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Signed a lease on a shop (Service Shop in the Auto Industry)

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Private Witt

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I've been following this thread and curious to hear an update! This is a current dream of mine that I may act on shortly, would love to chat sometime. Always love hearing what progress was made when people go silent.

I agree, love seeing execution threads that are silent than pop up containing progress from the OP, very motivating.

Thanks for the update Carlitos, that is a fascinating dynamic you have developed with the owner of that shop. Good on him being supportive whatever direction you go in and instead of him freaking out that you are competition sees that its a win-win to be both a boss and collaborator of sorts to get to your dreams. I technically have around 15 competitors and while new on the block I'm starting to have dialogue with many of them and I find it interesting those who find me a threat and put up walls, and those who can see in win-win and in long-term beneficial relationships and make friends and help each other out.

I also caught Covid on my journey right when I was scaling my HR from 20ish to over 50 and it was a nightmare as pushed through and facilitated in the fetal position from bed with my phone. I was pretty bad for 3 weeks and needed 5 weeks after to become a human again.

Im pretty cheap when comes to cars besides basic upkeep, but I do need a full detail in and out for the first time in my life, wish you had a branch in Tulsa.

Good luck on the growth and excited to hear your next progress report.
 
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Carlitos

Bronze Contributor
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Since we have come to the end of the summer and Fall is around the corner, I'm going to continue focusing on my long-term plan which is organic SEO and continue to optimize for GMB. Been focusing in providing great service and I am definitely not afraid to ask for a google review if I am 110% confident they were happy with the outcome. It feel great to see a few 5 star reviews in my GMB as opposed to not having any.

My GMB is ranking for a few keywords top 3, so now the plan is to continue focusing on SEO, to be able to rank organically and stop chasing customers and spending on Ads. I want the customers to find me, not the other way around. Is kind of scary knowing I'm heading toward my first winter but I am confident I will find a way to stay busy and continue to bring business. Another thing I am focusing on is continuing to grow my blog section in my website. Educating the community, and sharing valuable information not only makes it easier to gain the community trust but to also position myself as an authority or the business to go to when it comes to X and Y.

So with that being said, I been researching a lot on the upcoming electric vehicles that will be pouring in soon as of next year 2022 and the next 8 years. By 2030 EVs will be the new normal, and automakers are pushing hard for it.
 

BizyDad

My 1st biz sold paper planes. It folded...
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This is more of a personal post, but I wanted to share being that I can't hold it and not rant out. I am going all out on this and spending all of my free time on getting this business going, and working full time as well that is costing me my relationship with my girlfriend. Seems like we may stopped being together, she is not bad gal. But is hard to juggle all those things and give her the time and affection she wants, when my mind is always thinking in "This needs to work" "How can I start getting customers" "How am I doing so far" etc... She doesn't understand that, and I am also a Capricorn so I am stubborn AF.

At least I am glad I am not married yet, I don't want to get married until I reach the financial freedom I want. Is time to make this work, I waited too long for this. Being 30 gets you thinking where I am going to be in 10 years, when I am 40.

My 20s were trial and errors, trying out as many things as possible, finding my passion and knowing my weakness and strengths. Now that I am 30, i know what I love enjoy doing, and I believe I am in a great position to finally make it happen.
That's hard truth right there. The right person will support you in your goals though. I hope it works out for you.
Another thing I am focusing on is continuing to grow my blog section in my website.
Waste of time.

Do you see any of your big competitors out ranking you because of blogs?
Educating the community, and sharing valuable information not only makes it easier to gain the community trust but to also position myself as an authority
You know what positions you better than a blog on your site?

Getting them articles published in local magazines. Write a guest blog for local car clubs.

And then link those things back to your website.

Also, those links pointing back to your website to help your rankings too.

Now that's a good use of your time...
So with that being said, I been researching a lot on the upcoming electric vehicles that will be pouring in soon as of next year 2022 and the next 8 years. By 2030 EVs will be the new normal, and automakers are pushing hard for it.
It's always good to be staying ahead of the curve.

