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Vol. 1, No. 3

Summer 2016

100 ways to advertise your business




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Letter from the Editor

One More Thing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 The Nitty Gritty. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Getting to know Renny Doyle Industry Dirt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10

One More Thing . . .

“Hacks”. . . that save on time and money, and preserve quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

love story and a shout out ~

Hall of Stains. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

The story goes something like this:

Elbow Grease . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 The Rise of Microsuede Business Snapshot. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 The Detail Doctor. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 How to keep and hire good employees Cover Story: 100 other ways to advertise your business. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32


Vol. 1, No. 3

Summer 2016

Publisher: Jackson Vahaly Editor: Debra Gorgos Design: Bret D. Haines Auto Detailing News is published 4 times per year and is independently owned by Jackson Vahaly. Web address is www.autodetailingnews.com All inquiries should be directed to: Auto Detailing News 110 Childs Ln. Franklin, TN 37067 jacksonv@autodetailingnews.com Copyright © 2016 2 Dollar Enterprises/Auto Detailing News All Rights Reserved.

Boy meets girl. Boy asks girl out on date. Boy and girl fall in love. Boy is a neat freak and a cheapskate. Boy doesn’t like to pay someone to do something that HE can do himself. This becomes annoying to girl. Boy and girl break up. Years pass. A different boy meets girl. Girl sees fast food wrappers in boy’s car. Girl gets in car and boy says, “sorry for the mess, I need to get my car cleaned.” Boy and girl fall in love. Five years later they have two children and a house and are still going strong. While you won’t exactly see that story adapted by Nicolas Sparks or on the shelves between Cinderella and Snow White, it at least true and has a happy ending. And, believe it or not, that girl was . . . me. Yes, shocking, I know. And, I didn’t realize how fitting it is, considering I am now a devoted envoy to the detailing industry. The story came up recently as I questioning whether a certain fast food restaurant was still open in the area. Then, I remembered seeing those aforementioned fast food wrappers in my now-loving partner’s car. And, while I certainly don’t credit his confession of professional detailing as the reason we are together now, I do credit the fact that it is a nice contrast to being surrounded by a stingy, DIY-er. Which brings me to a marketing query: How do you feel about DIY-ers, and DIY products—are they taking away your business, and your integrity? I am not sure if it is possible to sway people hell bent on doing everything themselves. DIY-ing is so

popular that there is even a DIY Network on television. Maybe it was encouraged by the 2007 recession? Maybe Youtube and Google offer up so many “how-tos” it would seem as if anything is possible. So, what do we do about it? Maybe start marketing to the youngest-driving-age generation so that they know what it is detailers do? Be a bee in their bonnet now and have them grow up with the acknowledgment of a detailer and the detailing profession burned in their brain. I personally wasn’t aware of what a detailer did and does until I was 30. That is 12 years of a missed opportunity for detailers in my area. My partner only knew about the detailing industry because he worked at Hoffman’s Car Wash in upstate New York as a teenager. So, how does one get the word out to current teens and young adults of Generation . . . what are we on now? Z? Some ideas, which are also listed in this issue’s cover story, 100 Other Ways to Advertise Your Business, include: Advertising in the high school and college newspapers and radio stations, having a Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram account, and sponsoring recreational sports teams. It is worth a shot, because those 16 and 17-year old drivers could soon be your regular customers.

Happy 4th of July! In other news, I don’t know about you, but I am finding this current political news coverage/hoopla to be about as pleasant as that time I lost my fingernail after I fell off of my bicycle. People are heated, or disgusted, or frustrated. And, I get it. Politicians and their policies can affect your business and your employees. But, with it now being the month of July, in which our country’s independence and freedom is celebrated, I wanted to give a shout out to all of the men and women who have

Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016


Auto Detailing News



fought and continue to fight for and protect our freedom. I would



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also like to take this soap boxing opportunity to acknowledge my late grandfather, Dr. Joseph H. Naumoff, who served as a Major in World War II. He was a doctor aboard medical ships in both the Pacific and Atlantic. I have his World War II uniform as well as my grandmother’s, who served as a nurse aboard the U.S.S. Mihiel during the war. Her maiden name was Ruth S. Hurrey. They both

Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

met while serving and rumor has it they fell in love in Casablanca (which, by the way, is a much better love story then the one I told above). Pictured here is both of my grandparents. I am proud and lucky to be related to them. And, to all of you out there who are reading this, who are veterans, or are serving, or have loved ones serving, I thank you. Happy 4th of July and happy detailing.

As always, please feel free to write to me at debrag@autodetailingnews.com with any thoughts, praise, complaints, praise (yes, I said it twice) or with a letter to the editor. I am always happy to hear from you. Until next time,

Debra S. Gorgos

The Nitty Gritty

Getting to know Renny Doyle

Author, trainer, and founder of Detailing Success By Debra Gorgos debrag@autodetailingnews.com


he familiar saying goes something like, “those who can, do, and those who can’t, teach.” But for Renny Doyle, he proves that idiom moot by doing both. As a skilled detailer for over 30 years, Renny has become an infamous detailing icon— working out of Southern California, about two hours east of Los Angeles, Renny details and trains people all over the world. In 2012 he offered up his teaching skills to the masses

and released the book, How to Start a Home-based Car Detailing Business. And, if you check out the reviews on Amazon.com, the reviews are exceptionally positive. Renny has also personally detailed Air Force One, and vehicles belonging to Barrett-Jackson Auto Auction collectors, and numerous celebrities alike. When I asked Renny what he is working on right now, his answer might surprise you. Read on for that answer as well as his thoughts on the best

detailing tools and what it takes to be a successful detailer. Debra Gorgos: How and when did you get involved in the detailing industry?

Renny Doyle: That’s a funny story. As a kid, a few of us noted a plane doing loops and aerobatics and we decided we wanted to try and find where the plane took off and landed from. Well, over that entire weekend, we rode our bikes some 13 miles and on the second Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

day we located a little airport by following the planes in the direction they were headed. Seeing the small planes so close got me hooked to aviation and for each of the following several weekends I would ride my bike to that little airport some 10 miles away. Soon, the pilot of the plane that performed aerobatics approached me and asked if I wanted to learn how to fly. In short, I started to wash, then wax, small, single engine planes as trade for time in |

Auto Detailing News



and some of the more challenging efforts and skills are easier than ever to deal with mainly due to product and tool development and I see this trend continuing and even gaining speed, which is a good thing for professionals. Also, coatings and advancements in protective agents for both the exterior and interior are making profitability much more realistic for many professionals. I am excited that organizations like the International Detailing Association are setting the bar higher and higher and the smart detailing professionals are taking note and making progress that we have never seen within our industry up until this day and age. It’s pretty exciting to have a front row seat to the changes we are witnessing.

the cockpit, learning how to fly. As you can guess, pilots have cars and thus my entry into auto detailing was born from detailing planes. That very pilot, Art Scholl, ended up being an American aerobatic pilot, aerial cameraman, flight instructor and educator and was killed while filming segments for the movie Top Gun, starring Tom Cruise. Art gave me a passion that has lasted my entire life. DG: What is it that you like about detailing?

RD: I love seeing the transformation of a vehicle and watching the canvas of the paint or interior improve with each step. I have A.D.D. and that “instant gratification” satisfies me and brings me pride. Also, with my career today as a detailing coach and business mentor, I love seeing others succeed. I know my own abilities, but giving others the abilities to make a living with their hands is very rewarding, the most rewarding thing I have ever done professionally.



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DG: What projects are you working on right now?

RD: We just finished the largest project of my career. We detailed and preserved 15 aircraft for the Boeing Centennial celebration in Seattle, Washington. It was a massive undertaking and it looks like we may even make the Guinness Book of World Records for the project, it was that massive of an undertaking. We averaged 35 detailing technicians over the two week project with as many as 70 of us working at once. It was one of the most rewarding projects of my career. DG: Do you have a favorite vehicle?

RD: I would say our own 1967 Chevelle drop top. We have owned the car for 18 years and it’s a part of our family. Aside from that, I am a huge fan of the Porsche 959; it was one of the original super cars and I drool over those cars every time the rare occasion arrives where I get to see one. I have a line on one I can drive on the Autobahn the next time I am Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

in Germany and that would be a bucket list dream come true for sure. DG: What is your favorite detailing tool and why?

RD: The FLEX 3401 polisher. This tool can do it all, cut, polish and even jewel if you know what you are doing. It has a learning curve to master the tool, but once you get your head around it, the tool is incredible. DG: What advancements do you see coming into the industry in terms of tools? Methods?

