Renovate to Elevate

August 5th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

How Remodeling Can Benefit Your Shop

By Robert Bedolla

Staying current in our market is both a challenge and requirement for continued success. When I started in this industry, I worked out of a garage, had one roll of film and a used sofa for my customers to sit on … at the time it was all I needed to be in business. We’ve come a long way since then and have developed into an industry I’m proud to be a part of.

We know that in residential and commercial markets we “dress for success.” Why don’t we take this attitude and apply it to our shops? Not only will this improve a company’s image, but it will also elevate our industry even further.

We recently remodeled our flagship store, Mr. Tint Inc. in Escondido, Calif., to see how it might impact our sales. Needless to say, we were very excited about the results and wanted to share them. But first, here are some facts about who we are.

We’ve been in business since 1992;
• 75% of our business is from our current list of customers or referrals; and
• 25% of our business is from new clients.

This means most of our advertising goes toward acquiring 25% of our clients annually as new. We wanted to maximize sales with our existing customer base without adding additional services or products. We did this by creating a “visual buying experience.” By doing so, we increased our annual sales by 14%. Our average ticket increased by $23 and we have a 63% upgrade average. To see growth like that in a 27-year-old company is hard to find. The bottom line is that our ROI was achieved in less than two months.

Identify Possible Changes

For us it was, “what used to be cool was not anymore.” We are a relatively busy shop, and the thought of a remodel seemed impossible. How many of us have told ourselves “this winter” but, before we know it, one year becomes five? We would paint and add new boards when possible, but soon realized we had five generations of display boards, and the bay floor epoxy was worn through to the concrete. And after not too long, your showroom carpet and chairs start to fall apart. Our bay shrunk in size because of items we had to have like tool boxes, ladders, PPF ramps, and rolls of film stacked around the edges of the bay. You get the point. Take a picture of your bay and showroom and ask yourself if you would post it on your website or on your company’s social media pages. You could even ask your better half or others you trust for their opinion.

What We Did

We branded everything the same way. Branding does not necessarily mean we used signage or materials from a film manufacturer, but more of a theme, color or logo used throughout the buying process. Interior and exterior signs, selling boards, cross selling boards, banners, bay signage, invoices, warranty paperwork, literature, should all look the same and have a similar feeling.

You’re creating a visual package throughout the purchasing process. A mix of different signs can be confusing to your clients and keep you from getting noticed.

We opened up our showroom and made it one big room to allow our sales staff to walk our clients through the entire process, instead of pointing from behind a counter. We addressed every issue we wanted to change and created a lasting experience.

Little Things Are Impactful

Making customers feel welcome and comfortable while they wait is important. We’ve found adding a few little things have an impact on our customer’s experience. These items include:
• Bottles of water;
• A charging station for cell phones and laptops (ours are incorporated in our waiting room chairs);
• Free Wi-Fi with a sign posted that clearly shows the login and password;
• A TV with Netflix as an option; Our clients also benefit from actions of our staff including:
• Escorting them in the back and showing them around the shop;
• Introducing them to the installer that will be working with them;
• Showing them the film being cut (if you use a machine we’ve found people love to see new technology);
• Showing them where the restroom is and making sure it’s spotless (the compliments and reviews we get just for having a clean restroom are funny); and
• Keeping the shop neat and clean. We actually have a service that comes twice a month to mop the shop’s floor, clean all of our selling displays and our showroom.

What Surprised Us

The excitement the remodeling project created within the company was awesome. The project was undertaken to create a better experience for all of our clients, but what we didn’t expect was for it to create a better experience for us too. The project went so well that we remodeled our second location in Vista, Calif., as well.

By elevating our look, we elevated our game!

Robert Bedolla, CEO, president and owner of Mr. Tint Inc., has been in the business for 34 years and has opened three locations in California. He can be reached at mrtint@cox.net

To view the laid-in version of this article in our digital edition, CLICK HERE.

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