Riding with the co-brand at Tint World®

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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®.

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Stars and bars: How online reviews can benefit franchises

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No one likes to be called out in public, especially a business owner or manager

But whether online reviews are fair or not, they can help franchise owners further build their brand and provide valuable customer feedback. Just don’t take them personally – you can’t please 100 percent of your customers 100 percent of the time. But you should try.

Online reviews – termed by some as “online word-of-mouth” – are a valuable modern marketing tool in your digital toolbox.

Some research indicates that 90 percent of customers read online reviews before committing to a product or service. Most of them are as receptive to online reviews as they are to personal recommendations. But here’s the rub: Nearly 75 percent of potential customers will purchase your product or services only if there’s at least one positive review associated with your franchise. Nearly 85 percent will be turned off from a business with negative online reviews. And negative reviews can be costly: one poor review on Yelp can cut your customer base by 30 people. An increase in overall positive ratings, however, can generate nearly 10 percent in additional business.

But there’s a lot of good with the potential bad of a negative review, which should be addressed online in a respectful and honest manner. Here are four ways online reviews can help your business:

  1. Free advertising. Potential customers will see your brand and business offerings and locations.
  2. Improved SEO. One of multiple algorithms used by Google to determine page ranking is the number of times your company was reviewed or referenced.
  3. Recommendations: Nearly three-quarters of potential customers will trust online recommendations and positive reviews.
  4. Feedback: Online reviews can offer insight into your business practices and indicate areas that need improvement.
  5. Connections: When you respond to reviews, you establish a more intimate relationship with your customers. You can better build loyalty among your customer base if they see your business as a collection of individuals rather than a faceless monolith

For No. 5 to succeed, however, you need to carefully phrase and take a cautious approach to your response. Respond quickly and be cordial, regardless whether the review was negative or unfair. Don’t just delete reviews; the complainant might notice and take even greater offense and post even more negative reviews. You can correct inaccuracies in a review, but watch your tone. Remember — you are in a public domain. The most important aspect of responding to a negative review is to make the customer feel like their concerns are acknowledged, so make sure you offer their money back or a way to make things right.

Online reviews may seem like a minefield into which you don’t want to stray, but keep in mind the many positive attributes of the digital review system. Maybe you can turn that negativity into a star, instead.

At Tint World® we stay up to date on the latest trends in online reviews and work with our franchisees daily to ensure they are gaining the best reputation possible in their markets.

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It takes a second to wreck it: Customer service tips for franchisers

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Our business was built on a cornerstone of customer service. That’s why Tint World®, which opened our first store in 1982, is now the largest independent automotive customization franchise in the business. We have serviced multiple generations of cars for multiple generations of families – because we consider them family ourselves.

Here are a few keys to customer success to ensure your clients return again and again:

  • When greeting a customer, or bidding one farewell, or even when answering the phone, keep a smile on your face. Nothing generates goodwill like a good grin.
  • Treat every customer with dignity and respect, regardless of their appearance. Even the most bedraggled-looking folks could have a wad of cash they want to drop at your store.
  • Banish the words “I don’t know” from your vocabulary. Replace them with “I’ll find out for you.”
  • The customer standing in front of you merits your attention, not one calling on the telephone.
  • Don’t badmouth customers in front of others.
  • Speak clearly, avoid slang and be mindful of your tone.
  • In this technology-driven world, a personal touch counts for a lot. Consider a written note instead of an email thanking a good customer. But no matter how you do it, always offer thanks. Early and often.
  • Make sure your entire team participates in the customer-service sector of your company.
  • First impressions count — a lot. That includes the first impression of your franchise. Keep your grounds maintained, your entrances clean and inviting, and deliver a hearty “hello!” as soon as a client walks in the door.
  • Be considerate of your customer’s time. Attend to their needs on a timely basis, and make sure you deliver their product on time.
  • Look at how other companies handle customer relations, and offer continuing education and training in customer-service best practices.

Above all, remember the adage “It takes time to build. It takes a second to wreck it.

Here’s more on the Tint World® approach to customer service.

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Like father, like son: Cary, N.C. Tint World® franchise is a family affair

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Randy Silver built his career around franchises. After operating five automotive franchises for 15 years, he acquired a Tint World® franchise in Cary, N.C. eight years ago. He so strongly believes in the future of his franchise that he made his son a co-owner during a very public moment at a Tint World® franchisee convention in Las Vegas in November.

