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Have a few questions for the flat glass gurus on the site.  We are currently mostly automotive and wanting to add more flat glass into the mix.  The reason we mainly focus on automotive is because either myself or our tinter would have to go quote work since we are the only ones experienced enough to do so and we simply do not have time to do so usually.  So we generally quote over the phone based on the numbers given by the customer.  I know we could land more jobs if we on-site with the customers showing them what we can offer versus trying to explain it over the phone.  Since they typically are spending a lot of money, I feel they need more attention than that.  I have struggled to come up with a solid routine that works well for both us and the customers.  So wanted to see what the typical routine is for everyone to submit a bid for flat glass?  Also for the shops that handle automotive also or are light staffed, how do you balance it out?  Thanks!   :thumb

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It depends what type of FG you want to get into. If it's resi, the homeowner is going to suck you dry for time. If you look to get into commercial, the paperwork is time consuming but they want you in and out ASAP. Resi, you get paid immediately, comm you will wait 45-90 days on average. If you are not familiar with reading plans, commercial can be difficult.

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One idea would be to set aside a specific day or two out of the week for FG appointments, and the others for auto. That way they aren't spread out all week. Whatever are your typical slower days for auto - maybe make them for FG.

 

I only do FG - but if I did both, I think that is what I would try to do... 

 

Agree with what Tom said...  :thumb

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Thanks guys, yeah Residential would be more ideal which is what we prefer, but we would be going for both.  That's a good idea to have a set day/time to schedule on estimates.  I could block a day 1 week out just for that and if by end of Saturday we do not have any appointments we can go ahead and book that day with automotive.

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I do both FG (resi and comm) and auto, as well as the quoting, paper work and accounts.. unfortunately because I am such a tight ass I do this mostly on my own too, and i don't recommend it lol.

 

I will say, I have somewhat of a nice routine (albeit rough when days get real busy). The way I manage this, is as suggested above I make every Wednesday a FG day only. Obviously you get the odd customers/builders that can't have it done on a Wednesday, but it's rare and i can quite easily lock the door, put a sign up, divert the phone and head out in the dying hours of the day anyway.

On the Wednesday I have an office girl come in, who knows enough of the product to sell it, do some invoicing i've missed, reconciling, and just generally baby sitting the workshop while i am out for the day, and take notes where required.

 

As for quoting, i've been doing this 5pm onwards at the end of the work day, so i can lock up and not worry about losing potential business through the day from a walk in, you also don't feel rushed with the client to get back to the workshop, and you spend more 1 on 1 time with them talking about their objectives and how you can meet them, and also general chit chat for good customer relations. This is usually convenient for most anyway, as they are back home from work/school runs etc

 

So as far as a "light staffed" workshop, i'm about as light staffed as they come haha, it's all about time management and not making promises you can't keep really, because when you are light staffed, as you know, time can escape you very easily. Maybe one of you can go out and do a quote or FG job while the other mans the workshop and the workload, and just lighten the work load for the day accordingly to compensate. Personally i find FG is a much larger income generator, so making sure i get them done is worth sacrificing a car here and there if i don't have time for them.

 

Good luck with your business though, doing it under staffed or on your own is tough, but there is always adaptivity available for those willing to take it on board  :thumb

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One thing I have noticed is that most customers that are looking at having their house windows tinted have no problem waiting for it to be convenient for someone to come out and give a free quote especially if they are looking to do a lot of windows. Don't feel like you have to get out there right away.

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If it's a small house job,,try to get them to stop by your shop for samples and show them pics of prev work?

Ask what they want the film to help?

Just stop UV fading and not change the appearance of the clear glass too much? Light tint

Or shading/privacy/major heat rejection?

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