RD: What really excites me is the growing trend for professional detailers to invest in knowledge and skills. A decade ago, very, very few detailers obtained professional training and certification and while the majority of the industry is still lacking in verifiable knowledge, those that are obtaining professional training are leading the pack in both abilities and profits. Paint correction, stain removal

DG: What advice do you have for someone who is thinking of becoming a detailer?

RD: It’s not as easy to succeed as you think. Detailing may be an inexpensive business to start, but you need to be ready to not just work hard, but work smart. Detailing is competitive and you have seriously skilled technicians you will be competing against and “coming in cheap” is a race to the bottom. Get educated in small business, marketing, finance and how to run a successful and profitable business training. Detailing has changed and the days of a bucket, a mitt, and you are then in business are long gone. If you want a serious business, you can have it within detailing but be ready to work hard and have money to invest and stay out of debt! Debt within a start up can kill that start up. DG: What is your least favorite thing about detailing?

RD: Let me travel back to the days of building my business, the hardest days. Like many reading this, I worked long and hard days

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detailed Air Force One. The size was one thing, but the pressure of having to perform was insanely intense. DG: What are your other hobbies/what do you like to do in your spare time?

Renny along with The Detail Mafia, an elite collection of individually-owned detailing businesses dedicated to the art professional detailing, attended the Quail Motorsports gathering. The group worked on millions of dollars worth of vehicles at the event.

RD: For 26 years I have been a volunteer on a professional Mountain Search & Rescue Team for both the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and the Blaine County Sheriff’s Department. At the ripe age of 47 I was recruited to serve our country and the State of California within the State Guard as a soldier who trains fellow soldiers within Search & Rescue and Combat Life Saving. I am a firm believer that if you are going to make gains from your community, you need to give back to that community. DG: If you weren’t involved in the detailing industry, what would you be doing?

Team photo from the Quail event 2015 — with Jim Goguen, Dave Phillips, Michael Pena, Renny Doyle, Bob Phillips, Yisrael Verrett, Rigo Santana, Ken Crone, Craig MacKay, Kyle Clark, Mike Liebing, Harry Joseph Sandwith and Doug Parfitt.

back then. I missed seeing some important things in my kid’s life and I hate that I did that. Looking back, had I worked smarter, I would not have had to miss those important times. That is why I mentor and train people today, so that others don’t make those



Auto Detailing News


mistakes. I hate seeing people waste valuable time and work so hard they miss out on what is important in life when there is no need to conduct your business like that. Detailing can break you down if you let it, but being smart, working smart, finding Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

peer mentors and planning will take you to the same spot if not higher than simple hard work alone. DG: What is the most challenging detailing job you have done?

RD: By far the first time we

RD: I am a habitual entrepreneur. My wife Diane and I have always had businesses outside of detailing that were all started and funded from our efforts within detailing. So I would say that the industry I have enjoyed the most would be the executive protection company we owned at one time. We had that business tied to an executive transportation business and successfully sold the business back in 2005. Diane and I would have fun returning to protecting the rich and famous, but we will stick to detailing, it’s in our DNA. DG: Tell us one thing about you that might surprise our readers:

RD: Today I sport a shaved head so it may be a shocker to hear that during college, I was a hair model. Seriously, I had great hair and modeled several times as a side gig.

The wave of the future How one man combined Uber with mobile detailing to create the Washé app.

Industry Dirt 2016 Events Calendar The NACE | CARS Expo & Conference August 9-13 The Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, California


The Northeast Regional Carwash Convention (NRCC) September 19-21 Atlantic City Convention Center, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Host Hotel is the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa


2016 SEMA Show

November 1-4 Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada And for those who like to plan well ahead, dates have been announced for the next four shows as well, although the locations of the shows have not been released: • 2017 SEMA Show: October 31–November 3 • 2018 SEMA Show: October 30–November 2  • 2019 SEMA Show: November 5–8 • 2020 SEMA Show: November 3 – 6


2017 Mobile Tech Expo

January 19-21 Double Tree by Hilton – Universal, Orlando, Florida



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s the world gets more and more technologically savvy and apps are used for everything from ordering coffee, to ordering a ride home, the world of mobile detailing is now entering the mix. Bringing its easycome, easy go detailing services to the masses via the push of a button, the Washè app is the first of its kind and, according to its founder, people are taking notice. Washè was founded and designed by 22-year-old Stefan Joyal of Boca Raton, Florida. Joyal got the idea during a family gathering in which a number of family members wanted to have their cars cleaned that weekend. “I thought to myself, ‘there has to be a better way to get on-demand car cleaning,’” Joyal remembers. “And then I thought about Uber — something which I use all the time, and I realized a similar app could be used for people to have their vehicles cleaned.” Joyal then got to work. He worked on designing the app, mastering his knowledge of the detailing industry, and working with an outside vendor to fine tune the app’s elements. And, last January, Washè was launched. This is something that I think is great for the industry, says Nick Vacco, founder and CEO of Detail King, a detail training and supply business, who has worked in the industry for over 30 years. “I am

Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

impressed with what it can do and I see it going far.” The app works similarly to Uber in that a customer can quickly request a mobile detailer to show up at their home or business within minutes. Or, if they want, they can schedule a cleaning for a later time and date. A lá Uber, customers can also track their detailer’s route to get an idea of when they will arrive. It also guarantees reliable detailers, who can then be reviewed by the customer and vice versa. Customers are also allowed to pick the wash package they want and see a listing of prices. “Anyone who uses the app is offered credibility,” says Joyal, who carefully selects only qualified detailers to work with Washè. “I know some mobile detailers around here who were not reliable, or did a horrible job or didn’t show up when they said they would. But, with this app, there is a guarantee for the customer.” We also offer marketing as well as office management tools and a reliable credit card payment system. It really is a one-stop shop, he adds. The app has now been live for seven months and already has a really large network, according to Joyal. “I look forward to expanding even more,” he says. “It has already been a huge success for us and I am excited to see how far we will go.”

In the news

A significant labor shortage has prompted ABRA Auto Body & Glass of Brooklyn Park, Minneapolis, to recruit new employees with $2,500 cash rewards and paid training sessions, according to The Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. The June 8 story says that ABRA has more than 5,000 employees in 24 states and had a reported revenue of $565.3 million in 2014. Students who enroll for the training will become employees automatically when the classes start. Job duties include assisting with repairs and sourcing parts to washing and detailing, the story states. Dr. Beasley’s has been chosen by Audi as the official provider of paint car products for its vehicle line with matte finish options. The Chicago-based company, which specializes in biodegradable

detailing products, was chosen after extensive scientific testing was conducted by Audi, a press release reports. The Audi vehicles, which include the S8 Plus, S7, and R8, have a unique finish which doesn’t reflect light like glossy paint, Jim Lafeber, President and Founder of Dr. Beasley’s, states in the press release. “It has microscopic imperfections that refract light and give the paint its flat look,” he says. “We’ve formulated a revolutionary matte paint care line without any wax, silicone, or other ‘filling’ ingredients so anyone can now properly take care of their matte car. We’re excited about the idea of giving Audi owners the ability to properly take care of their investment.” Dr. Beasley’s also provides solutions to Kawasaki, Hyundai, Chrysler, and ICON 4x4. Ziebart Corporation of Troy, Michigan, handed out service,

(Greenwood Store)

dealer and new dealer of the year awards at its bi-annual North American Dealer summit in Orlando, Florida, last April, a press release reports. The following Ziebart franchisees and corporate store managers were recognized:

Jim Harris—30 years Ziebart of Indianapolis, IN (Georgetown Store) Jim Harris—30 years Ziebart of Indianapolis, IN (Washington Store) Anthony Mattiacio—25 years Ziebart of Rochester, NY (Lyell Store)

Service Awards

Anthony Mattiacio—25 years Ziebart of Rochester, NY (W. Henrietta Store)

Jim Harris—35 years Ziebart of Dayton, OH Jim Harris—30 years Ziebart of Indianapolis IN

(Continued on next page)

Giving Back Gordon’s Elite Detailing, LLC. of Milford, Pennsylvania, sponsored a carwashing charity event to benefit the GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center on June 11, the Pocono Record reported. A $5 donation per car and $10 donation for each truck and SUV was suggested. The proceeds went towards the Jean Work Scholarship Fund which offers equine therapy to children with special needs.

