Tint World® convention attendees receive good news under the sun

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Company continues strong franchise growth; robust 2018 predicted

The outlook was sunny at this year’s annual Tint World®, held Feb. 18-20 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando. Leading company franchisees were recognized for their very hard work, and Tint World® owner Charles Bonfiglio rolled out some new programs that will keep stores humming the rest of 2018.

Tint World franchisors from across the country attended product demonstrations, training sessions, seminars and a vendor trade show at the sun-soaked resort. They also received positive news of robust franchise growth over the past year. Highlights included:

  • Chainwide sales grew more than 27 percent from 2016 to 2017.
  • Store locations increased from 49 in 2016 to 54 in 2017.
  • The company entered four new states in 2017, and there are 21 additional stores in development.
  • Tint World leaders rolled out the new 5-Star Program to reinforce the company’s commitment to supporting individual franchise growth. The program will measure multiple aspects of performance, including customer relations, business systems and sales targets. The scores will be reviewed quarterly at the corporate level as a measurement of owner success.

“Bringing the entire company together every year to celebrate our victories sets the pace for the year ahead,” Bonfiglio said in a widely distributed media release published in multiple publications. “We get to celebrate and recognize the achievements of our growing family of franchise owners, but we also get to share and learn from each other’s success stories. The introduction of our new 5 Star Program reinforced our commitment to supporting the continuing growth and development of our owners.”

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Here’s how franchisees can navigate the post-holiday doldrums

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Keep your brand active, and your spirits up

It’s not uncommon for franchise and retail businesses of all types to slow down soon after the retail rush of the holiday season subsides.

January, February and March are traditionally slow months for sales and customer traffic, but there are ways to boost business before the brighter days of spring and summer.

  • Lengthen the holidays. Maintain the holiday momentum as long as you can. Customers may return gifts soon after Christmas. Sell them new products with targeted markdowns.
  • Step up your social media game. Get creative. Consider hiring a professional public relations firm to handle your social media platforms. Lure customers to your shop with one-day specials or other promotions you can trumpet on social media.
  • Keep advertising. Don’t let your brand fade during the winter. Start advertising now to ensure good spring sales and build toward a profitable year.
  • Plan ahead. You know when your business is up, and when it’s down. Prepare for the short-term financial downturn ahead of time with a rainy-day fund and possible staffing shifts.
  • Tout new products. If one of your vendors rolls out a new product, especially early in the year, promote it to get customers to your store.
  • Get involved. The slower winter season is a good time to step up networking with local chambers of commerce and other business or trade organizations. Attend conferences to promote your brand.
  • Get personal. Call some of your best customers of the past year and thank them for their support and invite them in for a cup of coffee. Based upon their prior purchases, gently pitch some new products they may be interested in. Some of our Tint World stores have had great success hosting or being involved in their local cars and coffee outfit.

The most important advice: Stay positive. Slowdowns are part of business, and should be part of your planning process. Remember: This too shall pass. Click here for more information about Tint World® franchises or download our franchise kit today.

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American franchises grew by rail and car

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Tint World® continues U.S. franchise traditions

One name is synonymous with American franchising: Ray Kroc. In 1954, he acquired the rights to franchise McDonald’s outside of its original California territories, and the burger behemoth began its growth spurt to the publicly traded, global brand it is today.

Tint World® followed a similar, though more muted, path: Its first location opened in Florida in 1982, and 35 years later it has more than 60 window-tinting and auto accessories stores throughout the U.S. and continues its expansion to Canada.

But there’s another familiar name that is integral to American franchising history: Benjamin Franklin. Yes, that Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin was a founder of our country as well as a franchise pioneer. He first set up an exclusive relationship with a Charleston, S.C. printer who was contractually obligated to print only materials provided by Franklin. He reached similar arrangements with printers throughout the colonies, from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to Antigua. This gave him outsized control of information and materials disseminated throughout the colonies and eventually the young United States, but it set a standard of sorts for such business operations to come.

Other franchises during the early years of the country and its settlement included government exclusivity agreements reached with the operators of stores and supply depots at federal forts and trading outposts.

Indeed, the principle of “manifest destiny” and westward expansion further fueled the expansion of franchises.

The country’s first semblance of a restaurant franchise was started by an Englishman named Frederick Harvey. He reached an agreement with the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad that allowed him to operate his Harvey House restaurants at depots every 100 miles along the 12,000-mile railroad. It technically was a chain, not a franchise, but his operating principles — standardization and quality control — became hallmarks of the modern franchise system.

Following the rise of the railroad, another technological innovation began to make its mark and shape the U.S. in its modern form: the automobile. As highways increasingly crisscrossed the country, complementary franchises followed. A&W drive-in restaurants first offered franchises in 1924; and Howard Johnson’s and White Castle soon followed.

It’s apparent that the history of American franchising is linked to the country’s technological and transportation advances, such as the rise of the railroad and conquest of the country by cars.

What franchise innovations are next? Time will tell.

Visit our website for more information on Tint World® franchising opportunities, or call (888) 629-8777.

