NOTE: This is part 1 of a 2 part series about adding architectural film installation to your tint business. Input provided by 30+ year industry veteran Marcus Billings.
Should you make flat glass projects a bigger part of your business?
The quick answer to this question is yes. Flat Glass offers huge opportunities to increase your window film business. I’ve emphasized the word “film”, because recognizing the different approaches required to sell window “film” versus window “tint”, are key to realizing increases in business.
For 90% of tint shops out there, flat glass work is less than 10% of their gross sales. There a several reasons for this and below I’ll address the most common as given to me by shop owners.
But first, I’d like to give my impressions as to the primary reason why most tint shops aren’t doing what they could be, and the reason is this: It’s simply out of their comfort zone! They are window tinters. They learned how to tint on cars and trucks, they matured in shops that specialized in vehicle tinting, and over the years, they learned how to reach that particular customer base. They are window tinters and don’t see themselves as window film installers!
I hope no one thinks this is being said in a negative way, because that’s not what is intended. If automotive tinters weren’t out there on the front lines selling automotive films, the film manufacturers probable would have a rough time making ends meet, and architectural films would be much more expensive than they are now. The point I’m trying to make, is that when you’ve only seen one side of something, the unfamiliarity of the other side makes us less likely to try our hand at it.
Going after architectural work is something that has to be done as a regular part of your business model. It’s not the occasional walk-in that wants their garage windows tinted. It’s about getting homes and businesses to rely on your services regularly and getting enough work from them to make a reliable cash contribution to your shop. If you don’t see enough money coming in to warrant pursuing more architectural business, maybe it’s because you’re not putting the resources into getting the work. Believe me, the work it out there. For twenty-six years, I worked for a company that only did commercial architectural projects. No cars, no homes, — commercial property only! They pursued that niche actively and are highly successful at it to this day. It can be done, and many shops already have the infrastructure in place to do it. They only need to make the mental and financial commitment to go after it!
The reasons that shop owner give me as to why they don’t do more architectural work can usually be addressed quickly and simply, but addressing those reasons won’t make you an architectural window film shop until you actually decide: WE ARE GOING DO FLAT GLASS! Once you flip that switch, you’ll get the work.