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Industry Dirt tint technology with the best in performance. Our film provides the best in heat rejection and blocks 99% of harmful ultraviolet rays, allowing for a more comfortable and safer drive,” says Baker. According to Larisa Walega, Ziebert’s Director of Marketing, NCP film was designed for the driver who wants to keep their vehicle cooler and protected, but doesn’t want to change the look of their vehicle with a dark window tint. “Many window tint shades are prohibited by state laws. Ziebart’s new clear and almost invisible NCP film meets state guidelines for window tint visual light transmission requirements.” Another show featuring the

Nathan Krueger—10 years Ziebart of Milwaukee, WI Nathan Krueger—10 years Ziebart of Waukesha, WI 2015 Manager of the Year, Greg Brys, Ziebart of Utica, MI 2015 New Dealer of the Year, Anthony Mattiacio, Ziebart of Canandaigua, NY 2015 Dealer of the Year, Anthony Mattiacio, Ziebart Rochester, NY Group Daniel C. Baker, President of Ziebart Corporation states, “We are very proud of the work all of our franchisees and corporate store managers have done to support the Ziebart mission of offering superior products and amazing customer service in their local markets. Our brand is one of few that can celebrate 57 years as a franchised business. We recognize and celebrate the achievements of our franchisees, our corporate store managers and our employees, that work day-in and day-out to preserve and continue our brand’s legacy. We congratulate all of the award winners and wish them continued success.” Ziebart has also debuted a new window film, a Nano Ceramic Performance Film (NCP) to be exact, to its customers nationwide, a press release reports. The film became available last May. “Our new Ziebart NCP film combines the latest in window



Auto Detailing News

2015 New Dealer of the Year and Dealer of the Year Anthony Mattiacio.

art of detailing is coming to television. This time, it’s Big Easy Motors, which debuts on the History Channel on Tuesday, July 5, at 10 p.m. T h e s h o w, f r o m G l a s s Entertainment Group, follows Charles Handler of New Orleans, Louisiana, and his team as they find beaten up vintage vehicles and restore them to their former glory.

History BUFF


l ov e box? G l ov e c om p a r t m e nt ? Whatever you call it, the history of small storage area in a vehicle dates back to the days of the 1900 Packard horseless carriage, according to NBCnews.com. Because the carriages were mostly convertibles, hats and gloves were a necessity, and eventually, early automakers followed suit. The National Automobile Museum in Reno, Nevada, claims that the 1902 Oldsmobile Curved Dash Roundabout included a leather satchel with four buckles as part of its dash and the 1903 Duryea contained a box featuring a decorative iron rail on the lid, which opened from the top. built into the dash, opening on top instead of in front with a decorative iron rail on the lid. Some vehicles even had baskets, hampers, and trunks for storage, but by the 1930s, glove boxes, similar to what we see now, became the standard. Greg Wallace, an automotive historian with


Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

Along with Velocity Channel’s TV show, Competition Ready, and Counting Cars, which airs before Big Easy Motors at 9 p.m., Big Easy Motors is one of several shows to feature detailers. Other shows currently on the air include the Discovery Channel’s Fast N’ Loud, Velocity Channel’s Chasing Classic Cars, and the History Channel’s Top Gear.

the General Motors Heritage Center, in Warren, Michigan, tells NBCnews.com that car driving back in the old days was a lot like operating a snowmobile— and it was a cold and dirty activity. Some Cadillacs, according to Wallace, included rails to store robes to be used to keep warm. Today, the glove compartment is used for everything from important paperwork to beverages. In 2008, Dodge included a Chill Zone, a refrigerated beverage bin, in its 2008 Avenger sedans, according to NBCnews.com. And Nissan has added a glove compartment deep enough to store a laptop computer in both its Rogue crossover utility series and it its Sentra sedan.


Do you know of a new detailing business that has opened recently? Do you have news to share or an upcoming event? Send all information and press releases to Debra Gorgos at debrag@autodetailingnews.com and we will list the news here in the Fall 2016 issue.



“HACKS” …that save on time and money, and preserve quality By Debra Gorgos and Jimbo Balaam debrag@autodetailingnews.com, jimbobalaam@gmail.com


quality information for people looking to start their own auto detailing business, car enthusiast that want to detail their car faster and better, and seasoned pro’s that are looking to pick up some tips and tricks!” Balaam has now hosted over 236 podcasts, which can be found at www.autodetailingpodcast.com, and one of which included an interview with yours truly. That podcast discussed the top ten detailing hacks. Although, the word “hacks” is used, it was in no meant in a negative way in which the end result and quality would be at risk. Instead, it is being meant in ways that you and your customers are benefited thanks to being able to save time and money. Or, to be even more succinct, Balaam titled the podcast as: 10 Hacks To Make Sure You’re Not A Hack.


imbo Balaam, host of The Auto Detailing Podcast, and owner and operator of Jimbo’s Auto Detailing, has been detailing throughout Southern California for the past seven years. Met with a meager economic climate, Balaam built his business into a big success thanks to hard work, resolve and lots of good old-fashioned research. Now, he hosts his podcast as a service to others, knowing he wasn’t sure where to turn for quality detailing and small business information when he first started out. “When I first entered the auto detailing industry it was like pulling teeth to get any good info from quality detailers,” states his website. “In today’s society with the Internet and such, there is plenty of info out there for newbies to digest, the problem is there is a lot of bad information out there. My vision is that The Auto Detailing Podcast be a FREE resource of



Auto Detailing News

1. Spray away Do a waterless or rinseless wash when detailing an RV (or any vehicle). If you’re in an area with a lot of mud and/or snow, you might have to do a pre-rinse first. Waterless or rinseless washes are way quicker and they can be used |

Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

by both mobile or fixed location detailers. Also, do a rinseless wash with a spray sealant (although be sure to use the term “wax” with customers as they are more familiar with this term). You can honestly get a car washed and waxed in a half hour. Some guys, especially when it comes to detailing an RV, want to snow-foam the entire RV, but that is just way too time consuming.

2. Offer a wash/clay/wax special Entice customers with this kind of special deal. But it in your ads, on your Facebook page, your website and on your signage. This kind of special attracts the average detail customer. Make sure to do a rinseless wash (you can do waterless, but rinseless is better in my opinion) first. Before you go to spray the sealant, take a clay towel (or clay mitt) to the vehicle — these are lightening fast to work with. Then do a spray of sealant. I recommend charging $99 for a wash/clay/ wax and this ends up being a quick way to make money and please customers, and it doesn’t take a lot of time.

3. Don’t be afraid to coat your tools Coatings are a huge deal in the detailing industry so you should coat your own tools, such as your buffers and even your vacuum. Then you can clean them off really easily. You can even try coating the inside of your vacuum to make it easier to clean out.

4. Consider a wheel acid Everyone seems to be afraid of wheel acid — it is a little nasty and dangerous to work with, but on really nasty rims, nothing comes even close to cleaning the wheels fast and efficiently. It can also be used on water spots on windows and on paint. But, wear gloves, maybe even a respirator, be extremely careful, and make sure it is diluted properly. It can ruin or stain aluminum rims so use with caution. So, if you know how to use it, you’re good at reading labels and directions, and you’re not an idiot, you can do some seriously good work in a short amount of time. But, you have to be careful.

5. Marketing hacks Two words: Google Adwords. It has been my best tool so far. You

cannot rely on word of mouth only. I get five to 10 new leads every week. It is something you can control, depending on how much you want to spend. Also, do follow ups with your customers. Send out an email, a text, a postcard or give them a phone call. It’s free or the cost of a stamp and an automatic way to get some serious cash flow going.

6. Pick easy software When it comes to office management, pick a software program that is user friendly and offers a good support team. I swear by the Better Software Company which has a CRM (customer relationship management) tool specifically designed for detailers. It has the correct fields inside the platforms for detailers and it is customizable (I also want to add that if you want to use the Better Software Company’s CRM tool, mention Jimbo or this Auto Detailing Podcast to get a special

rate). You can send out appointment reminders, final invoices, etc. I use this in conjunction with QuickBooks for accounting and Square for credit card processing. QuickBooks is still the best accounting software out there.

7. Link it all together You can link your business debit card to your QuickBooks account. Whether you’re out getting gas, or buying something for your operation, it then automatically categorizes and tracks your business expenses. This saves you time so that you’re not doubly inputting your expenses. Also link in your Square for your credit card payments so that those payments go right into your accounting records. This also makes it easy when it comes to looking up customer files, in case there is an issue.