In this interview, he talks about the support franchisees receive from Tint World®; its most popular products; and the importance of working hard and plowing ahead in the face of challenge and adversity.

Question: How would you characterize your success so far as a Tint World® franchisee?

Answer: Being part of Tint World® has given me a lot of opportunity. The front office, the corporate office, they’re great. They’re responsive, very quickly. They’re always there to help you out, they always have answers. They give you guidance.

Q: I understand you made your son a co-owner of the shop during the annual Tint World® franchisee convention in Las Vegas.

A: Correct. Last November I made him a 50-percent owner, he’s worked hard for eight years, he’s all about the business, and I’m just trying to get him more involved.

Q: More involved – what does that entail?

A: Right now, he heads up my tint department (and assists with) Clear Bra paint-protection film. He does a lot of vinyl wraps. I want to get him more involved in the business aspect of it. Up front at the counter, interacting with customers more, the back end, bills and all of that. I want him to know how to run a business.

Q: What are some of the challenges he may face?

A: The biggest challenge in any franchise business is dealing with customers. That is no joke. Selling is what I’m good at, and that’s probably the second-hardest thing. You’re asking people to put their hands in their pockets and come out with money and that’s not always an easy thing.

Q: But you obviously have enough faith in the business model and the future to make your son a partner. What do you think the future holds?

A: The future is wide open. It’s growing; we’re already approaching a million-dollar location. It’s at his fingertips. He can do whatever he wants. He can achieve it. With my guidance, and the guidance from the corporate office – those guys are so knowledgeable – the industry is wide open. It’s a half-billion dollar industry.

Q: What is your No. 1 product right now?

A: The No. 1 product in Tint World® is tint.

Q: What’s No. 2?

A: I would say mobile electronics.

Q: You say you’re almost a million-dollar shop now. What has led you to that milestone?

A: Hard work. Dedication. A lot of focus. Many, many hours. I get here at six in the morning every single day. I put a lot of time in here. Just a lot of dedication.

Q: Any new products you’re offering in 2017?

A: We’re doing vinyl wraps, a lot of Clear Bra paint-protection film; we do residential and commercial tint; rims and tires. We’re doing the new ceramic coatings on cars. We’re branching out, as they come out with new products we try to get them involved in the business, one way or another.

Q: How is working for the Tint World® franchise different or similar to working for other franchises?

A: Well, automotive service is a need; you know a lot of people that want to give you $1,000 for a radiator? (Tint World®) is a want. People come in here and throw you thousands of dollars because they want something, so you’re dealing with a happier clientele. It’s more of a pleasure to work in a business like this.

Q: Why should people come to Tint World® instead of your competitors?

A: We use the highest technology; all of our film is laser-cut by a plotter perfect for every window on your car. You’re in and out in one hour; we’re the only tint shop in the entire United States that’s nationwide; we’ve got shops between New York and San Diego that honor the life-time warranty, reasons such as that.

Q: What is the No. 1 product you have that every auto owner should have?

A: Tint. Skin cancer is popping up every day. (Sunlight) shines right through the window and it burns your skin. The tint we carry is Skin Cancer Foundation-approved. It keeps out 99 percent of UV and UB rays; it keeps out 80 percent of the heat. Tint protects your interior from fading and cracking. All of the above.

Q: How did you motivate yourself through difficult times to get to the point you are today?

A: Just a lot of hard work and determination. You open up a business, you go through your lumps, and you gotta stay at it. Nothing is given to you on a silver spoon. You’ve gotta work. You’re going to make mistakes, and it’s OK to make mistakes. But you want to not make the same mistake two, three or five times. You want to learn from your mistakes, and grow.

Visit Randy and his son at their Cary/Raleigh-area Tint World® franchise. They’ll set you up with the latest and greatest in vehicle maintenance, customization and upgrades. You’ll get expert installation and friendly service – hallmarks of Tint World® franchises everywhere.

 

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Six tips to becoming a franchise business owner

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So you want to be a franchisee? Here are six basic tips to getting started:

  1. Follow your passions: If you dislike food service, avoid restaurant franchises. If your joys revolve around cars, an automotive franchise will be your best bet.

