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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Seven homework lessons for prospective franchisees

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Do your own due diligence before inking a franchise deal

It’s kind of a big deal to enter into a franchise agreement. There are hours of interviews, franchise disclosure documents, reams of financial statements, and days of discovery.

And that’s largely for the benefit of the company determining whether it wants to sign you on as a franchisee.

But it’s advisable to turn the tables somewhat, and see whether you want to work with them.

Here are seven things to do before you enter into a franchise agreement, be it with Tint World® or any other national franchising operation:

  1. Contact other franchisees within the company and ask about franchise support, especially getting the store up and running.
  2. Inquire about the franchise’s marketing and advertising plans, and ask other franchisees how effective they are, especially if you are required to stick to a company marketing template.
  3. Make sure you know what any upfront fees are covering, including legal and CPA services.
  4. Ask the franchise you are considering courting whether they have testimonials and client success stories they are willing to share. They should, and if they don’t, that could indicate dissatisfaction among franchisees.
  5. Examine the all-around track record of your company. A lot of information should be available in the franchise disclosure documents companies are legally required to release. Look for litigation; what states they are allowed to operate in; and the overall franchise approval and closure rates.
  6. Talk to customers or clients of the franchise you are considering. How would they rate the company? Were they pleased with the services received?
  7. Stalk your company’s online presence and reviews to gauge client satisfaction. Reviews on Google, Yelp, Facebook and the Better Business Bureau website should give you a feel for whether customers are happy with the franchise.

The franchise world is not for everyone. It involves a substantial investment and extreme vetting on both sides of the negotiating table. So make sure exactly what you’re signing up for when you ink that franchise agreement. It’s kind of a big deal.

For information on franchising opportunities within Tint World, a national leading provider of window-tinting, vehicle accessories and electronics, download our franchise kit today.

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Tint World offers franchisees a high and wide level of support

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From marketing to real estate, we’re here to help your franchise succeed

When we began offering franchises in 2007, the Tint World® franchise team realized that many of our franchisees would be new to franchising and owning their own business. That’s why we invested so much time developing and perfecting the Tint World® franchise business system with superior operational support staff and all the tools to be successful.

Tint World® is a full-service turn-key franchise system. Experts in real estate, construction, training, purchasing, distribution, marketing, and operations work out of our franchise headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida.

Franchise startup and ongoing support:

  • Real Estate Each new shop location is carefully determined in cooperation with the franchisee and the Tint World® team. We assist each franchisee with selecting and securing a site, negotiating a lease, and building out the center. Our franchise and real-estate development team will be available to support and guide you every step of the way.
  • Construction The Tint World® team guides the construction process for every franchisee. Our network of approved vendors, architects, and general contractors helps streamline the development process.
  • Training Our three-week New Owner Training Program covers all the skills needed to become a successful business owner. The first two weeks are spent in a classroom, where we train our franchisees on the business operations, marketing, recruiting, and financial management of the business. Then one week of training is spent at one of our shops to learn about inventory, scheduling, team development, and how to operate the business.
  • Purchasing & Distribution Tint World® franchisees benefit from our national purchasing power and our partnership with the industry’s leading distribution network, which provides nationwide distribution of delivery consistency and quality products.
  • Operations Tint World® franchise operations managers are business consultants (FBC) who assist franchisees in grand openings, staff training, and ensuring the store is fully prepared and ready for their first customer. Tint World® FBC call and visit centers on a regular basis to conduct operations support, evaluations, answer any questions and give support to managers and/or crew members.
  • Marketing Our marketing team supports every franchisee with effective and innovative marketing initiatives at the local and national levels. This assistance is provided to help you with your grand opening plans and social media presence, along with the implementation of new product launches. Our public-relations team keeps Tint World® in front of local and national media.
  • Financing Tint World® does not offer financing; however, we have relationships with a network of lenders. These lenders work with you in securing the necessary loan you’ll need to open your Tint World® center. We are also on the SBA Franchise Registry, which provides a more streamlined application process for you.

For more information on Tint World® franchise opportunities, download our franchise kit.

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Four basic steps to successfully train and coach franchise employees

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Avoid rote, articulate goals and apply new skills quickly

Franchisees and their staff perform best in a coach-‘em-up culture, but training techniques and their effectiveness vary from company to company. Tint World®, for instance, works closely with its new franchisees to ensure they can execute the company mission at the local franchise level.

There are some basic concepts that can improve training results across the board. Here is a quick look at ways to get the best bang for your coaching buck:

  1. GET TAGGED: Staff members should know your mission statement and tagline forwards and backwards. One simple training technique: Ask your franchisees and their staff to recite your mission statement to ensure they understand what your company represents and what it offers customers. If any of them struggle, that’s an obvious training point you can expound upon.
  2. AVOID LECTURES: Nobody, especially busy employees already hurting for time, wants to hear a manager drone on about best practices and why they are important. Most people are much more receptive to hands-on training, so turn kitchens into laboratories and workspaces into classrooms. Have your employees stand in for customers so workers can polish their pitch and customer-service skills. Are there new items on the menu? Coach up while they cook them up. Is there a new inventory system? Have your employees actually execute the process.
  3. ACT: If your training consists solely of reading material and reviews of processes, it’s going to lose its luster quickly if not put into place immediately. As stated above, hands-on learning is the best approach, but make sure the new skills are put into place quickly lest they fade from memory – and they will if you don’t make the training immediately applicable to your business goals.
  4. REINFORCE: Make sure a process is in place to review both the efficacy of the training and ensure staffers, managers and owners (they should participate in the training so they know what is expected of staff) are carrying through on their training and implementing the newly articulated protocols and processes.

Every individual learns differently, and training should be tailored accordingly, but if you follow these four steps you already have a solid foundation for training and should soon be reaping the benefits of a well-coached staff.

At Tint World®, we offer a variety of opportunities and training 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.

Download our franchise kit today to learn how you can get your piece of a $39 billion annual market.

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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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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® 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