How to Advertise for Mobile Boat Detailing

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Marinas are good places to advertise your mobile boat detailing business.
Marinas are good places to advertise your mobile boat detailing business. (Image: marina image by Harvey Hudson from Fotolia.com)

Mobile boat detailing is a business where you you provide mobile services like washing, waxing and interior cleaning for boat owners, marinas, boat storage facilities or boat dealers. If you are currently operating, or entertaining the idea of going into, the mobile boat detailing business, you will have to develop an advertising strategy to gain customers. Boat detailing usually does not require a city or state license to start, it has good profit potential because of the low initial investment, and it lets you work outdoors. Advertising is necessary to gaining the customers to make your mobile boat detailing business a success.

Things You'll Need

  • Fliers
  • Word processor
  • Page layout software (optional)

Develop a marketing plan on which you base your advertising strategy. Marketing differs from advertising. Marketing is a systematic plan to sell your business to potential buyers. It involves market research, sales, product pricing, customer service, community relations and advertising.

Research other mobile boat detail businesses to gain information on their pricing, services (i.e. waxing, interior cleaning, etc.) and how they advertise. If you find that most mobile boat detail businesses target yachts, you may want to target mid-range or high-performance boats. You will want to develop a list of services you offer, pricing for each service and any combination packages you offer.

Place an advertisement in the local business directory like Yellow Pages. Not only will you receive an ad in the the directories delivered to homes, but you will be placed in its on-line directory. Most boat owners who will require boat detailing are affluent and older than 45 years-old. Many come from a generation where they still consult the local business directory when they need services.

Post fliers at local marinas and boat storage facilities. Gather a list of names and addresses for all area marinas and boat storage facilities in your area. Create a flier using any word processing program or page layout software. Spend a day going to each address to hang fliers on public announcement boards. It is also a good idea to speak with the owner or operator before posting fliers. Some necessary information to place on the flier is contact information, services and pricing. Enlist the help of a graphic designer to create a more professional layout.

Partner with a local marina, boat dealership or boat storage facility. A partnership will go a long way to establishing your business, and potentially gain a number of clients instantly. Look professional when you approach businesses, have all your information in one binder for presentation, and conduct follow up calls after having an in-person meeting. Many boat dealerships and storage facilities will have its own workers to handle boat detailing. If this is the case, you will want to present a case for why you can do it cheaper and with better results without the additional staff.

Develop a website. Websites are affordable, easy to develop and will give your mobile boat business a professional and informative presence on the Internet. Many sites, like Godaddy.com, provide templates for businesses where all you have to do is input your information.

Sell at boat ramps. You can either place fliers under a windshield wiper, or approach boat owners before they back their trailers into the water. A simple "hello" and then handing them a flier will do when trying to sell directly, because boaters are usually tired and busy after a day on the water.

Organize a mailing list. Keep a database of all customers, including their names, addresses and preferences. This will allow you to conduct a direct mailing program where you offer promotional pricing on services, or send reminders that they haven't recently had their boat detailed.

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