Aziz Hashim, a successful franchisee of at least three dozen restaurants across the country, worked at a fast-food restaurant to help him pay for college. When he graduated and entered his field of mechanical engineering, he realized his heart was in the restaurant world, he said in an interview with Entrepreneur.

“I realized within a few short weeks of being employed as an electrical engineer that it wasn’t for me. I much preferred the restaurant environment. Within 90 days of getting that job, I tendered my resignation and decided I was going to try to find my way in the restaurant business.”

  1. Ensure your franchisor is on an upward trajectory. One way to do that is to determine whether they are highly regarded, and included, for instance, in Entrepreneur and Forbes lists of fastest-growing franchises.

 

  1. Make sure your franchise is in a market that offers both demand and growth.

 

  1. Make sure your franchise will be supported by the franchisor in ways that leverage the collective power franchises offer, such as group ad buys and marketing.

As WineStyles Tasting Station CEO Bryan McGinness told Business News Daily:

 “… a potential franchisee should be very clear on what the franchisor expects of him or her, and vice versa. ‘Make sure it’s a good fit for both parties,’ McGinness said. ‘It’s easy to sign franchisees and take their royalty money. What happens after is what matters. Make this a long-term partnership and a win-win [situation].’ “

  1. Low overhead is a key to profit; make sure your investment is sustainable and doesn’t cost too much up front.

 

  1. Do research and exercise due diligence to ensure franchise fees are reasonable and attainable.

At Tint World®, we offer a variety of franchise programs for entrepreneurs interested in taking control of their life and owning their own business. Whether you’re interested in automotive styling or just want to invest in a niche market where profit can be made, we have the system for you.

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Tint World® Franchise Blog: Marketing tips for franchise owners

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As a franchise owner, you know that finding new ways to market your products and services can be time-consuming. Finding new ways to expand your existing customer base is crucial to growing your business.

Tint World® franchise owners are able to use our corporate support to drive new business success, but there are a number of ways you can market your location in your local market for higher sales. Some of the most effective methods include:

Knowing your radius
Ask your customers how far they came to your location. Your radius might be three miles, 15 miles or 30 miles, but most of your customers will be within a three- to 10-mile area. Focus on these customers to market your business and count on them to tell others about your franchise.

Joining your local Chamber of Commerce
While a Chamber of Commerce membership might seem like an old idea, you will be able to network and meet with other business owners in your area. Your membership will also include opportunities to add extra promotion to your specific location to make you top of mind, while also providing a link to your area.

Becoming a resource for your community
If you present yourself as a trusted local resource for questions that your neighbors have, it will drive awareness of the work that you are doing. If a potential customer comes to your location with a question, take the time to answer, introduce yourself, and learn more about what is happening and how you can help.

Giving back to your community
It can be hard to donate time or money to every community event, but aligning yourself with community events will make your franchise better-known. Sponsor a local youth team, give back to a local non-profit organization, donate products to a school fundraiser—all of these will build positive awareness of your franchise in your community.

Marketing your franchise location to the community you serve will drive brand awareness of your franchise location. As a Tint World® franchise owner, you have access to the marketing services that are available from Tint World® corporate. Let our marketing expertise work for you so you can grow the success of your location!

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Hitting the reset button for your franchise

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As a Tint World® franchise owner, you know that things don’t always happen the way that you want them to happen for your store. There might be problems with staff or other issues that you can control, but the idea of change can make you stressed out. Recently, our Tint World® franchise location in North Miami Beach was dealing with these types of issues and although it was out of their comfort zone, they have found great success by hitting the reset button.

The North Miami Beach location was dealing with employees who weren’t engaged, employees who had a “me-first” instead of “team-first” way of thinking and serious issues with how the store was performing. Co-owners Alberto and Gary Safarti decided that changes had to be made and so, they both “hit the reset button” to make changes for their Tint World® franchise location.

Alberto and Gary’s Story:

We at the North Miami Beach Tint World® location do not believe our recent success is luck. Our methodology has changed to increase our dedication in finding and training the optimum employees. It is not just a matter of money.

