The end of the year can be a very slow time for lawn care business owners. However with some creativity it doesn’t have to be. Check out what this one lawn care business owner does on his slow time. He details cars and makes quite a bit of good money doing it. A great thing about offering this service is that a lot of the same customers who hire him to detail their car also hire him to mow their lawns.
In a discussion at the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, he shared with us some of what he learned by doing this. He wrote “This is how I make my money in the Winter. I offer this service during other seasons as well. I usually perform the car detailing services in the afternoon.
Figure it up guys. It takes average of 3-4 hours to do a mid size car and I make $115 profit. How long does it take you to make that with fuel price’s soaring through the sky and labor costs? I have a car scheduled every night for the next 5 weeks!
I have thought about getting a van and offering more mobile car detailing services but gas prices are making me think twice. I think if I did go mobile I could get a lot of business cause right now it’s all been word of mouth. Another goal I have is to hopefully by the end of summer go chemical free. So no chemicals except buffing compounds and waxes will be used. I will be cleaning every thing with steam which is a definite plus for customers who just don’t like the smell of all those cleaning chemicals.
An added advantage of going chemical free is it’s great for allergy sufferers. The biggest advertising campaign I think I could ever have would focus on this because people don’t relieze how many allergies are just in your car how much of your day is spent in your car.”
I think you may be on to something here. What if you offered both lawn care and car detailing? You could have one side of a door hanger promote one service and the other side promote another?
What suggestions would you have for other lawn care business owners who would like to experiment with offering this service?
How should they go about bidding jobs?
“I know that the guys in my area get $300 or more to do most cars. I personally get $175 to do them but since I don’t have an office or a store front I can do it a lot cheaper. As far as pricing goes, the best thing to do is call around and do your research. Every area is different. I have talked with a guy that gets $400 to detail cars for car dealers. I get $100 for mid-sized cars and the price just varies from there. Carpet cleaning is a big money maker too. If I have to pick up a buffer you bet I’m gonna get an extra $100 because if you are buffing a car, you are gonna be there at least 2 hours minimum.
To just buff a mid -size car chemicals are very cheap. The best way to go is steam clean because then you have no chemicals and you just use water. The amount of water you need is cheap too.
There are alot of services that detailing can progress to:
- carpet cleaning
- stain removal
- paintless dent repair
- upholstry repair
The list goes on and on. Anything that has wheels can get detailed. Cars, boats, rvs, motor homes, buses, motor cycles, air planes (big big money really high ins), trains.”
Another lawn care business owner shared “It would be great to get regular customers, like say, washing the car(s) every 2 weeks? Wash & wax every 3 weeks? Interior detailing every 4 weeks? Kinda like a lawn care agreement. And then you could send iclude this in your lawn care bill?
You could use post-it notes, or reminders of maintenance of the vehicle on the dash board or in the invoice!”
Great ideas! When you are running a business especially early on, you need to keep an eye out for these different avenues to make money. It is always better to be making money through your new business than it is to go and work a part time or full time job over the Winter to keep everything going. The reason why is that it keeps you in play. It keeps your schedule open to jump on business opportunities that come along and it keeps the gears of your business turning. You will learn and grow through each of these experiences and your business will benefit from it.