Every day, small and large fleets hit the streets. They are the vehicles that are key to countless companies, including window washers, tree trimmers, and plumbers, HVAC techs and other home services companies.
The vehicle types vary, but they all have one thing in common. They need detailing and many need tinting, paint protection and cosmetic repair. How do you get them in your Tint World® garage?
Here are some tips to get fleet management contracts and the regular cash flow they can provide.
Identify potential customers. As mentioned above, they run the gamut, including municipalities, colleges or school systems.
Scale effectively. Make sure you have the resources to match the needs of a particular fleet. In all likelihood, you don’t have the capacity to maintain fleets of tractor-trailers.
Prepare a services plan/timeline. What needs can you meet and on what terms and timeline?
Prove certifications. Does your staff possess the needed skills to perform work on the types of vehicles in the fleet?
Diagnostic services: Does your equipment match up with the anticipated need?
Wait times/scheduling: Make sure your turnaround is in synch with the needs of your fleet-management customer. What kind of advance notice will you need?
Trial period: You may want to consider offering a trial run of your services before locking in a long-term contract.
Once you have a basic roadmap in place you are ready to solicit customers. Be prepared to answer questions related to the issues outlined above.
Start small. Use existing business contacts to point you toward potential customers. Then pound the pavement and work the phones. Even if you don’t get immediate buy-in, you have planted a seed. Soon you may find yourself a rear admiral in fleet control.
Call 888-629-8777 to learn more about Tint World® franchise opportunities, or download our franchise kit today.
Storefronts are important to generating Tint World® customer traffic
To get customers inside, start on the outside.
Surveys indicate that 95 percent of retail consumers will formulate an opinion of a store or franchise based on its exterior appearance. That opinion can dictate whether they’ll even set foot inside in the first place.
Among the turnoffs: Dirty windows and doors, unkempt landscaping and trash-strewn parking lots.
Tint World® retailers have some understandable storefront constraints sometimes, but franchisees certainly want to get people through their doors, so here are some pointers on making sure your outside sparkles like the inside.
Window displays: An engaging window display works exceptionally well in drawing in customers. It can increase impulse purchases and is exceptionally important during the Christmas season.
Cleanliness: Speaking of windows, make sure they sparkle. Task an employee or associate with making sure windows and the front doors are free of hand smudges and streaks. Clean them thoroughly on a regular basis. Make sure your parking lot is free of litter and rubbish.
Welcome mats: A flamboyant welcome mat can make customers feel…welcome. Some retailers use chalk to jazz up their entryways.
Pennants: Dress up mundane poles with pennants or simple signs. Flapping flags are festive and attractive.
Products: Put some product out front. In the case of an aftermarket auto accessories shop like Tint World, rotate some nice rides you’ve worked on to show them off.
Balloons: As cheesy as it seems, a string of colorful balloons whipping around in the wind creates visual appeal and attracts attention.
Plants: Decorate a storefront or median in front of your store with a range of colorful flowers, shrubs and bushes. Regardless of what you are peddling, people are drawn to foliage, especially in more drab parts of town.
There you have it. Glossing up your storefront can be easy, and surprisingly profitable. Now grab a broom and a shovel.
The corporate office is committed to helping our franchise owners succeed. You have some leeway in your store design beyond our standard requirements. Use it wisely, and watch your sales increase.
The appearance of your shop is more important to customers than location and customer service, according to consumer research.
The physical appearance of a shop is even more important these days as online shopping continues to siphon dollars away from traditional storefronts. Many consumers enjoy the sensory experience of shopping personally, so appeal to those senses. Layout, design, lighting, scent and sounds are all important to crafting a prime customer experience.
One founding principle of Tint World was to set our stores apart from the occasionally dingy environments of auto parts and styling centers. That means no ripped vinyl couches, scuffed floors and dirty coffee makers beneath flickering fluorescence.
We will help you set up your store and have standardized displays for many of our vendor products, but here’s a quick primer on making a store appealing:
Consumers can determine quickly the quality of any store, so pay attention to entry points. You want something engaging straight ahead and to the left and right of the entrance. You want to provide visual cues to guide your customer’s browsing.
Alter your lighting where practical. Think of the way jewelry stores use it to their advantage. Certain lighting used appropriately can actually increase perceived value. Use lighting to highlight certain products.
Avoid playing music with lyrics. Research has shown that songs with lyrics can distract shoppers.
Don’t use spray deodorizers or similar products. Keep it neutral, or utilize relaxing scents such as apple or citrus.
Don’t forget this crucial element. Curb appeal is crucial to making your store stand out. Consider displaying a prime example of your work outside. Nothing will get attention like a polished, tricked-out and recently detailed Hummer out front. Make sure your landscaping is appealing and free of trash and weeds. Keep your parking lot clean.
Car lots offer contract options for many aftermarket services
There’s a fortune to be made on your local car lot.
Not through selling cars, but making them more attractive to buyers.
Many large dealerships will keep detailing and other services in-house. Don’t write them off, but soliciting your services to smaller dealerships could pay off.