8. Don’t be afraid to buy new towels With towels, I buy ones in bulk

at Costco because they are cheap, but they work great. I get a few cycles with them — and then I can toss them out if I need to, with very little guilt. Also, when it comes to washings, I don’t waste money on detergents and instead am just careful to not dry them on a high heat, which ruins the fibers.

take a lot more of a beating than you think, so I say, “don’t be afraid to go to town!” You can use a stiff bristle brush and the interior can handle it. Another good “hack” is to pressure wash the floor mats. I always felt badly about doing this because it didn’t seem professional, but if you have a really dirty mat, use the pressure washer and do this early on in the detailing process so that they have time to dry. And, use a steamer — they make all the difference in the world. I don’t know why more people do not use a steam as it is a total game changer. It kills germs (parents, germaphobes, and people who just bought a used vehicle like to hear that — so get to know your customer). Also, it doesn’t get make everything soaking wet, which saves time when it comes to returning the vehicle to the owner. You can also use steam in the door seals.

9. A quick way to clean door jambs If they are really nasty and you’re using water, presoak them with an all-purpose cleaner or degreaser. This will help to loosen the dirt during the wash process, especially if you’re using a pressure washer. Be sure to focus on the seams and rotate the pressure washer so that it can fit into the cracks and crevices — this is a good way to really get the dirt out.

10. Interior elbow grease Some people are shocked to hear that vehicle interiors can

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Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016


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Auto Detailing News



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Name the Stain This stain is about a week old. Do you know what it is? How about the make and model of the vehicle?



Send your answers to debrag@autodetailingnews.com. The answer and the name of the first person to write in with the correct answer will be listed in the following issue.

Stain horror stories

hances are, as a detailer you have probably seen pretty horrible messes. Pigment, odors, or just plain grossness can turn stomachs and perhaps even make you wish you were doing something else for a living. This section is dedicated to those horror stories and will showcase the tales of the really bad spills and stains that took special treatments and extra man hours to eradicate.

The Prey: Jon Shaw (username on AutoCareForum.com: Washmee) The Culprit: Criminals The Horror Story: If you have ever watched a few episodes of the TV show “Cops”, you have seen the kind of mayhem that can go down during the arrest of a drunken or belligerent suspect. I have an account with our local police department where we do bio-hazard clean ups on patrol cars after a person has been arrested and has left behind any bodily fluids. The cars are disgusting and can be a mix of blood, vomit, sweat, alcohol and who knows what else. Have you ever smelled vomit mixed with alcohol? It’s disgusting. The worst smell in the world.

The Removal Process: We start out by putting on protective gear because we could be exposed to contagious and harmful DNA. Rubber gloves, protective apron, face shield and respirator. We only use materials, such as disposable towels, that I buy in bulk, because we do not reuse anything that is being

used in these vehicles. Everything is thrown away. We also have to disinfect the vacuums and shampooer attachments. We then wash out the entire interior. We shampoo the carpet. Vacuum every single inch. And use everything from Lysol to a commercial grade disinfectant spray on the entire interior. We wash the windows. The barrier that divides the back seats and the front and we make sure to disinfect every inch. The Outcome: These are our least favorite jobs by far and we hate having to do them, just because of the smell, but we get them all clean and disinfected and ready for the next arrest. Have you survived a tale of horror? If so, please send your story to Debra Gorgos at debrag@autodetailingnews.com.

Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016


Auto Detailing News



Elbow Grease

The Rise of Microsuede How to Care for Alcantara, Dinamica, & Ultrasuede By Jim Lafeber & Celine Witherell jel@drbeasleys.com and celine@drbeasleys.com


ur introduction to heavily used microsuede started with a Mercedes Benz C63 AMG Edition 1. A long time customer of ours came in with his beautiful and rare beauty and explained to us the issues he was having with his car’s interior. His Edition 1 had an all Dinamica interior, even on the steering



Auto Detailing News


Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

wheel and shifter, which happen to be the places with the most hand contact. He was frustrated by the fabric because it was seemingly impossible to keep clean. We searched for a remedy to clean microsuede and found a few suggestions. We tried various methods, as well as some of our standard cleaning products without much luck. And there

weren’t any microsuede-specific cleaning products available. It was then that we knew we had to create something ourselves, and we came up with Dr. Beasley’s Microsuede Cleanser. After formulating this cleanser, we saw more microsuede and not just in Mercedes. We started seeing this fabric in the interiors of Jeeps, Chevys, and Fords, and we continue to see an increase in the use of microsuede in the interiors of daily drivers. We should clarify exactly what we’re talking about when we say microsuede. While we’d seen the fabric before in high end and infrequently driven vehicles, we didn’t start seeing it on more common cars until recently. It’s a synthetic suede alternative that’s designed to be more durable and water resistant than actual suede. Microsuede is the general term for this fabric, and some brand names include Alcantara,

Ultrasued e , a nd D i na m i c a . Microsuede is more durable than suede, but it’s still a sensitive fabric. A type of microfiber, microsuede is made of synthetic fibers (usually a polyester blend) and is less expensive than real suede. It’s used in a plethora of places including car interiors, clothing, and furniture. More and more, microsuede is being offered as an option

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Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016


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5 MICROSUEDE MUST-KNOWS FOR DETAILERS 1. Heat is the biggest enemy of microsuede. If you think you can clean this fabric with steam, think again. Overheating microsuede will permanently damage it, causing it to become crusty, dry, and hardened. Reviving this fabric is near impossible so if you have to use heat around it, don’t go any higher than 140 degrees. 2. Don’t use just water to clean it. You might think water is fairly harmless when used as a cleanser. Alas, it’s not. Water can stain microsuede. It can also create mold under the fabric if overused. Just avoid using it as a means to clean microsuede. Use Dr. Beasley’s Microsuede Cleanser. 3. Don’t scrub it! Sometimes cleaning means scrubbing, but definitely not when it comes to microsuede. We’ve heard of some people using tools like a pet stone on this fabric, only to completely and irreversibly ruin it. An interior brush used with very little pressure is plenty; you don’t need to use a lot of force. 4. Using the wrong chemicals will fade microsuede. Using an all purpose cleanser or the wrong type of cleanser on this fabric will change the look of it. Harsh chemicals can discolor microsuede, and there’s really nothing to be done to get it looking right again. 5. Microsuede needs preventative care. Don’t stop at cleaning this fabric. Once it’s properly cleaned, always protect it. Use Dr. Beasley’s Microsuede Protection to prevent future stains from penetrating the fabric. Dr. Beasley’s was born out of Simon’s Shine Shop, Chicago’s premier hand wash and detailing center. Founder Jim Lafeber, who also owns Simon’s, has been using his own proprietary formulas to make products for use in Simon’s, and in 2010 began selling his products to the general public under the Dr. Beasley’s brand. All Dr. Beasley’s products are professional quality, safe for consumer use, and readily biodegradable. Jim Lafeber, CD-SV, is past President and Board Member at the International Detailing Association (IDA). Currently Jim acts as Committee Chairman of Marketing and Communications at the IDA. Celine Witherell is the Communications Manager at Dr. Beasley’s and is responsible for conveying the organization’s external messaging. She specializes in customer relations,  online marketing, and content creation.



Auto Detailing News


Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

microsuede because it’s incredibly soft, whereas leather is a totally different texture. In the summer, skin doesn’t stick to microsuede the way it does to leather. If a car’s seats are microsuede, they won’t be burning hot after the car has been sitting in the sun. While there are benefits to choosing microsuede over leather, it’s still important to note that microsuede requires specialized care. Without proper maintenance, this fabric can become hard, crusty, and discolored. Microsuede is usually used in areas that come in the most contact with skin like a steering wheel or a seat, and body oils can cause the fabric to get gunky and dirty. You don’t necessarily even have to spill anything on it, just touching it on a regular basis can cause it to become dirty and discolored.

What about water? If you search for information about how to clean microsuede, you’ll find a lot of sources that tell you to use water. Water isn’t going to permanently harm microsuede, but it’s also not really going to clean it. Water doesn’t clean, it just gets things wet. And if

you oversaturate the surface with water, you can stain it. So then you’ve just stained the stain you were trying to remove. Microsuede is also quite absorbent, so using water to attempt to clean it allows for potential mold growth, which is yet another cleaning project. Through our research, we found supposed microsuede cleaning remedies like rubbing alcohol and water, or vinegar and water. We understand the basic logic behind those suggestions. Isopropyl alcohol is a well-known and trusted sanitizing agent. But that’s the problem; the alcohol will kill germs, but it doesn’t lift dirt. So with dirty microsuede, alcohol might sanitize it, but it will still look dirty. Alcohol can also dry out the soft microsuede fibers. Vinegar is about the same as far as cleaning. It will remove smells and it’s a great all purpose cleaner, but microsuede needs more than all-purpose to really get dirt and stains out. The only real way to get microsuede clean without drying it out is to use a specialized cleaning product.