I'm curious, are you currently doing auto detailing in addition to the window tinting? Or did I misunderstand something?
 

Carlitos

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That's hard truth right there. The right person will support you in your goals though. I hope it works out for you.

Waste of time.

Do you see any of your big competitors out ranking you because of blogs?

You know what positions you better than a blog on your site?

Getting them articles published in local magazines. Write a guest blog for local car clubs.

And then link those things back to your website.

Also, those links pointing back to your website to help your rankings too.

Now that's a good use of your time...

It's always good to be staying ahead of the curve.

I'm curious, are you currently doing auto detailing in addition to the window tinting? Or did I misunderstand something?
I am actually outranking a lot of my competitors, by the following reasons.
1) They don't have a website but they do have a GMB, their GMB outranks mine in a few keywords. All though I been focusing in continue to increase my 5 star reviews along with I have someone to continue working on my GMB optimization.
2) They are not focusing on SEO or redesigning their site, so those that do have a website it looks outdated.
3) They do not have a visible booking feature on their site, I do and lately I have gotten a few guys to use it.
4) Surprisingly my few article posts is actually ranking first page in my city and for certain keywords.

But I am definitely going to look around in my city to see if there's any digital magazine or somewhere where I can post an introduction of my shop, especially since the car club scene is extremely big here but lately it has been getting torn down at the same time. Is becoming less popular slowly due to idiots ruining the experience. There has been large crack downs on illegal street racing.

My shop consists of Auto Detailing, Window Tint, PPF, Ceramic Coating and Paint Correction.
 
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BizyDad

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Shoot, I was giving you advice thinking you were local. I know the local ranking serps in this space well, and I was thinking to myself, who is this guy? He can't be ranking in Chandler, I would know...

I was about to invite you to one of our Phoenix meetups. I missed where you said you are in Texas. :rofl:

It's a shame you aren't here in AZ. I coulda hooked you up with some contacts in clubs/car enthusiast magazines.

My advice on local media/guest article on blogs is still good, that applies anywhere, but ignore what I said about your own blog.If your serps are showing them and that's getting converting traffic, then you should obviously keep doing it. Just make sure you're being smart about your phrases that you're choosing.
 

Carlitos

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Shoot, I was giving you advice thinking you were local. I know the local ranking serps in this space well, and I was thinking to myself, who is this guy? He can't be ranking in Chandler, I would know...

I was about to invite you to one of our Phoenix meetups. I missed where you said you are in Texas. :rofl:

It's a shame you aren't here in AZ. I coulda hooked you up with some contacts in clubs/car enthusiast magazines.

My advice on local media/guest article on blogs is still good, that applies anywhere, but ignore what I said about your own blog.If your serps are showing them and that's getting converting traffic, then you should obviously keep doing it. Just make sure you're being smart about your phrases that you're choosing.
I was in Chandler a few months ago, I do know a few guys out there and the car scene is awesome too but me personally I can't see myself living in AZ lol I hate it. Is all good I am always listening to any advice and definitely never take it by granted. Are you still in the business? or you doing something else now?
 

BizyDad

My 1st biz sold paper planes. It folded...
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I was in Chandler a few months ago, I do know a few guys out there and the car scene is awesome too but me personally I can't see myself living in AZ lol I hate it. Is all good I am always listening to any advice and definitely never take it by granted. Are you still in the business? or you doing something else now?
I'm not in the business...yet.

This will tell you something about me.

I know the ranking pages well because this is a space , at least locally, I know my team will be able to rank well. We currently rank a few auto mechanics, and I know ranking for this is easier. I haven't sought a client in the space because I'm hoping to find a partner and grow a multi-location business.

Who knows if it'll ever happen. I have like 6 or 7 of these kinds of niche business industries I want to get into.
 
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Carlitos

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I'm not in the business...yet.

This will tell you something about me.

I know the ranking pages well because this is a space , at least locally, I know my team will be able to rank well. We currently rank a few auto mechanics, and I know ranking for this is easier. I haven't sought a client in the space because I'm hoping to find a partner and grow a multi-location business.

