The brick and mortar building tips for your auto detailing business that are suggested below, are based on our own personal experience and geographic location, here in Red Deer Alberta.
Your own experiences and location will ultimately determine the detailing business you develop.
For an auto detailing business located in a physical building you must first decide whether to lease, rent or buy the building.
Which is the best for you?
In a slow economy it is easier to negotiate a short term agreement. This is
great for a start up business. If things go wrong you are not tied up to a long
If you choose to lease, aim for a 6 month or no more then 1 year lease contract.
If you choose to rent, try a month to month agreement.
Buying on the other hand is obviously more long term.
Shop around for a commercial mortgage. Aim for the best interest rate and the
best terms. Make the lenders compete with each other. Consider a mortgage
If a commercial mortgage is not possible ask the building owner to hold the mortgage. In a slow economy, this becomes more possible
When choosing a brick and mortar building to buy, look for a building that is adaptable. If you find the detailing business just won't work, can the building be easily switched to another type of business? Could you easily lease or rent your building to someone else if necessary?
Once you have decided whether to lease, rent or buy, the next big decision is the detailing business location.
Check with the local county, town or city rules for business zoning. More then
likely you will look at areas zoned for light industrial.
Try to locate a building that is easy to find. On a busy street or near a
familiar local landmark. A brightly colored building or one that is located near
or beside other auto related businesses.
Look for a building with adequate parking. Paved parking is best, both front and
rear of building.
If you will be detailing large trucks, look for at least one 14-16 foot overhead
A small lobby area for customer seating and/or product display would be nice.
A small office for privacy of confidential materials is necessary.
Possibly a mezzanine floor for storage or a lunchroom.
A well insulated building for cold climates will help to keep utility costs down
Whether you lease, rent or buy, you will need lots of lighting and lots of
electrical outlets. Hot water extractors will need at least 2 20-Amp outlets.
Light colors on the walls and a light colored floor will help to reflect light and make detailing easier.
Ceiling fans will circulate the air and distribute heat more efficiently in
A sump drain for solids, from detailing dirty vehicles is a necessity. The pit
capacity is ideally one-quarter to one-third cubic yard. Empty the solids at
least once a year.
In the winter after a vehicle has been completely detailed, the humidity in a
closed door building will be quite high. Your choice of building should include
an adequate exhaust fan or the ability to install a suitable fan. Over time too
high a humidity level could damage building materials such as sheet rock wall
These are just a few tips when looking for a suitable brick and mortar building. Take your time. Ask for help if you are unsure about regulations, finance, or anything else that comes up in your building selection process.