What works Cleaning this fabric requires something that lifts dirt and

removes stains while leaving microsuede surfaces soft. At this point, the only available options are Sonax Upholstery & Alcantara C l e a n e r, a n d D r. B e a s l e y ’s Microsuede Cleanser. Both products are designed to remove organic messes like spilt food or drink, body oils, and dirt. To effectively remove organic stains and messes from your microsuede surfaces, all you need is Microsuede Cleanser and a clean, soft microfiber towel. For heavier stains (like pen ink or fabric dye), use Dr. Beasley’s Microsuede Spot Remover. Spray the Microsuede Cleanser onto the affected area and let it sit for a minute. Make sure the fabric doesn’t become oversaturated with product. Then gently wipe the product away with the towel. A second application may be needed on a heavily soiled area, but make sure you let the fabric dry before the second application.

Proper protection protocol After you’ve cleaned the microsuede, it should certainly be protected. Protected microsuede means that next time a drink is spilled inside of the car, the liquid will bead and roll off. To protect

microsuede without hardening it, use Dr. Beasley’s Microsuede Protection. You need a clean interior brush and the product and you’re good to go. Take the interior brush and push all the fibers of the microsuede in one direction. Then spray the protective product, making sure not to soak it. Give those fibers a chance to dry and return to their original state, and then take the interior brush and push the microsuede in the opposite direction. Then spray the product. Let it all dry for at least 5 hours for optimum protection. Fabric maintenance is an ongoing project. Clean a mess as soon as you see it happen. Protection is prevention. If the microsuede area for which you’re caring is heavily used (like a driver’s seat or steering wheel), re-apply protection every 2 months. For areas that get less action (like a headliner), re-apply protection every 6 months. If microsuede is left untreated, Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

it will harden and become stained with embedded contaminants, like we saw in our customer’s Edition 1. If microsuede is treated, it will remain soft, plush, and new looking for much longer than expected, which is easily accomplished with the right products and technique. Preventative maintenance makes all the difference; so protecting microsuede after it’s cleaned is absolutely crucial to the health of the fabric. This faux suede is quickly on the rise in all types of vehicles, so having the knowledge to safely and effectively maintain it is important for every detailer. |

Auto Detailing News



Business Snapshot

Not your average Joe Business Name: Joe Kennedy’s Auto Beauty Center/Auto Care U.S.A. Location: Buffalo, New York Owner: Joe Kennedy


t all started in a backyard in Buffalo, NY. It was April 1974. A love of cars, especially clean cars, was and still is a passion for Joe Kennedy. Back then, people didn’t really understand what detailing was. As a matter of fact, if Kennedy mentioned that he detailed cars, they thought it meant he added pinstripes. “Having a new baby and no job, but a burning desire to do something I loved, I had the guts to take a chance,” says Kennedy. And, at 23 years old, he decided to risk it all and become a professional detailer. Kennedy soon grabbed a typewriter and sent out letters to doctors, lawyers and many other



Auto Detailing News

professionals in the community and asked for their business. He walked door to door with door hangers and car to car with slingers. And, he did this seven days a week. “If there were no cars to detail, there was paper in the typewriter or boots on the ground hustling,” he says. Back then, as Kennedy puts it, Gerald Ford was president, the Miami Dolphins won super bowl VIII, brand new homes were $35,000, and gas was 55 cents a gallon. And, a new car? On average one was $3,750. And, the average showroom detail was only $35. “Yikes,” says Kennedy, who set out a plan to succeed. Using a natural talent for marketing, enthusiasm, and good |

Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

ol’ fashioned pavement pounding, Kennedy hitched his wagon to a star and put his heart, soul, blood, sweat and tears into his work. Kennedy started by making sure he didn’t fit in, but instead, stood out from the crowd. “If you do what everyone else does, you will be where everyone else is.” You must separate yourself from the pack, he says. “You can be the absolute best detailer in the world, but if people have never heard of you, what good is it?” Success, according to Kennedy, starts the minute you answer the phone. In fact, Kennedy dares anyone reading this article to dial: 716-855-BUFF. Whether you get the answering machine or a live person, you are greeted

with appreciation and positivity. In fact, Kennedy has everyone answering the phone state, “It’s a great day at Joe Kennedy’s. How can we make this your best call of your day?” One big secret to success is to make it all about your customer. Your customer doesn’t care if you have a headache or if you had a fight with your spouse. “All he or she expects is whether or not you are professional and are good at your trade. Remember, you are not doing your customer a favor by cleaning his or her vehicle . . . they are doing you a favor by bringing it to you. The sooner you realize that the better off you will be.” Kennedy, who wants to share all of his tips for success and business


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1. Do not be a salesperson my passion and my commitment will be noticed. Also, read everyHow many of you guys go out there and try to sell your services? STOP immediately! This is the wrong thing to do. As a matter a fact, I don’t care if you are the best detailer in your area and you tell everybody that. Today people know what auto detailing is, that’s why they called you. Starting today, you need to market yourself and separate yourself from the competition. What do you offer that no one else does? I personally offer: • Free loaner vehicles • Free rides to work • Free birthday washes • Free spot and stain removal, and • Free scratch removal after a showroom detail.

secrets with the world, advises people reading this article to keep on reading. In fact, he even exclaims, “You do not want to put down this article now! You have too much to lose!” And, so with that, Kennedy, in his own words, offers you all his top 10 tips for success:

But, and this next part is important, the one thing I give that no one else can is: Joe Kennedy. I offer customers all of my energy,

to excellence. My promise and guarantee is this: If you can find a better detailer, with a better price or better service, I will pay for it. And, in 42 years of business, I have never had to do that.

2. Be nice to your competition And, here’s a word to the wise, don’t ever put down another detailer — you should instead only be saying good things about yourself! Auto detailing is a tough business. It takes a major toll on your body. Be respectful to your competitor. Everyone is working hard, some are just working “smarter.” If they have more business than you, don’t get jealous, get motivated. If they are doing something unique to attract a new customer, you do something unique, too. And, don’t ever copy what they do, it

thing you can about marketing, and read everything you can about auto detailing. And, listen to: The Strangest Secret, by Earl Nightingale. He talks about how you become what you think about. You have a goldmine between your ears, so be sure to use it.

3. You have to be memorable and market yourself wherever you can

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Auto Detailing News


769 Merus Ct.

Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

Fenton, MO 63026


On my cars I have had the following license plates: Gloss Boss 855-BUFF And my phone number is: 855-BUFF I like to think outside the box, and also grab marketing opportunities whenever and wherever I can. If you can think of a clever license plate idea, grab it now before someone else does.


Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016


Auto Detailing News



$10,000 as it is visualizing one million dollars. Your vision board should inspire and motivate you. Then, all of your selfdoubt will go away and you will reprogram your brain for success. But, remember: You must have the feelings that go with success, in order to have success. Without the feelings the visualization won’t work. Go out now and seize the day.

6. Use your positivity with your customers When you are detailing a customer’s vehicle you have to get them excited. Make it an event. What does this actually mean? Take before and after pictures. Text some “tease” pics throughout the day to the customer’s phone. Tell them to make sure they have their sunglasses on (we actually used to give sunglasses away with our name on the side of them). When their car is ready call them and tell them how much they are going to love it. Then when they come and pick it up have it covered with a car cover. Then take your time and peel back the car cover nice and slow. What you hear will blow your mind. WOW! Oh my God! Amazing! I can’t believe it’s the same car! This is a great way to present the final product. It makes all your hard work worth it. Detailing a vehicle is all about one’s senses: Sight, touch, and smell play a major part in the equation.

4. Make your name stand out My business name, Joe Kennedy’s Auto Beauty Center/Auto Care USA is remembered because I say it all the time. The name also includes what we do. Name clarity is very critical — so are first impressions. So make your name stand out. The first letter of your business name is critical. At one time we were Auto Care USA, and Auto Beauty Center. This goes back to the days of the Yellow Pages. Everything went alphabetically so we were always number one and the first to be seen in the phone book.  I  did not incorporate my name into the business until it was well established. I also recommend staying away from using your initials. Also, don’t put your name first until you are well k n o w n i n y o u r c o m m u n i t y.



