Six Essentials for Business Success from WFCTOctober 7th, 2014 by Casey Flores
“I love my life!” “I love window film!” These were the words 30-year window film veteran Donna Wells had the audience chant to kick off the 2014 International Window Film Conference and Tint-off™ (WFCT).
Wells is a regular to Window Film magazine, contributing bi-monthly tips on how to increase business profits. And as the opening speaker for WFCT, she once again delivered on that wealth of knowledge she has amassed over the years.
In her session, entitled Running a Successful Window Film Business, Wells offered six essentials she considers a “must” for entrepreneurs.
- A Mentor: “[You need] someone who will voluntarily spend time with you and your business – not necessarily in the window film industry but just has a good idea on how to run a business,” Wells said.
She pointed out that one of her mentors told her always to surround herself with employees who are experts in their niche.
- Continuing Education: Wells went on to commend the people attending the session at the conference and recommended signing up for educational sessions at other conferences.
She also said it’s important to know your foe.
“I consider continuing education as keeping in touch with what the competitors are doing.” Wells explained she calls competitors once or twice a year to find out how they are pricing, what they are saying and how they are approaching the sale. “I keep [this information] in a folder and when I feel like I need inspiration, I see what my competitors are doing to be successful because then that helps me be successful,” she said.
- A Financial Advisor: “You need a financial advisor for so many different reason. First, they will keep you on the straight and narrow, in the confines,” Wells said. She recommended meeting with one twice a year and mentioned September-November is a good time to see one as they are not busy with tax season.
Wells also mentioned that a financial person will be sure to assist a company in hiring and help decide if it can afford it.
- Advertising Tactics: Wells advocated the use of Facebook and Twitter as free advertising. “On a Facebook business page, there’s a weekly update that tells you how many people view your page. My page was getting 400-500 hits/week, something my website wasn’t getting because we were updating our Facebook page daily,” she said.
She also stressed the need for professionals to keep their work Facebook and personal Facebook separate.
- Diversity of Products: “Think of yourself or your company as a tree. A tree has to have a good trunk before it grows branches if it grows too soon it will break. It’s the same w/ business. You need a strong core before you can actually grow,” Wells said. She was referring to film professionals’ knowledge of their products.
“If you’re an automotive film guy, I want you to know everything about the product – every shade, etc. You’ll need that information to upsell and oversell,” she said.
She said at grand openings in particular, she’s witnessed business owners’ ignorance of their products’ specifications and advised against adding new products until one can articulate that product’s specs.
- Staffing with Intelligence: Wells gave three tips on how to staff a business: Find people with passion; hire people with personal character; and take care of your staff and they will take care of you.
She recommended having incentivized sales goals that are reachable but doable so that the employees can grow.