When you’re standing between the end of the current year and the start of a new one, it’s a great time for you to review your auto detailing business and how you did this year. We recommend conducting a year-end audit with our auto detailing audit checklist to review your year as comprehensively as possible. This is a yearly checkup where you review everything from your revenue, to the customer experience, to your own personal education. 

If you’re running your business on pen and paper, an audit like this could take you days just to gather all of the information necessary. With an auto detailing app like Mobile Tech RX, you will have real-time access to all of the data you need in this checklist.

Here’s an auto detailing audit checklist to help you get started on your year-end audit for your auto detailing business:

1. Revenue and Profit

How you do financially is one of the most important metrics you should keep a close eye on, because this is what keeps your doors open. Let’s start by reviewing your revenue and profit numbers.

Your Revenue is the total amount of income that you generated by selling your auto detailing products and services.

Your Profit is the amount of income that remains after accounting for all expenses, debts, and operating costs to do business. 

While both numbers are important, your profit gives you the best picture of your business’ success. When the income, or revenue, of your business is larger than the expenses of your business, you are making money beyond your break-even point and you are profitable. 

If you are profitable, congratulations and nice work! However, if you’re just starting out and not turning a profit yet, that’s not necessarily bad or abnormal. It’s fairly standard for new businesses to take 3 years before they are profitable.  

If you’re not profitable this year, you can review your revenue trends. Make sure they are going up. (If your revenue numbers have been growing, but you’re still not making a profit, you should review your costs and pinpoint areas to cut back.) Given your revenue and profits from the past, you can project what your revenue will be in the future. Make a simple model and estimate when you will be profitable. Then make goals to get there. 

2. Employee Reviews

At the end of the year is a great time to conduct performance reviews with your detailing employees. Performance reviews give you an opportunity to assess your team’s work, give feedback, and consider giving promotions. This is also a great time for your employees to share how they feel about the daily tasks of their job, workload, and overall satisfaction. You can invite your employees to talk about their career goals, how they’d like to advance or shift in the coming year, and if they have any feedback about the work environment.

As a business owner, employee satisfaction is very important if you want to retain them. 

According to a survey conducted by OfficeTeam, 66% of workers surveyed said they were likely to leave their job if they didn’t feel appreciated. According to a study by CAP, the average cost to replace an employee ranges from 16 to 20 percent of annual salary for entry level and mid-range jobs. The cost to replace just one of your detailing technicians who makes $12 per hour could be $3,840.

3. Customer Experience

In the auto detailing business, you interact with customers every day. How often do you stop to think about your business from the customer’s perspective?

This is one of the most abstract items on the auto detailing audit checklist, because it’s hard to measure, but it is possible to get some tangible data points. If possible, you should send out an email questionnaire or schedule some time to talk to a few of your customers to get their input. 

Here are some of the things you can ask your customers to answer about their experience with your business and service. You can make these open ended or give them a 1-5 scale:

  1. How was the quality of the detailing service you received?
  2. Can you rate the professionalism of our business and the people we have on our team? 
  3. How is the frequency of our communication with you….too much or too little?
  4. Can you rate our prices in terms of the value you get from our services?
  5. How would you rate our transparency when it comes to pricing and services?

4. Marketing Success

Attracting new potential customers is another important piece of running a successful auto detailing business. Reviewing your marketing strategy and efforts this year will help you decide what was successful, what was unsuccessful, and how you will market differently next year. 

There are many potential channels for marketing your car detailing business, and many different ways to experiment. (You can find some marketing tactic ideas here.

When you market as a car detailing business, your main performance goal is probably to attract new customers. When you review your marketing performance, you should look at the number of new customers from each channel and the cost it took to make it happen. If you spent money on radio ads and you’re not sure if you got any new customers from it, maybe you should cut back next year. If you spent minimal time making a website and it’s performed well, you could invest more there next year.

5. Business Expenses

Do you have all of your business expenses recorded and organized? If not, the end of the year is a great time to get all of your expenses and accounting in order before tax season approaches at the beginning of next year. 

Reviewing your business expenses together at the end of the year gives you an opportunity to see where your money went. You might find some surprises and catch an opportunity to cut back on some things you don’t really need. As you review expenses, think about the return on your investments and if they are worth the costs to your business. This will help you set reasonable budgets for next year. 

6. Technology Investments 

Your investments in technology could technically be considered a business expense. But for this checklist, we’re giving it its own section so we can focus on the “investment” part. When you make an investment, you expect that it will pay you back in the future; it shouldn’t be a cost for long.

If you want to stay competitive in any industry, you need to have a strategy to stay ahead. Investing in technology that will make you more efficient, professional, and/or make more money is one way to do that. At the end of the year, you can review any technology you decided to invest in and if it’s paying off  (or if it will pay off in the future). 

You can also start thinking about investing in new technology for next year. There are many software companies who will give you a free trial of their product for you to try. Also, the end of the year is a great time to get discounts on new contracts for next year. This is when many technology and software companies like to close as many new customers as they can.

7. Personal Education and Growth

As an auto detailing business owner, your own personal growth is another important factor that contributes your business’ success. How are you investing in yourself and your own growth? When you focus on your own personal growth, you will improve your ability to run a successful business. You’ll also encourage your team of employees to do the same.

  • Build your network of fellow auto detailing business owners
  • Keep tabs on the auto detailing industry by following industry news and leaders
  • Attend relevant events and join relevant associations.

Check out this article for a full list of resources for auto detailing businesses.

8. Next Year’s Goals

After you complete your auto detailing audit checklist from the last year, you can start making next year’s 2020 goals!


Year-End Audit checklist for detailing businesses

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