The Lifelong Student

By Timothy Denman

07/01/14

After 20 years in detailing some industry veterans get stuck in their ways, unwilling to put in the time to grow their knowledge base and improve their services. That is not the case with Scott Perkin.

Scotty’s Shine Shop is well known throughout southern Ontario.

The owner of Scotty’s Shine Shop in London, Ontario is dedicated to constant education and innovation and has been rewarded for his passion with a thriving business that is setting all-time sales records 21 years after it first opened its doors.

Scott and his late father Bob founded the detail shop with less experience and capital than they needed. What they lacked in formal detailing knowledge the partners more than made up for in ambition and commitment, providing the best possible detailing services to each and every customer as they built their full-service detailing business from the ground up.

 

The perfectionist at work.

Although light on professional experience when they opened their doors in November of 1993 the Perkins were armed with decades of detailing experience gained through caring for their own vehicles.

“Me and my father had always detailed our own cars,” Perkin says. “My dad was always kind of a neat freak with his vehicles. When I bought my first car the first thing we did when I brought it home was my father taught me how to detail.”

From those early detailing lessons in the driveway with his father Perkin has always been a student of automotive detailing. In the early days before the advent of the Internet and the revolution it has brought to the dissemination of detailing knowledge, Perkin gained his detailing know-how on the job and through the study of any and all training materials he could get his hands

Scott Perkin (right) is presented with the IDA’s Detail Shop
of the Year award.

In addition to pouring over detailing manuals and books, Perkins attended as many education seminars as possible — a practice he still observes today. He regularly attends sessions on paint repair, window tinting, paint-less dent repair, refinishing, and wet sanding to keep his skills sharp and increase Scotty’s Shine Shop’s bottom line.

“I took what my dad taught me and built on it,” Perkin says. “I constantly try to refine the process to make it more efficient to get the best results.”

Scotty’s Shine Shop is one of the best detail shops in southern Ontario, drawing customers from hours away as its reputation sweeps the region. Helping to spread the word about Scotty’s Shine is a new-age marketing campaign focused on the web and specifically social media and Google Ad words advertising. Perkin draws large amounts of web traffic to his site through an expert search engine optimization campaign that keeps his business at the top of search results in the local area.


When I bought my first car the first thing
we did when i brought it home was my
father taught me how to detail.
- Scott Perkin


The shop’s cargo van is a moving company billboard.

“We have a pretty high profile in the detailing community in the area for a while now because of our presence online,” Perking says. “We do a good job coming up at the top of web searches but that is just part of it. We do a lot of high-end interior work at our shop and have a lot of before and after photos on our website. Interiors are easy to photograph and it really highlights the kind of work we do here which helps draw in people from all over.”

Scotty’s Shine has migrated away from traditional print-based advertising in newspapers and the Yellow Pages, instead focusing its efforts on growing its community on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The appeal of the shop’s finished product translates well to the highly-visual social media space.

 

Scotty’s Shine was named Detail Shop of the Year
by the IDA and Best Car Wash by the London Free Press.

Perkin’s marketing efforts are not just getting noticed by the local market but the detail industry at large. He is a member of the International Detailing Association’s marketing and communications committee and in February was elected to the board of directors.

As a member of the committee Perkin has taken the lead in a revamp of the association’s look and feel. He is overseeing the design of a new logo and all marketing materials. Perkin is also in charge of the IDA’s Facebook page and is building the social media conversation around not just detailing topics but successful business practices.

Perkin has a knack for branding and has positioned both himself and his business as detailing experts. He produces a digital newsletter for Scotty’s Shine Shop to promote the business and provide subscribers with helpful car care tips. Each edition of the digital publication includes information on choosing a quality detail shop including questions to ask of operators, equipment to look for, and chemicals to request.

 

The two-bay shop can detail up to 10 cars at a time.

Detailing technology and chemicals have changed drastically over the past three to five years and detail clients are in need of an education on the available options. There are a host of new chemicals available including high-performance, high-cost coatings that are revolutionizing the way cars are detailed.

Of course Perkin and his crew of eight full- and part-time detailers are fully trained in the next-gen coatings and offer two high-end treatments: Opti-Coat Pro and C.Quartz. C.Quartz provides the better shine, while Opti-Coat is the more durable, longer-lasting option.

 

Gift certificates are available.

“I was reticent to offer coatings at first because I was concerned with their durability,” Perkin says. “If I am going to offer something at the shop especially when it cost so much I want to make sure customers get the value.”

The rush on the high-end coatings has helped boost Scotty’s Shine Shop to new revenue levels. April and May of this year both set all-time monthly sales records for the shop, bringing in over $65,000 in revenue each month. “We are just doing coating after coating after coating,” Perkins says.  “I never thought we would be selling as much as we are right now.”

It has been both a busy and exciting time at the shop. In addition to the influx of coatings work, Scotty’s Shine Shop was recently named the IDA’s inaugural Detail Shop of the Year. The award will be presented annually to a detail shop that is setting a standard of excellence as voted on by its peers.

 

Perkin authors an eNewsletter that
keeps customers informed
of new products and services.

In addition to the IDA accolade, the shop has been named the Best Car Wash by the London Free Press. The local award is voted on by the paper’s readers and although the shop doesn’t have a simple car wash option there is no detail shop category and Scotty’s took the top prize in the car wash group.

“It is great to be recognized by our peers and customers,” Perkin says of his shop’s recent recognitions. “From day one we have focused on providing our customers with the best detail possible. We are proud of both of these awards.”

Scotty’s Shine Shop has evolved from a father/son partnership just getting their feet wet to an award-winning industry leader with a long list of accolades. Scott Perkin’s dedication to constant education, training, and evolution coupled with an innate desire to provide top-notch service to his growing customer base has lifted his business and positioned it for sustained growth.  

Scotty's Shine Shop uses sophisticated SEO practices to keep its
website at the top of web search results.

 

 

 



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