As an owner/operator, you have to find the way to instill in your employees the same dedication and excitement that you have for your business. You have to find a way to motivate them and encourage them to have the same enthusiasm you have. That attitude will create a positive customer/employee/operator relationship, where the positive attitude of your employees will motivate the customer to contract for additional services. But it all starts from the top down. You have to find a way to involve your employees in the operation of your shop, Listen to their comments, encourage them to contribute to the efficiency of your shop. By reacting positively to their input, you will find they will stay to 8 pm or to whatever hour necessary to get the work out.

We started from zero, and my brother and I absorbed many disappointments until we realized that without an enthusiastic workforce, it would be impossible to raise our shop to higher possibilities. We have one year and six months dedicating ourselves to finding the proper combination of the above factors, always respecting the employee. We know that salary is only 17% of an incentive to a worker’s job satisfaction, while more important factors are those such as job recognition, having the owner’s attention when his comments are made, and an attitude of mutual respect permeating the workplace environment. The customer feels that as well. It turns your business into not just another run of the mill shop

It is true that we have been lucky to some degree, but in business, you often make your own luck. In our case, it is more dedication and a changed workplace attitude, than any other factor.

The energy at the North Miami Beach location is incredible; everyone’s spirits are high, the entire staff jumps in to solve problems together without being asked to do so and all employees, including technicians, are selling and cross-selling together.

While making drastic changes may be out of the comfort zone of a franchise owner, hitting the reset button when everything else has been tried can make the difference between success and failure for your Tint World® franchise. Congratulations to the team at our North Miami Beach location for their willingness to go the extra mile for their Tint World® franchise!

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Engage the Five Senses in your franchise business

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As a Tint World® franchise owner, you know that there are a number of different ways to attract customers to visit your location. From signs to flyers and going out in the community to promote your Tint World® location, there are a variety of ways to help get people to visit your store to show off your products.

Although you might know ways to get them into your store, do you know that you can help keep them in the store, encourage them to purchase from your location and turn them into long time customers by using the five senses to make them feel welcome? Learning how to engage the five senses of your customers can help drive more sales for your Tint World® franchise.

Sight
Take a look at your Tint World® location through the eyes of someone who may not have visited your store before. Is everything open so that they can see all of the products you have to offer and brightly lit to make everything visible? If your store is cluttered, dim and looks like a storm blew through, you may be turning your customers off before they can see all you have to offer.

Touch
For those that like to work on cars, touch is a big part of the experience when working with a company. Are your items laid out in a way that encourages customers to touch the products and hold them in your hand? If a number of your items are locked away or aren’t easily accessible, you may be missing an opportunity to connect with your customers.

Sound
What is the normal volume in your Tint World® location? Is it so loud that customers can’t hear themselves think or so quiet that they think they are in a library? Sound is a big part of the customer experience, so make sure that employee conversations are at a respectful level that any music that is being played is appropriate for your customers and make sure that the sound levels are set so that customers aren’t looking to get what they want and get out too quickly.

Smell
For some customers, the smell in a store can make them feel welcome or make them want to walk out before they come too far inside. With an automotive and marine based business like your Tint World® location, the smells from the shop area may seem like home for some of your customers, but other parts of your store may be too strong. Take a minute to see how your Tint World® location really smells and adjust accordingly.

Taste
Taste really isn’t an area of concern for most Tint World® locations, but if the smells of your store leaves a bad taste in the mouth of your customers, you may be losing the opportunity to make a great sale.

Being able to engage the five senses of your customers when they come into your Tint World® franchise location can help one-time customers become long-time customers, but be careful that the five senses that you engage with in regards to your customers don’t overpower their experience when they come to visit your Tint World® store.

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Build success with your Tint World Franchise!

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As a member of the Tint World® franchise family, you are committed to the success of your franchise and building success can be created by using the advantages at your disposal as a Tint World® franchise owner. Tint World® has been a leader in the window tinting and automotive styling industry for over 30 years and our success has been in large part due to the success of our Tint World® franchise locations. Build success with your Tint World franchise

Finding success isn’t built on doing things easily; as our Tint World® franchise owners will tell you, it takes hard work, dedication and a commitment to excellence to be successful, but the work is completely worth it. How do you find and build success for your Tint World® franchise? Some of the best ways to do so are:

Promote the brand

Tint World® is known as a leader in the window tinting and auto styling industry, with over 30 years of experience and expertise behind the Tint World® name. Use the Tint World® brand to promote your Tint World® franchise location—people who are interested in window tinting, auto styling and the rest of our products might know someone who could do window tinting for them, but if you can promote our history and our service, you will be able to convince them that the only location and name they need to know is Tint World®!

