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Estimate Software- Printing software that helps you find the hidden treasure in your business.

Muscle in with Vinyl can do it for them

By Staff

In every high school across America, hot-blooded teenagers own and drive a customized muscle car. Decades ago, these muscle cars were customized by the high-priced, high-skilled air brushing professional. Sometimes, these four-wheeled babies were even painted by hand with brushes. Long gone are those days.

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  • No, the muscle cars haven't vanished, but the expense and skill have. Vinyl. Yes, those films that your sign shop has been working with for years are now expanding out into the world of the car. You can now leave your vinyl touch on the American landscape.

    The number of vehicles in America is rapidly growing, and they are staying on the road longer. Because of the growing number of carmakers and models, people want to personalize their vehicles. You can do it for them.

    And it is not just cars and trucks that need to be personalized. Boats, personal water crafts, small airplanes, motorcycles (fuel tanks, helmets, and fenders), cars, vans, light trucks, SUVs, and every other special vehicle need their own little touch to stand out in the crowds.

    Profits are the product of the vinyl craft here. Personalized vehicle vinyl graphics are a sure way of profits. It is a minimum of labor, supplies, and worries. It is a maximum of profits.

    This is also a business that requires a minimum amount of follow-up service and future customer relations. You can assume that if you do the job right the first time and educate your customers about the proper care of their very own vehicle graphics that you are home free after the initial sale. No complaining calls.

    However, you will get tons of referral calls. "You did my buddy's truck, and I would like to get an estimate from you to do mine." Now, that's a reason for answering the phone! Someone liked your work so much that he or she wants that personalized quality on that special vehicle.

    More than likely you already have current customers who could use some more of your work. Take advantage of your working relationship. Tap into a new angle.

    Say the local appliance repair shop has come to you to have some vinyl signs made up for their vehicles. Nothing special, just the logo and the lettering. Your design and signs look great on the sides of their fleet vans. The drivers and owners are pleased and say so.

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    Strike while the smiles are still on their faces. Suggest to those people that their personal vehicle or SUV could use a little personality. Face it: they like your work, and they know you. You are the shop to do the job!

    The personalized vehicle vinyl business requires the addition of a very small amount of new stock. You already have the equipment (a plotter), and the graphics are very easy to apply. You know what to do: it is essentially the same skills used to do fleet vinyl.

    You have a vast selection of design kits to choose from. You can mix and match the vinyl kits. Make up your own vinyl kits. Some companies even have lines of faux-air brushed vinyl. All you have to do is pick up the phone and order.

    Now a word about vinyl. Since your work is most certainly going to be out in the elements (unless they park the vehicle in the garage to just admire your work), cast vinyl is the vinyl of choice. Calendared vinyl loses much of its strength in the process of stretching and flattening. As time passes, the calendared vinyl and its adhesive will break down. With the cast vinyl, your work will hold up as your customers expect it to on their prized vehicles.

    Now that you are using cast vinyl, you need to make sure that your customers know how to take care of your art. Vehicles with vinyl decals should be stored in a garage as much as possible. Extreme exposure to wind, moisture, heat, cold, and sunlight can be damaging in the long run to even the best vinyl. Tell your customers if they take care of the product, the vinyl will last up to seven years. (Probably longer but you don't want to make any rash promises!)

    A few business pointers. Keep your designs original and unique. If customers come in and look at pictures of your previous work and then say they want an exact copy of an original design, decline. Your previous customers paid for original designs. They have personalized their vehicles. It is good business to assure the new customers that, whatever they decide to do for their vehicles, it will be theirs and theirs alone. You can do this by protecting the customer they wish to imitate. You will be pleasant-naturally-but firm.

    If you consider doing vinyl work for a car dealership, remember that car dealers want their merchandise on the lot. This requires you to be mobile-to go to the lot--which is more expensive and can jeopardize the quality of your vinyl work. Sometimes auto lots are not ideal work areas. Also your creativity tends to be limited on dealership stock because anything too creative isn't going to sell to a general consumers.

    You can branch out into the world of vehicle vinyl with substantial opportunity for profit and very little risk of loss. So, the next time you do some fleet work or even a single vehicle for a business customer, mention that you also personalize private vehicles with vinyl.

    If he or she doesn't want to jazz up the family car, perhaps there is a high school student with a muscle car who has friends who have cars.

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