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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm 19, I'm located in LA.I been doing automotive detailing for three or four years now. I started when I was 15 with my father.(It was a father son thing). I been mostly detailing family and friend's vehicles. I was charging $100-200 for full service back then. It's going to be higher when I open up. Now I want to expand my detailing skills to a new level. By that I mean opening a small detailing shop, i'll be working by myself for a while to get a feel for how the business field works. I already have a 6000sq ft garage shop. My grand father bought it out for his small business In 2006. Now that he's retired he doesn't need the space anymore. The major question here is, how do I go about opening a shop? Do I need to obtain permits, businesses license,etc to open up?



Thanks,

Justin
 

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go over to autopia.org and ask there, much better detailing related business advice

at 100-200 per car, you better be slamming through 4-6 cars a day to make a shop worth the added expenses! figure your rent at 1500 average (might be nothing for you since its family owned), utilities, insurance, wait area setup, supplies, payroll (you cant work a shop alone at your current pricing, not worth it when it takes you a solid week-week and a half to pay the rent alone), licensing, permits for structural changes if any, ....the list goes on and on. I was mapping a shop out last year, it came out to about 4K a month to operate with just one other person helping me. Add in phone answering, discussions with clients, complaints from clients, etc...all that time is spent away from your car you are working on, so now that $400 job that was supposed to take 6-8 hours is now in the 8-10 hour range...working 10-12 hours a day everyday gets old real fast!

There is a lot to think about
 

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What does your $200 'full detail' entail? If you're serious about opening shop full-time, you should probably be comfortable doing full corrections and intensive details which consume upwards of two full days from reception to delivery. Market prices for that kind of work can be more than ten times the cost of your 'full detail', so first you should probably articulate what kind of services you can perform and get your name out there or you might be left hanging with common minivan vacuuming and washing. I only say this because a classmate of mine tried doing the same thing and it didn't really pan out since he never had a solid business plan. Or real skills. Always good to have real skills. :D
 

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If you plan on selling items (reselling) you will need a reseller permit, other than that you will just need a fictitious name and business license with the city your doing business in.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
go over to autopia.org and ask there, much better detailing related business advice

at 100-200 per car, you better be slamming through 4-6 cars a day to make a shop worth the added expenses! figure your rent at 1500 average (might be nothing for you since its family owned), utilities, insurance, wait area setup, supplies, payroll (you cant work a shop alone at your current pricing, not worth it when it takes you a solid week-week and a half to pay the rent alone), licensing, permits for structural changes if any, ....the list goes on and on. I was mapping a shop out last year, it came out to about 4K a month to operate with just one other person helping me. Add in phone answering, discussions with clients, complaints from clients, etc...all that time is spent away from your car you are working on, so now that $400 job that was supposed to take 6-8 hours is now in the 8-10 hour range...working 10-12 hours a day everyday gets old real fast!

There is a lot to think about
I was charging $100-$200 back then. Now I'll be charging $500+ for full detail.
 

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To keep the cost down you might try mobile detailing and if you business blows up then think about a shop space. You will still need a business license.
 

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Is your physical location within the city of Los Angeles? If so, do your homework now as to how you will be taxed, because the city of LA sucks.
 

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Is your physical location within the city of Los Angeles? If so, do your homework now as to how you will be taxed, because the city of LA sucks.
Yes, it's within the city of LA.
 

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I've just finished a business plan on a mobile detailing business. Not sure how great that would be within the city limits of LA because I haven't been there but it may be a good idea. Theres a few companies that sell detailing trailers with all your supplies on board.

Saves you a ton of money in rent and you can build the business and clientele up, then hire 1-2 employees so you can focus on customer care.

I'll be eyeing this thread, good luck.
 

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Now I want to expand my detailing skills to a new level. By that I mean opening a small detailing shop
These two things do not equal each other. Opening a shop doesn't expand your skills.

Time spent working and researching and learning DOES expand your skills. Don't jump too far too fast. You haven't answered the questions about what your "FULL DETAIL" includes and why you have gone from 100/200 to 500+. If you're not doing high level corrections, you're going to have a hard time.
 
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