, and whilst optimism is needed to make an idea work, be self-critical and pessimistic when identifying worst-case scenarios – it’s better to be prepared and know what to do if your idea doesn’t take off. Learn from missteps, and you’ll be better prepared for the next big idea that might just take your business to the next level.


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