Auto Detailing News

5. Be positive You must eat, breath and sleep your business. Start a vision board today. Visualization works. Focus mainly not about what you want, but how you want to feel when you receive what you want. The more you focus on the feeling verses the material stuff, the more it will come to life. There are no limits here. It’s as easy to visualize |

Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

7. Don’t forget about signage A frame signs are very important. Put these on major intersections near your business with arrows pointed towards your business.

8. Be nice to the heroes We have been known to detail

the local police department’s vehicles for free. This is a great way to give back to the community, keep your business safe, and bring in new business. We always believe in giving back to our community. We are also very involved with our local cancer center, Roswell Park Cancer Center. They have the ride for Roswell where people ride bikes and raise money by sponsorship and Carly’s Club which is very involved with pediatric cancer. Very close to our hearts in the Kennedy  Family

9. Consider the radio station Do a trade with a radio station. When your customers come in find out what their morning drive station is and then approach the station and tell them that you are interested in doing a trade with them. Offer the morning on-air personality a free detail in exchange for a live advertisement on their program. This has more benefits than you could ever imagine.

10. Advertise all year round If you close for the winter, have a clever message for your customers so that they will remember you until you open again. Winters in Buffalo were brutal, but I didn’t want customers to forget about us, so what I did was read a poem on our answering machine in case they called: The snow was blowing outdoors, The drifts were pilling high I could see my customers as they were passing by. So it didn’t make much sense to open up every day When by the end of the week We would go home without any pay This grabs your customer’s attention and you don’t have to make an excuse as to why you’re not there.

The Detail Doctor

How to keep and hire good employees Detailing is a semi-skilled trade and requires competent individual who can think.


work in a relaWhat’s tively dirty job the that is physically Solution? hard and pays For many low wages? doomsayers Trouble keepthe solution is ing them. With to wait it out. the competitive“The economy ness in today’s is bound to job market it is change and very difficult to unemploykeep personnel, ment will go for the same up and things reasons it is hard By RL “Bud” Abraham will get back to to find them. buda@autodetailingnews.com normal.” How Trouble  motinaive! When do vating and keeping them producthings ever go back to normal? tive. When an employee knows And what is normal? they can find another job for more Maybe, just maybe, this diffimoney they aren’t as likely to be cult labor market is a blessing in motivated in their job and it is more disguise, one that will force an difficult to keep them productive. upgrading of an industry that This may be an oversimplification, really needs upgrading. but if you get any group of busiThink about it. The detail ness owners together, especially industry, for the most part, is those in the service industry, be about where car washing was after it detail or car wash, you will hear World War II. A dirty, back alley a common complaint: The diffibusiness that employed dirty, back culty finding and retaining good alley people. Or at least that was employees. the public’s perception of the One car wash operator I know industry. starts employees in his exterior The auto detail industry genercar washes at $11.65 an hour and ates a similar perception today. Is has trouble keeping them. this unfair? Look at a typical shop:

marquee outside a fast food operation  doesn’t herald the latest special, or boast the number of burgers sold. Instead, it states: “HELP WANTED. $10-$12”  (depending on state’s minimum wage). Across town at a McDonalds, inducements are even stronger. “JOBS,” the sign says in large, red letters. “Name your shift. Bonuses. Uniforms. Free meals. $10-$12 an hour” (based on state’s minimum wage). It used to be that  rates  per hour would vary from the Federal Minimum wage of  $7.50  (lowest that can be paid)  to over $10 an hour in states with a high minimum wage. If you have a business in Seattle, Washington, the minimum wage is now $15 an hour. The result, however, is the same: It is an “employee market” for jobs. What does this mean for the detail industry? This is a question that most operators in the business can already answer. Trouble, with a capital T. What kinds of trouble? Trouble  finding employees. Why should an employee want to



Auto Detailing News


Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

Back alley, garage, warehouse or other such location; ill-kept, dirty, dark, and totally unappealing; owned or operated by ill-kempt, unshaven, people. And, what about the mobile detailers who operate with a shop vacuum and buffer out of the trunk of their car? In short,  most detail operations are not a company customer would want to patronize. So would a good individual want  to work there? Maybe  detail business owners  ought to think a little more about the employee and the quality of the workplace they provide. If they did that you might solve the problem. If you upgrade the work environment and work conditions,  you  would attract good employees and keep them. At the same time good employees generate confidence and this would create a more appealing place of business for the motorist to frequent. While some readers might disagree with my logic, many others who do operate a “good” business know this logic is correct. Success in business, just as failure, is not due to a single cause. There

are multiple causes. That is, there are many factors that influence success or failure.

What Employees Want Most professional recruiters will tell you that to attract and retain “good” employees at any level requires that attention be paid to several important factors. Time and time again it has been clearly proven that companies from the IBMs to the local gas station attract and retain their employees by insuring that these factors are attended to: SAFETY: The number one criterion for selecting a job is, “Is it safe?” Think about it. How many of us would take a job, at any pay that would jeopardize our safety and health? SECURITY: The second most important factor is job security. If an employee takes a job and makes a commitment he wants

the security of knowing that the employer will provide them the same commitment. ADVANCEMENT: Another key factor in hiring and retaining good employees is the opportunity for advancement in the company, both in position and salary. Who wants a dead-end job? MONEY: Many tend to feel this is the most important factor in a person’s choice of a job. But while salary may weigh heavily on a person’s final decision to take the job, it is not the only or even the most important factor. Only after a person is sure that the job is safe, secure, and that they can advance, do they address the wage. HOW MUCH DOES IT PAY?: I know there are many readers who will say “That sounds good, but the people we hire only want to know how much per hour or how much per car?” And this is absolutely correct! There are thousands of potential employees

customer that he should leave his $30,000 to $100,000 car with you? The future of this industry lies in our providing the retail customer a quality service at a fair price. This fair price will be based on the quality of both your operation and the personnel. In short, the customer will pay $200 to $400 for a complete detail if  they  are  confident  they are dealing with a qualified, reputable company that has knowledgeable and trained employees. But  you  will not be able to hire and retain qualified people if your working conditions are poor and your pay is low. It is also very unlikely you will attract retail business with scruffy, ill-trained personnel.

whose only concern with a job is “How much does it pay?” This is the point. It is these kinds of people we don’t want to hire. If they aren’t concerned about their safety, security, and chance for advancement they really don’t want a job. All they are looking for is work. That is why the detail business has such a high turnover of employees. The industry, in general, tends to attract and hire these types of people. And as long as it does it will have a problem with labor.

Upgrade Your Standards As stated earlier, in order to hire and retain a higher quality person you will have to upgrade your working conditions. Many will say, “I can’t afford to upgrade my operation nor the level of personnel. It is not justified, it is too expensive.” How then can you justify to the

Methods for Finding Dependable, Longterm Employees Faced with the nation’s low unemployment rate and the detail


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Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016


Auto Detailing News



week and can be counted on for almost full-time employment. Plus, they usually will stay with you through the whole year and into the summer. • Tech students—most community colleges offer courses in body and paint as well as auto service. These students can be looked at as long-term employees, or at least to be employed while they are in school. Make it a point to contact the director or person in charge of the body paint program personally to determine if they would be interested in some type of detail course in conjunction with the college’s current program. If you have the knowledge skills, you can assist with the curriculum or instruct.

industry’s reputation and poor pay scale, detail business owners often give up before they even start looking for employees. They take what they can get. There are numerous ways shop owners and managers find employees, including the newspaper, word-of-mouth, referrals from present employees, a helpwanted sign, or contact with local high schools, colleges and vocational schools. Unfortunately, there is no “Detail University” an operator can turn to for trained employees. In fact, there is not any place a conscientious operator can turn to for trained employees. Some community colleges do offer four to six classes, but to find them you have to contact each college in your area. What do you do? Think of yourself as a scout for potential employees and be on the look out at all times, anywhere and anyplace.

Agencies and the Internet A possible source of employees is employment agencies that specialize in automotive-related positions. They cover body and paint personnel, mechanical personnel, auto salespersons, ser vice writers and ser vice managers among others. When dealing with an agency like this you must be prepared to pay more than minimum wage for a candidate. While a relatively new resource for potential employees, there are websites with classified advertising sections for automotive-related persons. Many of the larger newspapers also are putting their classified sections on the Internet, which broadens the exposure of traditional help-wanted ads. With demand far exceeding supply, detail shop operators need to have a well-defined recruiting program. You can’t afford not to.