Here are a few ideas to tap what could be a lucrative year-round market for your local Tint World services:
Identify the players. A Google search should yield information on car dealers and lots in your area. Target these dealers for detailing or tint services. Better yet, connect with lot owners and salesmen at community business events such as chamber of commerce coffees or industry events.
Determine your range of services. Cars might get dinged during test drives. Sell your ceramic coating or blemish removal services. A preowned car might bring a higher price if a few bells and whistles are offered. Sell your video or audio upgrades. If it’s a blistering summer, sell your tinting services. Even new cars get flat tires sometimes. Offer onsite tire replacement or patching.
Upgrade the trade-in. Explain to lot owners and dealers who might resell trade-ins that you can detail them, paint them and add tint or paint-protection services.
Get personal. Don’t stop at servicing only retail cars. Many dealers have their own small fleets for loaner services, and salesmen themselves may be in the market for an after-market upgrade.
Put a logo on it. Tint World graphic design services could be a great way for a dealer to advertise. Custom graphics are a proven effective means of generating publicity.
Service the customer. Suggest to your targeted dealers that you can cut them a deal on customization packages that could sweeten the pot for a customer on the fence. Free detailing for a year? Oil changes for life? Bed liner installation?
There are tens of millions of cars in this country. There are also endless ways to cash in. The only limit to services you could offer fleet managers or dealers is your imagination.
There are many benefits to buying into a franchise like Tint World®
By Charles Bonfiglio
Striving for new goals is a way to motivate yourself out of the current economic funk. For many people, these goals include the desire to start their own business and become the master of their destiny. Franchising can fit very well into that picture.
Here are the top 10 reasons to pursue a franchise opportunity if you want to own your own business:
Track record of success. Any good franchise company has developed a method of doing business that works well and produces results. Even better, they’re required to provide you with a great deal of information in their required disclosures so you can investigate and verify the results with existing franchisees prior to making your final decision.
Strong brand. One of the biggest advantages of franchising is that the company is building a brand on a regional or national basis that should have value in the eyes of customers you’re trying to attract.
Training programs. A good franchise company has training programs designed to bring you up to speed on the most successful methods to run the business. The company should also have reference materials to assist you in dealing with whatever comes up while you’re running your business.
Ongoing operational support. Franchise companies have staff dedicated to providing ongoing assistance to franchisees. You’re not alone when you’re building and running your business, and you can always call on experienced people when you hit a rough spot or want to share new ideas for growing the business.
Marketing assistance. The franchise company has marketing assistance to provide you with proven tools and strategies for attracting and retaining customers. Usually, the staff helps you develop the actual marketing plans and budgets for your grand opening as well as your ongoing efforts to market your business effectively.
Real estate assistance. Most franchises have manuals and other documentation, as well as staff, to help you find the right site and negotiate the best possible deal. This is a very important advantage that can hold costs down and provide the best possible chance of success in any site-driven business.
Construction assistance. Franchise companies can also provide a benefit in helping you design the layout of the business and selecting the right contractors to do your build out, as well as making sure you get the exact mix of furniture and equipment you need to maximize the efficiency of your initial investment.
Purchasing power. A good franchise can take advantage of the buying power of the entire system to negotiate prices for everything you need at significantly lower levels than you could achieve as an independent operator. This applies not only to initial furniture and equipment purchases, but also to the supplies, inventory, uniforms and everything else you’ll need on an ongoing basis.
9 AND 10. Risk avoidance. This one is so important that we’ll call it both 9 and 10! The biggest reason to buy a franchise is that, if you’re smart, it will help you avoid much of the risk of starting a new business. Make no mistake–you must do your due diligence to determine with a fair amount of certainty what happens if you become a new franchisee.
As you look at this list, it not only shows a number of reasons to think about getting a franchise–it also shows you some of the major challenges you’ll face if you have to create all these things yourself in an independent business. You do have to pay fees in a franchise that you could avoid in an independent business, but you can pay the franchisor the fees, or you can pay for many expensive mistakes by not learning the lessons of others before you.
Using a franchise to meet your goal of starting a new business is a wonderful approach for most people, for all these reasons and many more.
Charles Bonfiglio is the founder and CEO of Tint World.
Here are some high points to hit in franchise disclosure documents
Becoming a franchisee can be a daunting challenge. The prospect of slogging through a franchise disclosure document, which all franchisors, including Tint World®, must provide prospective owners per Federal Trade Commission regulations doesn’t help matters much.
There is a lot of boilerplate, though, and some sections merit more scrutiny than others. Here’s a quick look at the most important sections of a financial disclosure document to consider should you decide to begin the process of becoming a franchisee of Tint World® or other business.
Royalties/Fees: This section stipulates exactly what fees franchisees will need to pay. Digest this section carefully, as you will be responsible for paying these fees should you become an owner.
Initial investment: Just like the fees section, this is especially important. FDDs need to provide a high and low end of how much franchisees will need to provide up front and how much working capital will be needed.
Territory: You need to pay careful attention to this section, too, as the franchisor may – or may not – guarantee exclusive territory to a franchisee.