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Fire it up: SEMA is almost here

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Huge car show offers fun, thrills, networking and innovation

Car enthusiasts, buyers, dealers, franchisors and fans are revving up for the 2017 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show, set for Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

This is the largest private car, parts and accessories show in the world, and last year’s SEMA show attracted some 70,000 people. It is not open to the general public, so attendees get a private and personal look at the hottest trends on the market today.

Here are five reasons to attend the SEMA show this year:

  • New products: Learn about the hottest new products and innovations on the auto market at the popular New Products Showcase. Twelve sections of displays last year featured 3,000 new parts, accessories and tools.
  • Build your business: Showcase your products, knowledge and brand with the vast crowd of auto enthusiasts. Meet others in the industry and build relationships. Trust us, you want to be seen at this event. It could help build your bottom line heading into 2018.
  • Indulge your passion: If you are a fan of cars – and motorcycles and trucks and virtually anything else with wheels and an engine – you can see the rides as well as the products that enhance them. At least 1,500 vehicles of all kinds will be on site for demonstrations – or just sitting around looking pretty.
  • Get smarter: 50 business seminars are set throughout the duration of the show. Trade war stories, compare products and get tips on further enhancing and building your business and its products.
  • Be entertained: While Las Vegas is not lacking in entertainment options, your fun can be enhanced by multiple vehicle demonstrations, ranging from drifting to professional racing and precision demos. The SEMA “cruise” is always a hit, as more than 1,000 vehicles of all shapes and sizes and types exit the conference en masse at its conclusion.

SEMA also offers a chance to build your team and enhance cooperation through this amazing shared experience.

Get fired up. SEMA’s almost here. For more information or to register, go to the SEMA site.

 

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Five common obstacles to successful franchising

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Will you accept the challenges?

So you want to be a franchisee?

Do you think you have what it takes?

You better be on your game, because there’s a lot more to operating a franchise than hanging out a shingle and watching customers pour in like liquid gold. If only it were that easy.

But a successful franchise can indeed be built to great heights– if you have the will and work ethic. The most successful Tint World® franchisees already know a few of these facts, but here are five challenges unique to franchising. Master these and you’ll indeed be at the top of your game.

  1. Sustaining commitment. Franchising works because the best franchises come with a tried-and-trusted model. It is important you remain committed to the franchise model. There is little room for independence in most franchise agreements, and there’s a reason for that.
  2. Managing personnel. As a franchise owner, the buck stops with you. That means you have to manage from top to bottom. You are responsible for ultimately overseeing all members of your team, from laborer to manager. If you aren’t a people person or natural leader, a franchisee future may not work for you.
  3. Brand focus. You must be committed to building your brand, selling your brand, and being your brand. Keeping a tight geographic and demographic focus will make promotion and marketing easier.
  4. Building relationships. As noted above, there is not a lot of wiggle room for free spirits in the franchise world. You need to maintain and cultivate positive relationships with both your franchisor and your customers. Your franchisor wants you to succeed.
  5. Leadership skills are important, but first you must have a staff to lead. Unemployment across the U.S. is approaching historical lows, and that puts a crunch on employers, especially those in the service industry. One solution: Never stop recruiting. Make your expectations clear, but promote a culture and reputation that will make your franchise attractive to potential employees.

So do you think you have what it takes? Get your game face on and download the Tint World franchise package today.

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Do you have true grit for Tint World®?

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Ten traits every potential franchisee should possess

 

Running a franchise like Tint World®, a leader in window tinting, aftermarket accessories and vehicle maintenance takes an investment of money, but also hard work and grit. While all that effort can pay off, it requires dedication and distinct personality and business types.

Think you have what it takes? Here are 10 traits and abilities a successful franchisee must possess:

  1. Reliability. A franchise is entrusting you with developing, promoting and representing a brand that has taken years of effort to cultivate.
  2. Financial literacy. It takes time to build revenue – and profits – and you need to have the business and financial acumen to track cash flow and manage expenses.
  3. Leadership ability. As a franchisee you will be responsible for assembling and leading a team to meet your franchise goals. You need to be both personable, responsive and tough.
  4. Be results-driven. Don’t mistake motion for progress. You’ll need to keep your eyes on the prize as you put in long hours alongside your team.
  5. Optimism. Don’t view obstacles as obstructions. View them as challenges. Negativity will wash off on your team.
  6. Resiliency. There are good days and bad days, especially as you build your business. You need to bounce back from a bad day or bad experiences, and be prepared to do it often.
  7. Composure. To paraphrase the old saying, you need to keep your wits about you when others are losing their’s. The life of a franchisee is inherently stressful. Be cool.
  8. Personability. You must be a “people person.” You must interact with multiple people on any given day, be they employees or customers.
  9. Creativity. You need to exhibit an ability to think outside the box and consider and tolerate alternative paths to success.
  10. Caution. While opening and operating any business has its share of gambles, you need to proceed with caution lest liability or poor money management catch up with you.

So, do you still think you have what it takes? Visit our franchise website for more information on becoming a Tint World® franchisee, or call 888-944-8468.

 

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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® 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