Tiny My Ride September/October 2023

October 13th, 2023 by Nathan Hobbs

Who Should You Train?

Have you ever had an employee leave and start a tint shop nearby?
Yes – 42%
No – 33%
I am that former employee – 25%

By Joe Doyle

The pictured graph is part of an article from this magazine written several years ago by Casey Flores. I liked it so much that I cut it out and still refer to it today. It hits home for the successful tinter considering hiring a new employee to train. While I don’t have a large shop with multiple employees, I have been tinting cars for 38 years, and can offer some advice to shops of any size.

My first 20 years were 90% dealer work, and the last 18 years have been 98% retail. There is common ground regarding all tint work when it comes to auto tinting.

Hiring Help

Summer is busy, and I usually book out one to two weeks for complete car tints and I fill in odd times with the pickup or SUV. Winter is slow because people are not buying as many cars around the holidays, it’s getting colder and they’re not thinking about blocking the sun. In January and February, not many customers are thinking about tint and will wait for Spring to buy that new car.

So how do you hire an employee that will be swamped in the summer, but unemployed in the winter? I’m not going to do that, but when I needed help, this is what I learned—hire a “helper.” I can tint two sedans a day by myself, but three with a helper. In the past 17 years at my present location, I have had 13 “helpers.”

I call them this because I’ve not trained a single one to tint, but to clear the road for me. When I pull the car in, they clean the glass—rear windshield first so I can begin heat shrinking—and then the rest of the windows. When I’m done with the rear glass, all the front windows are cleaned so all I have to do is cut and stick while the helper cleans up behind me, answers the phone, greets the walk-in customers, etc.

Who I Hired

All my helpers have been someone I already knew, usually one of my kid’s friends on summer vacation or one of my friends’ kids. A former employee stopped in one day and said that she was six months pregnant, her unemployment ran out, no one would hire her, and she needed money and a job. I put her to work, and at two weeks past her due date, she still got into the backseat of that Camaro and cleaned that back windshield. She went into labor two days later.

Do be cautious of who you hire when bringing on a helper. Some people will watch everything you do, steal your tint and then start tinting for their friends at home … Work with people you know you can trust.

Joe Doyle is the owner of Tint My Ride in Florissant, Mo.

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

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