Sales: If there is no section on franchise profitability or expenses, request it, as it is not required for inclusion in an FDD.
Finances: Franchisors must provide three years of audited statements, including cash flow and balance and income reports.
Contracts: Any documents or agreements you will need to sign before finalizing your franchise agreement need to be included in the FDD.
Franchising can be a very profitable and rewarding endeavor. It can be complicated, however, and if you lack legal or business experience, you will likely want an attorney or accountant to walk you through the FDD and any other contractual items.
Download the Tint World® franchise kit if you are interested in pursuing a deal with one of the largest tinting, after-market and car accessories franchises in the country.
Our extensive franchisee support processes set us apart
“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.”
This is the message we want to convey to our owners, and it’s appropriate this quote is attributed to Walt Disney. Our upcoming February conference in Orlando at the Swan/Dolphin Hotel will outline the many ways Tint World® corporate can help our franchisees achieve their dreams of business success.
As always, this year’s conference will include a host of training programs and seminars for our owners, who are the backbone of our franchise success.
Here is a quick look at ways Tint World® helps our owners:
A commitment to constant support and communication with our franchisees. If you need to pick up the phone, for whatever reason, we’ll always answer.
We will help you identify and assess the best potential site for your franchise location.
We provide constant business and operational support, as well as store-specific marketing and promotional materials.
Tint World® owners enjoy national online marketing, social media, and public relations efforts, as well as ongoing search-engine optimization benefits to ensure their store is top of mind for customers.
Our buying power and scale allows our franchisees to obtain products and merchandise at drastically lower prices that provide an instant boost to your gross margins.
Our corporate-level relationships with respected international brands ensures owners have access to the most cutting-edge products, technologies and services.
Tint World® franchisees undergo extensive training at our Florida headquarters before opening their stores. An experienced member of our operations staff will work with you prior to, during, and after your opening.
“If you can dream it, you can achieve it.” Are you ready to fly to new heights with a Tint World® franchise? Download our Tint World® franchise kit today.
Tint World® can help you catch those cars, which are cash cows
Don’t curse all those cars on your commute. Look at them as cash cows, instead. They all need maintenance, accessories, and repair and styling services.
When people think of the American automobile industry, they tend to think of cars rolling off assembly lines or sitting in dealership lots. But what they don’t think about is the $270 billion aftermarket industry, and that includes the services provided by Tint World® franchisees across the country. The aftermarket employs 4 million people.
While there is a lot of talk about declining demand of cars because of ride-sharing – and even car-sharing – and the rebirth of center cities, there are still a lot on the road (think back to that commute this morning).
Many cars on the road are getting older, requiring more maintenance and cosmetic care. The aftermarket value of cars more than eight years old is $77 million. That’s a lot of money to be made.
Despite the glut of older cars, the national fleet continues to grow (260 million vehicles were registered in the U.S. in 2015, and that number continues to increase).
New cars are becoming increasingly sophisticated in terms of digital and electronic features, and Tint World franchisees can repair and replace those bells and whistles. Tinting services, audiovisual and safety features will also continue to be in demand in the aftermarket industry,
New cars are increasingly expensive, and consumers want to keep them in tip-top shape and appearance. This means high demand for glass replacement and repair; paint protection; and restorative services.
Social media and texting make it easier to entice customers in for specials, or recommended services such as oil changes.
The numbers don’t lie. Cars are an ingrained part of American life, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Cars and entrepreneurship are ingrained in the American psyche, and good franchising practices and a willingness to learn and adapt mean the twain will meet for years to come.
Opportunities abound for continuing franchisee education.
There’s no rest for the wicked, and there’s definitely no rest for the successful.
Franchise owners need to perpetually build and maintain their momentum, and part of that comes through continuing education.
Here are five pointers for staying at the top of your game:
If you don’t have a bachelor’s degree, consider getting one via night school or online classes. The thought of the extra workload may make you choke, but educational credentials increase your value and representation. You can also check out noncredit courses available at area community colleges or universities. Again, it’s all about adding value to
Take advantage of any educational or training sessions made available by your franchisor. Tint World® franchisee life begins with an intensive three-week course at the Boca Raton, Florida headquarters, but don’t stop there – you’re literally just getting started. Attend every industry conference you can, and make sure you attend the annual Tint World® You might be amazed at what you can learn from your fellow franchisors, many of whom took the same risks and face the same challenges.
Beyond conferences, Tint World® offers franchisees ongoing support that includes online training; regional workshops; research and development support; online learning; certification; specialized training sessions and supplier support programs. We will never stop teaching if you never stop learning.
Embrace your competitors and learn what kind of continuing education their corporate offices offer. Then pursue the same training and courses.
Read up on your industry and best business practices, or maybe biographies of business people you admire. Keep a book in your car so you can knock out a few pages while eating lunch or another piece of infrequent downtime. You can also get books on CD or via streamed devices. Here’s a list of famous franchise titles that are considered must-reads in the industry.
One more thing: Good leaders will share their knowledge with their employees. Let your best and brightest attend some conferences or workshops with their bosses. Learning is contagious, and learning is important to your business and personal growth.
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.