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So, having chatted with Richard over at www.cartintingmelbourne.com.au and he was telling me a few horror stories of the first few times he went to tint windows on cars in his home city of Melbourne, Australia.
Despite having many years of experience under his belt from working in a tint shop, the transition to a mobile tinter is one that can really trip you up. You see, when you are in familiar surroundings with all your tools to hand, a nice glass peel board to prepare your window film patterns on, then life is easier.
You don’t really have that luxury when out tinting mobile. So its a case of do the best you can with what you have.
I know a few other car window tinters who take a self healing cutting mat along with them, and a fold up table also. They mark there patterns with a marker pen and then cut them out on the cutting mat, this works if you don’t want to use your knife on the glass, the risk of damage is low if you know what you are doing but at the same time, many a window has been scratched, or a rubber cut due to it just being one of those days…
So, work out a technique and decide whats going to work for you…
Here are a few points to consider as you gear up for mobile work:-
- Don’t work cheap, just because you have a lower overhead, the costs of fuel and time taken to travel to site is a big consideration!
- Think about power… you may not have a power supply on site, so using a blow torch is something to consider
- What about lighting? The new style cordless LED lamps will help you out here.
- Customers will just expect you to turn up and get er done…not factoring in the environment thats needed to get a nice clean install.
- Film sizes – HAndling large rolls of film, especially in a slight breeze is a pain, why not go for smaller roll sizes, just one the one thats needed, say 24″ for the doors and a 30″ roll for the back glass.
- For the window tinters that pull door panels and even remove glass, mobile installations cause an even bigger problem, so you will need to adapt your technique to be minimalistic in your approach.
I have always been involved in the automobile business and it seems like once you get heavily involved in a particular trade, it can be hard to get out of.
My grounding was in motor vehicle repair. From the age of 16 I began my journey that has taken me into many different areas of the industry and it is still an industry I look back on with fondness especially to the early days when I started as a young mechanic. Back in those days you could have some fun at work. Not like the present day where the fun factor seems to have been taken over by the health and safety protocols.
After 15 years of hands on work on the spanners I somehow fell into the car window tinting business. And i can say that it has been good to me. If you are lucky enough to enjoy what you do and can keep passionate about all areas of your work. This is a hard balance to strike. You must take care of the other tasks that need to be kept in order to make the business run as smooth as possible. Even when times are tough like they are right now. You need to keep a handle on all aspects of your business from marketing through to accounting. If you are lucky enough to be able to outsource the work or even employ staff to take care of that part of the workload then you have more time to focus on refining your craft.
The path you take in your quest to become a professional car window tinter is one that is fraught with obstacles and I will say personally this is not an easy journey you will embark upon.
So if you are thinking about getting into car window tinting maybe i can help you on your journey. You will find that car windows tinters can be a secretive bunch and many will never be willing to share with you the secrets they use themselves. Do not be surprised when trying to ask questions of other window tinters that they will be slow to warm to your naive questions. They seem to forget where they came from.
I think the reason behind this reluctance to share information with new starters stems from a few different issues with the mindset of entrepreneurs in general. I am not talking here abut the type of people you will find online. These people are the ones who sell you dreams. The sort of dreams that will always be a little out of our reach.
So when you embark upon your window tinting journey be prepared for the trouble ahead. The journey will be one of tears and tantrums as things will to be going your way in the early days thats for sure. But like most things in life, they don’t come easy so be prepared to suck it up and get over the obstacles that are thrown in your way.
But once you get there… revel in the glory of it all.
You will approach any car without fear, knowing that you have the right skills to take on the toughest of jobs.
Making patterns will be something you come to enjoy, the fine intricate details needed to get that perfect fit will no longer trouble you. heat shrinking curvy back windows will stir up the devil in you, no longer will you lay awake at night wondering where it all went wrong that day.
The day will come when someone walks into your shop with a car with well known issues, lets take a new VW Golf for example. You step up to the car knowing this battle will be one you will win, you may not win on the first round, but at the end of the match, victory will fall on your side. You won’t thick about sending customers as far away as you can whilst you tint their car windows, you will want to have them watch you.
Prepare yourself for the silly questions they will ask..’I thought it went on the inside”
But stand back as they drive from your shop and take a deep breath, enjoy the moment and hope they don’t swing by too soon complaining about some minor detail, which to you seems trivial, but to them…they think it’s the end of the world that the dot matrix has a bit of a silvery finish, or they spotted one spec in a window.
You will learn to keep them happy..as this keeps you happy. Don’t fall down and throw customer service out of the window, they will push your buttons and make you want to pul your hair out, but remember it’s your time, they are paying a premium for your skills!
And then come back the next day..and do it all again…only 10% better this time!!
Had a bad day today, as i was pulling some trim from the rear of an Audi, i slipped and managed to hit myself in the face…long story short I ended up loosening one of my front teeth.Well, the job stopped as I wanted to make sure my tooth was ok, a quick call to Oaklands Dental Care and I got an emergency appointment.
Happy to say I was back to work soon enough and managed to get the job done!
Word of warning..be careful
PS..this is not me in the pic…he’s quite a looker isn’t he..Not!!