The prep of a car is the most important part of the process. Some people may think a coating will adhere no matter what the surface is however let’s think about a piece of tape, you can have 3 different surfaces with the same kinda tape and you will get 3 different types of adhesion. Example: if your surface is wet the tape will not stick, if your surface is dirty it will not stick. No exception with removable coatings. Here is a great process to follow when preparing the vehicle.
-Wash with a dish soap (fragrance free) at least 24 hours prior. Waiting 24 hours for the vehicle to dry will ensure water is not sitting in the cracks and crevices. Also taking an air hose to those parts help.
-Clay bar: Going around the car with an automotive clay bar ($16 Auto Parts store) will clear any trash, dirt, tar and anything else hiding in the clear coat. We clay bar every single car. Especially cars that are 2+ years older.
-Going around the car with a wax and grease remover like Prep All ($8 at an auto parts store) and a lint free towel. I suggest going around the car twice. Also applying Xylene on the edges of the doors and trim areas promotes adhesion.
-Time to mask: we try and remove as much as possible. Headlights, taillights, side mirrors and emblems. Most cars are simple to break down. A nice rule to follow is if you pull twice and it’s not moving it will break on the third. If you are not able to remove you can mask it. When it comes to window trim, 3m Trim tape is your best friend. This tape is not cheap however redoing work is never cheap either. Better to do it right the first time then to redo it the second time. I will attach a few photos of cars prepped and ready for spraying. Also Prep All Link and 3m Trim tape.
3m Trim Tape: https://www.amazon.com/3M-06349-50-8-Trim-Masking/dp/B000P18N6W/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1493769534&sr=8-3&keywords=3m+trim+tape
We have owned our business for about 5 years and have a steady amount of work coming in. Almost to the point where we need to hire some help (almost). Getting your shop name and work out there is a key to gaining traffic. You’ll need to be consistent with your marketing and advertising. That’s the biggest factor. If you think about it, every successful business is consistent with its marketing. Keeping the slogan or logo in front of you at all times. When we see that “Target symbol” we think of Target or when we see that Yellow smiley face we think of Walmart. Same goes for “Eat Fresh” slogan, good ole Subway. With shops we don’t need to create a national commercial or campaign so that will allow us to focus locally. When we first started out shop we went to a ton of car shows on the days we didn’t have cars to do. These car shows are a great place to start. Being a vendor and having a booth was something we did as well. Got a ton of interest and people asking questions. Now and days we don’t go to car shows too often due having cars in the booth. One of the biggest marketing and advertising successes we’ve had is sponsored cars. Yes sponsored cars… we tag the back with our company name and number with something catchy like “75% less then wrap or paint” people see that and call all the time. We actually have seen the best results with this marketing method. We don’t just offer this for every car we see. Cars that are newer, well-kept and a great color (ColorShift). Vehicles who have just that are offered a percentage off along to do just that. What’s cool is a friendship is built by default. We go to car events together, they send us messages when people stop and talk to them and they come back for color change 9 times out of 10. Social Media is a good marketing and advertising source as well. Of course we all knew that already that. Having a decent following and great photos will get you the best results. People love to see the work you produce and social media allows us to get that content out the quickest. Try using the same hashtag with every post along with like hashtags. Commenting on others post helps build your following and likes. We mainly focus on Facebook and Instagram for our social media. We did create a few YouTube videos as well however that’s more for a portfolio then anything. Also sharing others work (with credit given when due) helps a ton. This will allow your clients to see the type of work you could do along with helping that other shop out (not local competition). We share work from our vendors all the time. They put out a sample of new colors we share, they put out work from other shops we share. Sharing is caring lol. Own a shop? What sources of advertising have you found work best?