Start with the Schools If you are really serious about finding long-term good employees, turn to the educational institutions in your area. High schools in your area might participate in career days to let students know about employment opportunities in the detail industry and in your company in particular. Even though your particular business may not offer someone a long-term career position, you can encourage them to get started in the detail industry. Many high schools have work release programs for vocational studies students who don’t plan to attend college. If you can formalize a training program of your own, it will serve as a shoe-in to get all the good candidates. Community colleges are another excellent source of employees: • Part-time students usually take only 6 to 9 hours of courses a



Auto Detailing News

Keep it Classified An ad in the classifieds is the traditional approach used by most businesses looking for detail |

Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

employees. The problem with placing these advertisements is that you will get the “typical detail employee.” By advertising for detailers, you eliminate potentially excellent candidates that would not otherwise apply for a job as a detailer. Don’t advertise for detailers— broaden the criteria for new employees. An advertisement that has produced excellent results is: Trainees: Entry-level trainees wanted for auto service business. Excellent opportunities in a growing industry. No experience necessary. HS diploma, good driving record, drug testing. Send resume to: Trainees (preferably a P.O. Box or the newspaper’s box number). The success of the advertisement is because it is somewhat blind. The thing it tells the candidate is that is in auto service work. You want one who is interested in automobiles. It also tells them that the position is an entry-level trainee position, but room for growth. The best are looking for a job or careers, not transient work, which seems to be what most detailers want. By setting standards like a high school diploma and a good

record, you eliminate some of the types you don’t want. As an insurance agent once told me, “If you have an employee with a bad driving record, you have a bad employee.” In fact you should put in an additional qualifier: “Valid driver’s license required.” Finally, drug testing is a real deterrent for the “bad apples.”

Supply vs. Demand There’s no wonder it’s hard to find qualified well-trained employees when you consider the demand for detailers. According to data compiled by Portland, Oregon,-based Detail Plus Car Appearance Systems, in the United States there are: • 30,000 auto dealers (most do some type of detail service) • 17,000 carwashes (about 85 percent offer detail services) • 14,000 detail shops • 55,000 body shops (most do some type of detail). In addition, there are thousands of auto trim and restyle shops, of which some do detailing; fast lube/oil change facilities, of which 11 percent offer detailing; and auto auctions, of which all detail several hundred vehicles per month.

Retail/Wholesale: It’s All the Same Some would say my comments relate only to the retail detail business, that a wholesale shop doesn’t have to worry about appeal, look, facilities, and employee appearance. Maybe that is true of the appeal and appearance. But for employees it is the same for both wholesale and retail. Ask any auto dealer or owner/operator of a wholesale shop how easy it is for them to hire and retain qualified personnel! They will tell you they have the same problems you and I have as owners of retail centers Our business is labor intensive and is centered on employees. If they are good we will prosper. If they are not, we will suffer— wholesale or retail. If you hope to hire and retain good employees you have to set your standards a little higher and provide the type of work environment and pay that “good” employees require. Keep in mind, the customer will pay for quality. The $200$400 price tag once a year is a small cost for a $20,000 to $100,000+ vehicle.

100 other ways to advertise your business

Back-of-the-receipt ad . . . $$

Sponsor a local news segment or weather report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$

Place a mini billboard ad in a local ball park, ice skating/hockey rink . . $$$

Post a deal in a Valpak/ local coupon booklet . . . $$

Participate in local charity event and hand out freebies featuring company name . . . . . . . . $$

Sponsor a local event/fair or have a booth . . . . . . $$½ Theatre/concert playbill ad . . . . . . . . . . . . $$

Diner placemat ad . . . . . $$



Auto Detailing News


or those of you looking to attract new customers, you are in luck because we compiled 100 different ways to advertise your business. The ideas range from free (Facebook page, Yelp profile) to crazy expensive (rent a banner carrying airplane!). We also offer up tips on how to retain already-serviced customers. But, be careful, because for every Geico Gecko there’s a Quiznos Spongmonkey, so make sure to talk your ideas out with a wellrounded panel of people and check over everything again and again for grammatical errors and wording that could cost you millions (see sidebar). So, without further ado, please enjoy this eight-months-in-themaking list and let us know of any ideas we did not include.


Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

: Legenodr Cheap

$ = Free ’t break the n $$ = Wo , worth a try k icey ban what pr e m o S $$$ = ive Expens = $ $ $ $

Place a float in a local parade . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$

Sponsor a car local show . . . . . . . . . . . $$$

Car window decal ad . . . $$

Set up a Facebook company page . . . . . . . . . . $

Mail out postcards . . . . . $$ Radio spot . . . . . . . . . . . $$$ Send press releases to local newspapers/TV stations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $

Donate a detail package to a charity event auction . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$ Have family, friends and employees where company t-shirts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$

Sponsor a golf hole at the local golf course . . . . . . . $$

Advertise in high school newspapers . . . . . . . . . . . $$

Place ad on golf scorecard . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$

Hang up flyers on school bulletin boards and in the lobby areas of apartment complexes . . . . . . . . . . . . . $

Sponsor a little league team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$ Advertise on your local NPR station during the Car Talk show . . . . . . . . $$$

Verizon Wireless has a rewards program where you use your points for local businesses . . . . . . . . . . . $$$

Host a city-wide “Who Has the Dirtiest Car Competition” . . . . . . . . . $$

Cartvertising (place ad in a grocery store shopping cart) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$

Make coasters with your company information and hand out to local bars . . . $$

Rent a billboard . . . . . $$$$

Advertise in college newspapers . . . . . . . . . . . $$

Place an ad on a park bench . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$ Place an ad on a city bus or at the bus stop . . . . . . . . $$$

How do Facebook Ads work? According to the 2016 WordStream article, Does Facebook Advertising Work?, Facebook is one of the most viable and reliable forms of advertising. “Facebook is also still crushing it in terms of user engagement,” the article states. “According to data from Pew Research Center, 70% of U.S. Facebook users access the site daily, of which 43% do so multiple times per day. In addition, 82% of the highly coveted 18-29 year-old demographic are among the most actively engaged Facebook users.” And, according to Facebook, “When you run a Facebook Ad, you choose the audiences that see it by location, age, interests and more. With Facebook Ads, you choose the type of people you want to reach and we deliver your ads to them. This makes your ads more relevant for the people who see them and brings you real results.”

Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016


Auto Detailing News



Host a show on your local Public Access TV channel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $

Place a carwrap on your own car . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$ Place an ad on a movie screen which shows ads before the movie starts . . $$

Advertise at a local stock car racecourse . . . . . . . . $$$

Hand out giveaways after each detail that others will see: Umbrellas, calendars, hats, shirts, bags, coolers, beach towels) . . . . . . . . $$$

Host a YouTube Channel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ Give out matchbooks with your company name to cigar lounges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$

Sponsor a bowling team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$

Billboards are still effective

Even though this form of marketing has been around for over 100 years, they are still an effective way to advertise. According to a 2013 Arbitron case study: • About two-thirds of travelers have seen a billboard advertisement in the past month and more than 4 out of 10 have viewed a digital billboard. • More than 8 out of 10 billboard viewers, “make a point to look at the advertising message at least some of the time; nearly half look at the billboard ad each time or almost each time they noticed one.” Along with billboards, it seems as if modern billboards and smaller forms of messaging are also being noticed. According to the Arbitron study, “Three-quarters of total U.S. adults have noticed advertising on static billboards, digital billboards, sides of public buses, bus shelters, taxi cabs, commuter rails, subways or any street level advertising such as kiosks or newspaper stands in the past month; viewership among travelers is 84%.”



Auto Detailing News


Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

Millions almost lost due to marketing gimmick In 1999, Casa Sanchez, a Mexican food chain in and throughout San Francisco, almost lost millions of dollars after it launched a “get a tattoo of our logo and get free food for life” campaign. Co-owner Martha Sanchez told the San Francisco Chronicle that she didn’t think anyone would go through with it. But then, as people starting coming in baring tattoos of their logo, Sanchez took out a calculator and soon realized that if 40 people were given a free $8 lunch every day for the next 50 years, it would cost them $5.8 million. The restaurant chain then quickly changed the deal and capped it off at 10 people. The promotion was re-introduced in 2010, but it was tweaked so that the restaurant only gave away one free meal per day to someone who dons the tattoo, and only if it was a certain size and the person was interviewed carefully and approved by Martha herself.

