CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Inflation has soared to high heights not seen in decades, and a Charlotte business owner says while he is flourishing, he has had to raise prices to contend with rising rates.
What You Need To Know
Inflation reached a 40-year high, 9.1% in June
Urban consumers paying more for some products and services
Detail company adjusting to rising cost by raising some of his prices
U.S. inflation reached a 40-year high, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In June, the Consumer Price Index climbed to 9.1% over the last 12 month period. This means consumers are paying higher prices for some goods and services, compared to years past.
One business owner says although he's feeling some of the "inflation pains," his business is flourishing.
Jonathan Tillery is the owner of 'Interior Exterior Finesse Detailing LLC,' specializing in luxury exotic and finesse automotive detailing services.
Tillery's company is based in Concord, and he services clients across the Charlotte and North Carolina area. Their work includes detailing cars, boats, RV's and semi-trucks.
Tillery launched his business on July 4, 2018, but he's been detailing cars since 2012.
"I was a mechanic, Tillery said. "I saw the guys in the shop detailing cars, and they were making more money than the mechanics. I kept that in the back of mind, thinking I may need to move over from a mechanic to a detailer. That's what happened."
Tillery says investing into a small business is paying off. He says the detailing company brings in nearly $2,000 weekly, servicing around 15 clients per month.
"I book out a week, sometimes two weeks, I've even booked out a month before," he said.
But now in the face of economic turndown and inflation at its highest in 40 years, Tillery's had to make some price adjustments to keep up with the rising costs.
Tillery says over time, the price for some of the products he's using to clean vehicles has gone up. He's had to beef up prices for some of his services to make up for the loss.
He says the purchasing price for some chemicals has raised from $9 to $18 a gallon.
"You can't keep the price the same. If people don't understand that, you have to win the right customers who do understand," Tillery said.
Although some folks may not want to pay higher prices, Tillery says his regular customers also understand they're paying for the quality, one-on-one service a small business like his provides.
"In the beginning, I was charging regular price like $35 for a basic 'in and out,' that's what everyone knows it as," Tillery said. "Now my basic 'in and out' is $75. It's quality. People will go out and get their hair done and pay $90 for about an hour of work, why shouldn't detailers' get the same price for the same type of work. We're not overcharging, we're giving [your car] a full spa like you would with your body. You're paying for the quality."
Managing a business during these times is an ongoing job for Tillery.
He spends much of his downtime reviewing finances with the person he calls the heartbeat of his business, his fiancee, Michelle Perry.
"She's been the backbone, the one helping me do my background and get my clientele," Tillery said.
Together, they're able to determine the prices he should be charging for the company's services so they can stay above inflation.
"Michelle will compare prices with different competitors and come to me and tell me this person is charging this much,"Tillery said. "I'm not a competitive person but I will not be the cheapest where you get people calling you all the time to book you, and you'd be over-busy and doing a bunch of work you don't want to do."
Find more information about Finesse Detailing prices and services on the company website.