Johnson Window Films Dealer Resource Center


Business Climate
Prior to looking for a location do your homework; gather knowledge of the local zoning laws. Many municipalities have strict laws dealing with any kind of automobile work. These laws might not allow you to place your business in the most desirable spot in the city of your choice. You might have to expand your search into areas that you had previously not been considering.

Obtain knowledge of the real estate prices, whether you are planning on renting or purchasing it is imperative to know the current market costs. These hard costs should play an important part of any new business. Be realistic; do not saddle yourself with excessively high building costs. Your preferred location may be just too costly until you can establish a reputation and achieve some level of success.

Advertising signage is extremely important. Be certain the landlord will allow signage and get the agreement in the lease. Without signage, you need other advertising to help draw traffic to your shop.

Location and Size
The key to success often lies in the location of the shop. However, large numbers of consumers may not equal traffic in an auto business. Locating the business in a busy retail shopping center without direct street access, may not be the best option. An Auto Tint shop needs customers with cars, a busy street is preferable. A successful location offers the easy "impulse" stop. Customers should be able to see your signs and easily pull into your driveway from either direction.

A busy street is great but a busy street next to a traffic light is even better. People glance at signs sitting at a stoplight. Your signage plants the "window tint idea" in their head. Ask yourself, "Is the traffic pattern going to help me spread the word or is it going to keep customers from seeing my shop?" The ideal signage is easy to read at driving speed. Make sure the communication is short and to the point.

The size of the shop is an obvious consideration when searching for a location. Consider the number of cars that need to fit in the shop at the same time. Successful shops need space for at least two cars. Shops expecting to do more than 10 cars a day will need additional room. Experienced installers often work on 5 cars or more per day so plan your space accordingly.

Consider the space around the cars; you need plenty of room between cars and structures as you move the vehicles in and out of your shop. An installer needs plenty of room to work. A good rule of thumb is 6 feet (2 meters) around each car. If you can't get in and out of the car easily, you will be forced to work harder.

Workspaces that put the vehicles side by side are preferable to a space that puts the cars in one after the other. Avoid time wasters such as moving one car to get access to another. It is an unnecessary waste of time and should be avoided as much as possible.

Customer Expectations
After the legal and location questions have been addressed, one more area should be examined prior to picking the final location. You need a comfortable sales and waiting area to conduct the business end of the transactions. As well as a seamless integration from sales area to shop floor. Customer's notice the most unusual things, something that you might just take for granted, the customer could find unacceptable.

A few items to keep in mind might be to make sure to have separate parking areas for customers versus finished vehicles. This planning prevents fender-benders and lets the customers know that you are protecting their vehicle. Make sure you have a location preferable within the shop to store a customer's car, in case you need to keep it after normal work hours.

The parking area is an important sales tool area. Customers will want you to look at their vehicle and help guide them to a choice that is satisfying. Clients gain confidence in you when they see you handle yourself professionally and confidently around their car. Many sales will be made while walking around the vehicle. This is also the area where you perform a "vehicle check" before taking control of the vehicle.

Are the spaces wide enough? You will be opening doors to hold up samples and to look at windows that are tinted. Is the customer going to feel safe and confident leaving their car in this parking lot? Is there sufficient room for you and a customer to walk around the car discussing the benefits and costs of having window film installed? What is the traffic like in the parking area? Are people flying by, frantically trying to find the last spot? A parking area with low to moderate traffic is preferred.

When it comes time to return the car to the customer can it be delivered in the driveway as opposed to the street? If you find yourself having to return the car to the owner in the street, then you do not have the perfect location to completely finish your installation. Does the entry door from the sales/reception area have access to the driveway?

Shop doors might not seem that important but when a customer watches you drive their vehicle into the installation area through a door that appears a bit too small, they will start to worry. Customer's with larger SUV's like an Escalade are not going to be very confident in your ability if you are trying to drive the car though a door that looks like it was sized for a Prius. Once the customer's car disappears into the installation area, you want them to be confident in your ability to care for the vehicle until the installation is completed.

It is important that your customer feel comfortable during the complete process and everything that happens before you put the car in the bay is as important as the quality of the completed installation.

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