Marketing your location

As a member of the Tint World® franchise team, you have access to marketing materials that can help you promote your location and your offerings to your community. Marketing doesn’t just mean that you use these materials to promote your business, but that you share the story of your Tint World® franchise to everyone you meet. From local business gatherings to community outreach, market the products and services that you offer at your local Tint World® location to help drive business and build success!

Be committed

Owning a franchise can be hard work, but the rewards that are available as a Tint World® franchise are worth the effort! Tint World® franchise owners are committed to their own success and the long hours and hard work that comes with being a Tint World® franchise owner means that you have to be committed to your location. Stay sharp, stay focused and know that success will be yours as a part of the Tint World® franchise team will make your commitment to your franchise worth it!

When you own your own Tint World® franchise, you have a team to support you that is designed to help you build success as a part of the Tint World® franchise family. Following our guidelines to success with your Tint World® franchise location can help you grow your business for years and years to come!

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Studying your franchise competition

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No matter what business you are in, you have competition. From phones to cars to electronics to even mattresses, there are very few, if any, businesses that don’t have competitors that are looking to gain an advantage over you and your business. Competition is a good thing, because it makes everyone work harder to deliver on their promise to their customers and their employees. One of the best things that you can do as a TintWorld® franchise owner is to study your franchise competition to see what they are doing and then finding ways to do things better than they are to grow your TintWorld® franchise.  Franchise Competition

Even though there are other tinting franchises out there, remember that there is no other franchise that is going to be the exact same as your TintWorld® franchise. They are in a different location, they may offer similar products, but they are not the same as your TintWorld® franchise products and most importantly, they don’t have the power and the name that you have as a TintWorld® franchise.

Being able to identify how your TintWorld® franchise products are different and better than your competition can help you learn the best ways to compete and win. Knowing what makes your individual TintWorld® franchise stand out from other franchises can not only help you sell your products and services, but will help you be able to tell your customers why you are the better choice for their business. These steps are the best way to study the difference between you and your competition:

How is the competition reaching people?

Investigate and learn what methods your competition is using to meet their audience and study how they are doing it. Put yourself in the public’s shoes: is what my competition saying sound real, interesting and something worth finding out more about? If so, think about why and then decide how you can do it better.

Are their products and services the same as mine?

While other franchises may have similar products and services that you offer, the chances are that the products and services they offer aren’t exactly the same. Study the differences and use those differences to your advantages to promote your TintWorld® franchise.

How are the prices?

If your competitors prices are higher than yours, learn why they are charging more and how successful they are? Some competitors may be saying that their products are better quality or more of a luxury, but if they aren’t, promote that information to your customers. If their prices are lower, learn why they are charging less; is the quality worse than yours or are they cutting corners to beat you on price? Either way, you can use that information to differentiate yourself from your franchise competition.

How is their website?

Take the time to check out your competition’s website, from the design of the site to the words that they have on their pages. If they offer a newsletter sign up, consider adding your email address to see what information they are sharing or if they are offering giveaways. Learning how your competition uses their website, as well as social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) can give you insight into how they are trying to reach customers.

Studying your franchise competition is not just a one-time thing to do; being constantly aware of your existing competition, as well as new competitors that are coming into your market, can help you better understand how to reach potential customers with your TintWorld® franchise locations. Staying in touch with what your competitors are doing and learning what, if anything, they are saying about your, can help your TintWorld® franchise succeed and grow against others in your market.

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Tint World® Profit Centers:

  • Auto Care & Styling Services
  • Window Tinting
  • Protective Films
  • Vehicle Security Systems
  • Audio & Video Systems
  • Mobile Electronics
  • Detailing & Reconditioning
  • Custom Wheels & Tires
  • Vehicle Wraps & Graphics
  • Performance Parts & Accessories
  • Marine Styling Services
  • Home & Business Services

Complete Turn-Key Investment From $118,000 to $198,000

Minimum Liquid Capital $60,000

Download Franchise Kit