You don’t have to abandon your existing business to franchise
Co-branding opened up new worlds of opportunity for Kenny McCardie.
He ran and built a car-audio business, AutoSound, for more than a decade, then added tinting services to his menu. His Union City, California business became a Tint World® franchise in April 2016. Now he says his business is booming like bass from a hoopty.
McCardie took a few moments from his busy schedule to chat about his business model, and how integrating his existing business with the Tint World® was a recipe for success.
Question: Why did you become a Tint World® franchisee?
Answer: We really wanted to expand on window tint/paint protection. It’s a big market, and we felt like we were missing a big opportunity. Tint World® was not just a machine that worked well, there was a heart and background and infrastructure to it.
Q: What sold you on the concept?
A: Meeting everyone on their team and seeing how their infrastructure worked. It’s a living, breathing organism, not just a cold-hearted machine. There were people who cared about the industry, and cared about the individuals within. They cared about my team, they wanted to make sure my team was successful, and that I was successful. It was not just about numbers, but about making sure it was the right fit. That’s what gave us the good feeling about this partnership and we wanted to move forward.
Q: Can you tell us more about the co-branding opportunity?
A: The great thing about Tint World® is they didn’t try to vape away our identity; they actually appreciated our identity and worked with us to find that balance. We built a business for 13 years, it was very important when we started negotiations that we didn’t lose that. So they worked with us to find what would be in both of our best interests, so customers could still find us and be aware of our Tint World® identity as well. It was a process within itself, everything from business cards to the new name. So that’s been great, from shirts to point of purchase, they did a great job – there were bumps, and they became learning experiences without major issues. They were very helpful in working with us, on their side, too. New vendors, signs, floor mats, and getting us shirts and supplies.
Q: Has the co-branded franchise yielded the dividends you expected?
A: We’re still growing, but absolutely, it has increased our dividends. It’s been a great opportunity and financial blessing. We’re seeing a great increase in business already, just in the first year.
Q: What do you attribute that to?
A: No. 1, the business formula, and being able to have the correct tools and infrastructure in place. About 50 percent we adapted, the other 50 percent we were already doing. We adapted that, brought in the tooling and displays, changed the layout and look and feel of the store. We incorporated the tooling, from using the right work order to the plotter. Before, we were cutting everything by hand. We were doing a mom-and-pop type business. And we were able to bring in the plotter, and have it on the computer; you put everything in and press the button, and the plotter will cut the film out and you could tell the customer there’s no longer a blade close to your vehicle. Those things actually helped our business considerably. The productivity went up using their marketing and guides and tools correctly.
Q: So you’re still very much invested in the car audio portion of your business?
A: It has been kind of hard to divest in it. As much as we try to move away from it, people keep coming in the door. That being said, Tint World® is also bringing in some 12-volt as well; more customers coming to us for lighting upgrades; more customers coming to us for more Bluetooth integration; more radio replacement, speaker replacement.
Q: Would you recommend the franchise path to others?
A: Tint World® has been able to strengthen partnerships as well as bring business to my door that I could never do before. It has helped me with my day-to-day operations, infrastructure, recruiting, hiring, managing, being fiscally aware, renegotiating leases with my landlord, my vendors, driving business through marketing. My phones are ringing more than they ever have before. My team is even happier, being able to bounce stuff off other stores, the ability to look at 50-plus other stores to see what the best practices are, what the pitfalls are. You have to adapt and adjust with the times. That’s what Tint World® has done, continuing to look at the forefront, and supporting it with marketing. If you can look at something and say, ‘hey I’m willing to adjust accordingly,’ you’ll be successful.
Contact us today for information on the franchise options available through Tint World®.