Who knows if it'll ever happen. I have like 6 or 7 of these kinds of niche business industries I want to get into.
My other plan was to offer equity in exchange of great marketing, and advertising work. But most of these agencies don't see the big picture and I do. Because not only am I friends with the first person actually doing it, I know he has a great partner and team behind him handling all the marketing, advertising, SEO etc... His concept is similar to Tint World but not the same business concept.

Another issue is, they are driving the retail price on window tint and PPF down. A lot of installers are against it as well as I am. So that's another thing I am trying to figure out, how to show that value and be able to convert higher tickets, when I am legit providing them with good products and is not cheap.
 

BizyDad

My 1st biz sold paper planes. It folded...
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My other plan was to offer equity in exchange of great marketing, and advertising work.
Forget equity. What the agency will hear is, "Hey, I don't have money to pay you".

Besides, you goal is $150-$250k revenue. Assuming a 20% net profit margin, and let's say you offer 10% equity, well that's only $3000-$5000 per year, paid out annually, I assume, whenever you do your taxes.

But of course, as an example, if you buy a lot of equipment in one year, then you're showing a negative profit, and there's no bonus for the agency.

If you want to speak their language, offer "revenue share".

But the flip side of revenue share for you is the business owner, is that you are literally squeezing your gross profit margin.

And your shoes, I wouldn't do either.

My other plan was to offer equity in exchange of great marketing, and advertising work. But most of these agencies don't see the big picture and I do. Because not only am I friends with the first person actually doing it, I know he has a great partner and team behind him handling all the marketing, advertising, SEO etc... His concept is similar to Tint World but not the same business concept.

Another issue is, they are driving the retail price on window tint and PPF down. A lot of installers are against it as well as I am. So that's another thing I am trying to figure out, how to show that value and be able to convert higher tickets, when I am legit providing them with good products and is not cheap.
Here's a thought. So I've got a car bought from the dealership with tinting already on it. They did a crap job. It bubbled. It really annoys me. But I don't want to pay someone to remove it and redo it. I wish somebody had just done it right the first time.

What if, instead of trying to compete on price, you competed on time? You could educate your potential customers this way...

Cheap shops do fast jobs. They have to work fast in order to turn enough cars to make a profit. We don't work fast. Our jobs typically take 30% longer than most shops because we treat your car like it was our own.

Then just make sure that your marketing attracts a clientele that appreciates you taking that extra time and is willing to pay for it.

That is one problem with a relying just on SEO. You never know who's doing the search. At least with AdWords you can target per household income. That's why you should be doing both.

And other marketing too. The clubs I was going to show you here locally was like the BMW club, the Corvette club, etc. I don't know if you have clubs like that near you, but that's where your bigger ticket clients, and better clients will come from.

Do a good job, and build a word of mouth reputation.

Hope that helps.
 

Carlitos

Bronze Contributor
Speedway Pass
Jul 13, 2016
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141
New York City
Forget equity. What the agency will hear is, "Hey, I don't have money to pay you".

Besides, you goal is $150-$250k revenue. Assuming a 20% net profit margin, and let's say you offer 10% equity, well that's only $3000-$5000 per year, paid out annually, I assume, whenever you do your taxes.

But of course, as an example, if you buy a lot of equipment in one year, then you're showing a negative profit, and there's no bonus for the agency.

If you want to speak their language, offer "revenue share".

But the flip side of revenue share for you is the business owner, is that you are literally squeezing your gross profit margin.

And your shoes, I wouldn't do either.


Here's a thought. So I've got a car bought from the dealership with tinting already on it. They did a crap job. It bubbled. It really annoys me. But I don't want to pay someone to remove it and redo it. I wish somebody had just done it right the first time.

What if, instead of trying to compete on price, you competed on time? You could educate your potential customers this way...

Cheap shops do fast jobs. They have to work fast in order to turn enough cars to make a profit. We don't work fast. Our jobs typically take 30% longer than most shops because we treat your car like it was our own.

Then just make sure that your marketing attracts a clientele that appreciates you taking that extra time and is willing to pay for it.