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Give customers a 10% discount if they refer a new customer . . . . . . . . $$$

Groupon . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$

Give a free service on the customer’s birthday . . . . . . . . . . $$-$$$

Set up your LinkedIn business profile . . . . . . . . . $

LivingSocial . . . . . . . . . . $$$

Google Adwords . . . . . . $$$

Social media is still going strong and from Facebook, to Twitter to Instagram to Snapchat, it seems as if people still like sharing their lives, their reviews and their daily errands with others. On a global scale, according to their respective websites, 1.65 billion users are on Facebook, over 500 million are on Instagram and more than 310 million are using Twitter on a monthly basis. As for businesses, last December, Forbes announced that 50 million businesses had Facebook profiles, and more than 2.5 billion comments are made on business Facebook pages each month. Those comments, good and bad, can be used to a business’s benefit. Whether it is thanking a user’s patronage, apologizing for an error, or simply using the feedback as a chance to tweak and/or keep certain businesses practices. According to a January 2016 Business News Daily story, Social Media for Business: 2016 Marketer’s Guide, “Social media networks are fantastic resources for businesses of all sizes looking to promote their brands online. The platforms themselves are free to use, and they also have paid advertising options specifically for brands that want to reach even more new audiences. But just because your business should be on social media, that doesn’t mean your business should be on every network. It’s important that you choose and nurture the social platforms that work best for your business so that you don’t spread yourself too thin.” Also, people are still “checking into” places on Facebook or tweeting about a visit. These check-ins and tweets can help to gain new customers who trust those people and value their opinions. But take note, you have to set up your Facebook profile so that customers can check in. To do this, Facebook lists the following steps: 1. Make sure “Local Businesses” is chosen for your page’s category.

Place air fresheners in each detailed car with your company info . . . . . . . . . $$

Set up your Yelp profile . . $ Airplane banner ad . . $$$$ Drop off business pamphlets/business cards at business park lobbies . . $ Post advice/answer questions/comment on local blogs and include a flashy business card in your signature . . . . . . . . . . $

6. Click Save Changes.



Auto Detailing News


Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

Entertainment book coupon . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$ Nighttime logo project similar to the Batman signal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$$ Join your local chamber of commerce . . . . . . . . . . . . . $

Send out a newsletter to customers . . . . . . . . . . . . . $

Host a fun block party with a bounce house and free food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$$

Buy an ad in high school yearbook . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$ AAA magazine ad . . . . . $$$ Cable station ads on the music stations . . . . . . . . n/a Hire an enthusiastic sign holder to stand at busy intersection . . . . . . . . . . . $$ Hire a person to dress up as a mascot . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$

4. Click to edit and add your address and click Save Changes. 5. A map will then appear in the Address section Click to edit it again and below the map, click to check the box next to Show map and check-ins on the Page.

Start an Instagram account and showcase detailed cars . . . . . . . . . . . $

Advertise in a weekly newspaper . . . . . . . . . . . . $$

2. Click About below your page’s cover photo. 3. Click Page Info in the left column.

Youtube ad . . . . . . . . . . $$$

Church program ad . . . . $$ Offer to host a popular food truck on your property . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $

Taxicab ad . . . . . . . . . . . $$$ Join a welcome wagon committee and put pamphlet and business card in welcome package . . . . . $ Set up over-the-top holiday decorations . . . . . . . . . $$$$ Attend Networking events . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ Set up your Google business/Google Maps profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ Offer free consultations . . . . . . . . . $$$

Look into Schema.org . . . . . . . . . . n/a Set up a scholarship for a student who works for you or an employee’s child and your company will be announced at the school’s scholarship award ceremony and in the program . . . . . . . $$$

Form a team and participate in a bike-a-thon or walk-a-thon and wear company shirts and hats . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$ Ask popular local bloggers to talk about your business . . . . . . . . . . . $

Sponsor a local racecar driver . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$$ Attend local auto shows and network, network, network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$

Claim your social media presence name on knowem.com . . . . . . . . . . . $

Try a SCAN ad . . . . . . . . n/a

It is commonsense that a good ad has to have good grammar and a phone number, website and address listed. But, what else does it need? Here are some suggestions:

Offer up free advice on Google+ and Yahoo and on message boards where people are asking auto-detailing-specific questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $

Place your business in the Yellow pages . . . . . . . . . $$$

Secrets to a good newspaper ad

• Write an attention-grabbing headline. For example, some good auto detailing headlines might be: Think your car is really clean? Think again. No one likes a dirty car. We will make it clean. Are your headlights keeping you safe at night? Got scratches? We can help. Germs live inside your car. We can help. Salt is eating away at your car. We can help. Acid rain is eating up your car. We can help. Is your car making you sick? We can help. Start the year out right with a clean vehicle • Another good idea is promote a great deal and use that as a headline. How about giving away free headlight restorations with every detail. Or giving 25% percent off a certain package on your slowest day? • You will also want to use a clean and readable font. • Do not make it too wordy and keep your message simple and understandable.

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Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016


Auto Detailing News



Do a link exchange with complementary businesses . . . . . . . . . . . . . $

List your business on Yahoo Local and Bing Local . . . . $ Set up a Google+ profile . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $

Have your business listed as a POI in GPS (try mapreporter.navteq.com) . . . . $$$

Place a Facebook ad . . . $$$

Become an expert source for journalists using HARO (Help A Reporter Out) . . $

Give out free headlight restorations to local veterans, firefighters, etc . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$

PPC – Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising . . . . . . . . . . . $$$

Hot air balloon . . . . . . $$$$

Set up inflatable dancers on your property . . . . . . . . . . . . . $$$

Be on the show Competition Ready . . . . . $$ Adopt a highway . . . . . . $$$

Mobile apps ad . . . . . . . $$$ Establish your business on Foursquare and Facebook Check-In . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $

Set up a website (make sure it is mobile optimized) . . . $ Set up a Twitter profile . . . $

Establish an email list which automatically sends out reminders, holiday greetings, birthday discounts, etc . . . . . . . . . . $

Start a blog . . . . . . . . . . . . $ Place billboard at AA baseball field . . . . . . $$

What’s the deal with Groupon and LivingSocial? Consumers sure do love Groupon and LivingSocial, which attract millions of users every day. But for business owners, it is another story. The problem is that while the deal-of-the-day websites offer up a great deal to customers on a well-designed platform, the business owners end up taking a huge hit. With markdowns generally in the 50 percent range, Groupon and LivingSocial also get a slice of the pie, leaving business owners with little profit. But, if they play their cards right, they can hopefully turn the deal into a regular customer-merchant relationship. Some of the pros of using Groupon and LivingSocial are that the sites are visited by millions of people daily— that means a business, looking to be noticed, will get noticed along with a link to a website, a phone number and a nice description of the business and the services offered. Also, there is little to do after a deal is posted, besides being aware of how to scan a voucher and track any of the fine print in the offer.



Auto Detailing News


Vol. 1, No. 3 • Summer 2016

Put a mask on that mascot! Mascots have been around since the mid 1800s, according to the International University Sports Federation. Taken from the French word, “mascotte”, which means lucky charm. As for some of the worst mascots of all time, not including ones from the Olympics which brought us such doozies as Wenlock and Mandeville (London 2012) and Neve and Gliz (Turin 2006), the mute Burger King man seems to be included in most lists founds on the Internet. Why? Because he is just plain creepy. In fact, according to a Time magazine article titled, Top 10 Creepiest Product Mascots, “It took Burger King seven years to realize people found its creepy, plastic-faced King mascot unappetizing. The royal representative has starred in the fast-food company’s commercials since 2004, doing things like stalking people outside their homes and scaring young women.” What’s the lesson here? If you’re going to design a mascot, make sure it talks, doesn’t sneak into peoples’ homes, and simply doesn’t scare people. As for the best and most recognizable mascots, Ranker, in an article titled, The Most Memorable Advertising Mascots of All Time, listed the following as top five: 1. Tony the Tiger 2. The Pillsbury Doughboy 3. The Energizer Bunny 4. Mr. Clean 5. The Geico Gecko

WANT TO ADVERTISE IN AUTO DETAILING NEWS? Contact Jackson Vahaly at jacksonv@autodetailingnews.com or 615-594-0263. www.autodetailingnews.com


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