In this article today I want to talk to you about more dotmatrix!
You may not see this type of matrix every day, but there are cars out there that are very heavy dotmatrix at the top of the back window,
I'm talking three or 4 inches of dot matrix, like on the BMW 3 Series coupe's.
To be quite frank, these cars are a real pain in the butt!
We will certainly have some extra work to do, and if we don't do the right amount of preparation then the job could look a mess.
The first thing I will say is that to get good adhesion on these dots, we need to make sure they're really squeaky clean.
There are at least three or four ways to deal with these dots and they all work best when the dots are super clean, so we can then either sand the dots, glue the dots, heat them so they're very hot and then nail the film down, or even use vinyl on the dots.
I personally like to glue to the dots, I'm not a big fan of heating them as it does worry me that it may end up shattering the back window.
I do know some guys have great success with heating, but it's almost a two man job, one man outside heating and tell the dots are really hot, and another guy inside pushing the film down into place, not easy if you're a one man band!!
I have never used the vinyl, so I'm not expert on that but the glue is what I prefer to do, I will first sand the dot matrix for a few minutes with 1000 grade wet and dry paper ( make sure you don't stray onto the clear glass as you will scratch it), then really scrub the dots clean and you can even use some IPA on the dots for the final clean, you really must go to town on these dmn dots to make sure they are as clean as can be, and then install your back window in the normal fashion and squeegee out all the water as best as possible.
You can then peel the film back at the top of the back window and allow it to dry for a minute or two, I have seen people rub glue all the dots but my preferred method is to use a syringe and put a fine line of glue on the bottom line of dots, then using a Mactac or hard card with a felt edge, I will gently push the glue through the dots.
If you don't have enough glue on the dots when you start, and you can get patches or areas where the glue is not filling the space between the dots and the window film, so to be careful make sure you put enough glue in at the start.
This method does work well, but I do no people who equally have great success with the purely sanding the dots, and then install the film in the normal manner, then their is the method called the "Drop Dry Technique", with this you tint the window in the normal fashion,then peel back the film at the top, and let it dry for 10 minutes or so, you can even heat up the back window to speed up the process, then you can push the film down using a hard card with a felt edge, or even your thumb with a piece of tissue , and gently push the film back into place, I think this method can be a bit hit and miss, but like everything you need to practice.
I was having a root around the You-Tube, and I came across the videos below, it shows how to glue the dots, I put it on with a syringe like I mentioned, whereas in this video they rub it on with their fingers but the end result is still the same a nice finish!
Depending on which side of the water you are (USA/Europe) you may well never have come across the installation method of installing the film in one shot as opposed to installing the top half of the film and raising the glass then installing the bottom half.
I would not like to guess at the figures but in Europe, I reckon at least 75% of installation on doors are done in this way, as opposed to the USA where more like 90% are installed in the half and half method.
So today i will focus on the bottom loading method and why its popular in Europe.
1. Out of the USA, lots of car window tinters like to give the perfect finish to the top edge of the door glass, this is easier to achieve with the bottom load method, you can install the film, do your bit and let it dry, then come back to it after you have completed the rest of the installation, then the edges of the window can be filed to a perfect finish. This is the preferred method over the micro edge and has become the standard in many parts of the world.
2. Olfa Shaving is another method for getting the ultimate edge finish, this is a hard technique to master and you will be pulling your hair out until you get the method down but perseverance here will be well worth the struggle.
With the shaving method you can even shave the edge when it's still wet, whereas with filing the edge needs to be dry to get the best finish.
3. One other benefit of the bottom load method is that you don't tend to get pinch marks at the side of the film like you can get with the half and half method and this is a big factor in why this method is popular.
The video below shows bottom loading and shaving with the olfa blade.
Hey guys, we're having some good feedback on this blog lately and thanks if you're one of those who pops in regularly to view my posts, it's nice to be appreciated!! Please leave a comment and if I feel it's relevant I will happily approve it, if it's spam and you are trying to just abuse my generosity then kiss my ***!!
Our last post dealt with marketing your business when times are tough, I hear lots of stories about people who have so many customers they don't know where to turn, and the biggest stress is managing the work load. But, trust me its not the same for everybody, if you're in a small town or a sleepy area you may have to work a lot harder to generate business than the big boys in the big cities
So that's we said last time in our previous article, you need to look at your overheads, reduce your cost base to a minimum, maybe look further and seek collaboration and work from somewhere with a low overhead, or even your own garage!!
I must say that working from my own garage would not suit me personally,it would be a problem as I am not in a big town with a good population and people may not willing to come to my home, but it is a brilliant business model for car window tinting, low overheads from working at home, high profits with low material cost is a a great business solution.
But, alas that's not for everybody so you may have to look at the alternatives and in this article want to talk about how you can optimise and engage with your customers in an automatic way.
How about this one, you could use an auto responder, that's an e-mail system that sends out an automatic e-mail when it receives an input from a customer. You could set up a predetermined e-mail to go to the customer when he fills out a contact form with a check box on your website, for example, please give me a price for a four door saloon car, you could have a specific e-mail that is sent to the customer depending upon what they select from the check box, an SUV window tint , a hatchback, a saloon vehicle, would all send a different e-mail with a different price. If the customer doesn't buy it from you, you could automatically after a predetermined amount of time, say three days, send them a follow up e-mail offering them a slight discount or incentive to buy from you, if they still dont buy, send another one of them even better deal, this can be done automatically with no intervention from yourself, how good is that!
Think about automation...it's a great time saver and makes you look efficient with your marketing!!
I wil update this post next few days with a link to my chosen auto responder system, it's worth checking out, plus they have a free one dollar trial so why not give it a try.
Operating a small business in a recession is no fun...and if you dont keep a handle on things, before you know it your flood of customers could become a trickle and leave you in a mess!
Ok I am no expert on business mastery, but lets say I have done it for real, not like some of these business gurus who spout all the crap and pretend to help other people, and profit from their mis-fortune sometimes!
Anyway, I'm rambling, lets get back on track.
If you are finding business tough right now, get used to it!!..because I dont think things are changing anytime soon!
You must take a good hard luck at the situation and that starts with your fixed costs.
It's all well and good having a nice shiny business, but if you are getting little custom then you need to change things and thats starts with looking for a way out of this situation and try and think about how you can reduce your monthly overheads.
The answer is collaboration!
I say take your business to your customers, target the motor dealers in your area and offer an on-site service, you will be using their facilities and utilities and giving them a top notch service on their own doorstep. I think this is the best business model for tint shops when times are tough!
You may need to brush up on your pattern making and adapting your techniques for mobile as it is really a different ball game so expect a few issues with quality when you first start doing mobile tinting.
You MUST harness the power of social media and make this your best friend. The viral aspect and sharing of your status updates can be a real driver for new business. Make offers that can be redeemed by your customers, try and engage the customer with pics of cars, make videos showing your skills and even video testimonials from your customers...you can shoot and publish videos direct from your smartphone and have it online in a few minutes.
Offer one free window tint installation a month for people who like and share your business page and make sure to visit facebook.com/username and set the username for your business so you can use it properly in your marketing.
Gotta go now, to do some status updates to get my buzz going for this week!
Watch this video to see how you should be doing it and the time needed to make it work!
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