That is one problem with a relying just on SEO. You never know who's doing the search. At least with AdWords you can target per household income. That's why you should be doing both.

And other marketing too. The clubs I was going to show you here locally was like the BMW club, the Corvette club, etc. I don't know if you have clubs like that near you, but that's where your bigger ticket clients, and better clients will come from.

Do a good job, and build a word of mouth reputation.

Hope that helps.
You have valid points, and I am aware of that. Actually all of my window tint customers have been dropped off, and I make sure I do a good job. The plus side is I am actually fast and don't remove panels, so when I am working with my clients I slow it down a bit, but also making sure the work gets deliver on time.

I recently had a customer who brought a new vehicle 2021, he thought the dealership had tinted the whole suv but in fact he was charged $400 for 2 windows and I bet it wasn't even ceramic.

Sadly one of the big window film companies has brought out most of the dealership accounts and will now be run by one window film company, many do not know this but they are looking for ways to monopolize the window tint industry with their cheap china crap.
 
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Carlitos

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Jul 13, 2016
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New York City
So far things are picking up, a little more than when I first started. Just reached a small milestone with GMB 5 Stars reviews. I have finally collected 10 of those reviews, and cant wait until I reach 50, and then 100 and so on. I try to post a new picture or a small blog post in my GMB to stay ranking higher. Little by little I am being told I'm the only shop by far in my city. That's because I been focusing in really dominating my online presence in my city, and is working. I have not run another Google or Facebook ad in 2 months, and instead focusing on the long term game which is continue to work on my website SEO and continue to optimize my GMB. Once I have my city locked in, I will continue to focus on locking in the rest of the surrounding cities.

Apparently a landing page I did a while back has actually gotten me a few customers to request a quote and converting to being a paying customer. I might see how it can be better or perhaps adjust and maybe run a paying ad with a good copy. Is a work in progress but really looking to dominate my area and create my branding well known, to where we can grow to a bigger shop in 2-3 years.
 

Carlitos

Bronze Contributor
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Jul 13, 2016
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141
New York City
With some of the biggest Tech giants being down, (Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook Business suite, )I am preplanning a different strategy when it comes to digital marketing and advertising. So many things have drastically changed or looking to change in the future. Major update coming soon.
 

Carlitos

Bronze Contributor
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Jul 13, 2016
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2022 is around the corner and I am very excited. A lot of things are kind of paving in a way where I know I must follow in order to continue growing this business. 2021 is closing and we are closing the year by moving to another location which will be a lot better to continue growing, and the best part is I will have a small waiting area which helps tremendously.

I'm not sure how next year the economy and the market will react with the new virus coming along, what I do know is that I need to continue focusing in marketing and advertising to the right market. So therefore we will be rebranding a bit. Mainly changing the business name in order to continue to dominate my city. The new location where I am moving to will be in the same city, I will also be cutting my overhead cost in half as I will be sharing the space with someone who will rarely be at the shop and understands my business concept. This was a tough decision, but i have to accept work did slow down when winter came, I was having a hard time paying the shop rent plus my personal expenses such as apartment, car insurance, phone bill, etc...

I have also been thinking that this will be the perfect opportunity for me to continue growing, focusing in quality while staying lean. I am still seeing a lot of businesses closing, and struggling with hiring. So when the time is right I will be able to move in to a big shop, and be able to hire right away. My issue was I wanted to grow fast, so I need to have a steady healthy growth while still having a baby business. I think is better to stay lean and mean right now, until we can see a clear view of where the market and the economy is heading to.

My lease was supposed to be up by the end of February. My landlord again has been completely supportive and if it wasn't for him not wanting to renew my lease due to not paying rent on time, I would have stayed there struggling to grow. The thing with this location is that is very hidden, you drive through a road about half a mile where's there's completely nothing before you see the small plaza where my shop is.

I told him that I am still grateful and I completely understand his decision, so he is letting me opt out of the lease 2 months early where I get my deposit back, and don't have to pay him. I need to move my stuff out by the first week of January. Tomorrow I will have my last customer who booked in last week, and then I will start moving stuff little by little to get a head start.

