Boat detailing is a growing industry with many opportunities for successful businesses. If you’re already taking advantage of this growing market and want to scale to the next level, understanding different methods to grow your business is essential. In this article, we outline five ways that you can grow your boat detailing business today.
1. Start by Defining Success
The first step toward growing your marine detailing business is coming up with a general idea of what makes you successful. Is it more money? More time? More flexibility in your schedule? For some people, it's all three or none of the above—and that's fine! Just make sure you're setting yourself up for success by setting actionable goals and being ambitious but realistic about them.
By “actionable” we mean that you should be able to take meaningful steps toward accomplishing them on a regular basis. For example, if one of your goals is to increase profits by 10%, then each month you'll need to increase sales by at least 1%. If you want more time, you’ll need to figure out the best way to delegate tasks and outsource work to your employees, subcontractors, or a virtual assistant. In order for your goals to be actionable, there needs to be a clear and easy way to measure them.
2. Join Local Networking Groups
Growing your boat detailing business is not always easy, and it doesn't have to be done alone. In fact, you can find great value in joining local networking groups and connecting with other boating professionals in your area.
Here are a few tips for how to approach networking:
Find the right groups. You don't need to join every group that pops up; look for those that specifically relate to your niche or area of expertise. For example, if you are an expert on detailing and restoring classic boats, search for local groups that are specific to classic boats (there's probably at least one group near where you live). If there isn't already such a group available nearby or if it's not aligned with your goals and objectives as a business owner, consider starting one yourself! This is a great way to attract like minded individuals while portraying yourself as an authority in your space.
Be prepared with information about what makes your company unique. Most importantly: why should someone hire YOU over other boat detailers? What makes YOUR services better than anyone else's? It's important to have answers ready so that people will know why they should come back again when they need their boat detailed. Present yourself professionally at all times during networking events—even if it feels awkward at first! Remember: You're representing yourself and everything associated with you (including your business) through any interactions outside your normal day-to-day life.
3. Give Out Referral Incentives
Referral incentives are a great way to get new customers. In fact, word of mouth is one of the most powerful ways to generate new business. People generally trust their peers and consider recommendations from friends before they make any kind of purchasing decision.
If you want your boat detailing business to grow, you should consider offering referral incentives for current and past customers who send new prospects your way. With this strategy, you can encourage existing clients to spread the word about your services and take advantage of their personal networks for more revenue generation opportunities.
There are many different types of referral incentives that businesses use in order for them to work best with their respective markets. Gift cards offer many benefits when used as an incentive because they’re flexible enough that almost everyone has at least some interest in receiving one. They also have universal appeal, so anyone can make use of them. Future discounts also work well in exchange for referrals. Even if someone doesn’t need your services right now but would still like some money off the next time, giving them a discount could help increase retention rates over time. This will keep them happy while they wait until they need service again later on down the line. Lastly, you can offer a percentage of the sale. This strategy has the highest potential for bringing in new referral business because it suggests money in their pockets. Who doesn’t want that?
4. Optimize Your Pricing Model
Pricing models are important for your business. You need to understand how they work and how you can use them to set your prices based on the value you provide. A common mistake made by detailers is using per foot pricing, which is difficult because it only considers a single variable. This can be problematic due to the many different obstacles a marine detailer could face.
Instead of per foot pricing, consider variable-based pricing: the amount of time spent on cleaning a boat directly correlates with its condition AND size. This method allows you to charge more for boats that are especially dirty or in poor condition, as well as for high levels of oxidation, barnacle removal, etc.
5. Increase Your Service Offering
There are a number of ways to grow your boat detailing business, including the addition of new services and increasing the rate you charge for existing ones.
Adding a new service will allow you to charge more for your marine detailing services. It'll also help you stand out from competitors who may not be offering these additional services.
For example, you can offer mold and mildew removal or prevention services. This is a service that customers don't typically consider when they're looking at getting their boats detailed but can save them down the line—and it could also save them money by preventing damage from occurring in the first place.
To add this service, you’ll want to first become a mold and mildew prevention certified pro. Visit Xanigo Marine, and complete their Mold Prevention Certification Course. From there all you need is the proper equipment (also available at Xanigo Marine and you are ready to go!
BONUS - Track and Analyze Your Performance
The best way to determine if you're growing is by tracking your business performance. You can use analytics to identify areas for improvement, make decisions about your business and set goals for the future.
Repeat this process every 3 months or at least annually if you have a specific goal in mind (like getting more customers or increasing revenue).
There are many ways to grow your marine detailing business. By following these five simple tips, you can start working on growing your business today! The most important thing is that these tips are all practical and easy to implement. You don’t need an MBA or marketing degree in order to start growing your boat detailing business—you just need some creativity and drive!