So I am excited, a lot of learning lessons here, and is crazy to see that in the few months I was in business I was able to bring in close to 10K, with no profits yet. But I also feel like 2022 might be the year i get to quit my full time job.
 
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Carlitos

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Jul 13, 2016
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I recently found out that I was not tracking data properly with my site and social media accounts. So I hired someone and they were able to set up all of my tracking codes properly, and I can now track data, and retarget or target better with Facebook or Google ads. This is extremely important before you even start advertising online. It was a 1K mistake I ended up learning the hardway. I say a 1K because thats how much I spend in total advertising in Facebook.

So we are tracking data properly, I will be changing the business name to something a little more appropriate such as adding the city name to the business name. This will help a ton ranking in my city faster. The old website we will have it pinpoint to my new website whenever is ready which more than likely will be at the end of the year of 2022. SEO takes time, and I am aware a new website will take time to rank. But no worries my current site is #1 in my city and we will continue to use it once we feel comfortable using the new name.

Now that we are tracking data properly, I hired someone who will be working close with me setting up a campaign to generate leads. I have been reading and practicing copywriting and this is extremely important and helps a ton.

My google business review has grown little by little. I have more of Google and SEO presence due to the phone rings a bit more, yes it has slow down because we are in winter but I always ask when I get new customer how did they found me, so that I can better focus when it comes to marketing and advertising purposes.

The new shop will have a waiting area, so I won't loose business because the customer can't drop it off. To me it works better. Words can't describe how excited I am, I will also be able to display my services better in the waiting area by using proper displays explaining my work.
 

rockit11

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as a car guy who has also done a whole lot of my own work over the years, it is not easy to find good quality mechanics. If you're a quality mechanic that does a good job for a fair price, you won't even have to advertise much
 

Carlitos

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as a car guy who has also done a whole lot of my own work over the years, it is not easy to find good quality mechanics. If you're a quality mechanic that does a good job for a fair price, you won't even have to advertise much
Forgot to mentioned is not a mechanic shop, is more of a aesthetic shop. We make vehicles look good. Window Tint, Ceramic Coating, PPF, and Vinyl Wrapping as well as Paint Correction.
 
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rockit11

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I've heard PPF work can be pretty profitable, and again, a lot of installers do mediocre work on it because it takes knowledge and patience to do correctly
 

Carlitos

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I've heard PPF work can be pretty profitable, and again, a lot of installers do mediocre work on it because it takes knowledge and patience to do correctly
Yes is extremely profitable in the right market, with the right installers, having an efficient system to be able to knock down vehicles quick with quality work. But during your learning experience alone without anyone teaching your or showing you the ropes is extremely expensive. This is the only reason why I haven't quit my full time job, but the main installer at work has become good friends with me and has told me he is always available to help me on the side when I get work on my own. So I'm not afraid of offering PPF because I have 2 great installers on speed dial.
 

Carlitos

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Merry Christmas TFLF Family and a Happy New Year!!! 2022 is going to be ours!

I am very very excited, as I am working on a big campaign we plan on running starting next week, to see if we can start bringing in cold leads, and see how fast and efficient we can convert them to pay leads.

Copy writing has been a thing i been working on, and I enjoy doing it. Naturally it comes to me, I see what works and what doesn't. I have a big passion for my industry. Looking to add more copywriting books to my library, if anyone has good suggestions feel free to share.

2022 isn't here yet and we already have our first car booked for the new year!
 
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Carlitos

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Happy New Year BaBy!! 2022
Dec 31, 2021 is my Birthday, 2021 is finally coming to an end. 2022 is a new year to continue working on our goals, and continue working on what we started. Nothing but good vibes, lets continue to hustle, and looking forward to finally getting this business to make a profit! January 1st will start on the right foot, stay tuned guys as I will open up more about the business this New Year will be sharing out in the open our brand, our social medias, and website. Lets get it!
 

Carlitos

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New York City
Definitely started this New Year with the right foot. 2 New customers were done, and getting more repeated business that is pending. This week I start to move my stuff to the new shop which I am very excited.
 

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