How to Turn a PPF Profit
By Jamie Werner
I recently welcomed my son into the world and what a life changer he has been. I knew it would be, but now I truly understand what so many others have gone through. Eventually it gets easier as each day goes by and you figure out what is best for both your child and for you as a couple. Having a kid isn’t easy and neither is running your own business.
Knowing Your Business’ Needs
We sometimes get into modes of trying to duplicate what works for others instead of trying to make something work for our business needs. For example, installers ask me what price to charge for different types of coverage, and I tell them it varies by region.
You really need to know what is going to work for your clientele, especially for paint protection film. We all would love to do full front ends because they look better than partial bras, but sometimes it’s out of the customer’s budget. Here, we’ll dive into finding that tipping point on whether it’s worth the price or not.
To Save or Toss
Cost effective, efficient and profitable are words that should come smoothly when it comes to PPF. Not everyone practices it, and we can find ways to move towards them so they become second nature.
The first thing is film management. I talk to many installers who stick to just one or two sizes and I constantly pick their brains as to why they do this. They spend time nesting pieces together so they limit the amount of wasted material.
They also save a lot of the larger pieces of waste in hopes of using it for something.
Ultimately that bin of scrap material starts to pile up and the time spent nesting things together could’ve been spent doing an install.
Time is money people! I look at an install as what you charge minus your cost, which equals your profit. I then take that profit and divide it by the amount of time I spend on the install. That’s how you truly find out how much you are making.
You can also manage your film stock. Now I’m not saying not to save scrap, but if it gets to a point where you don’t know how old the film is, it’s just taking up space. Having stocked film is also crucial. I’ve had so many guys overnight stuff because they weren’t prepared. Sometimes unexpected things happen, but ultimately you can only sell what you have.
Extra costs due to poor preparation is a waste in my opinion and waste is a cost and that depletes your profit.
Stepping into this business is expensive and if you skimp out on the most important part, you’ll find hitting a ceiling comes fast. You need to be willing to waste a piece of film to better your installation quality.
I still think of certain pieces where I had to take two or three attempts because it was difficult for me. That means the cost of wasting film is your cost of learning how to actually do the job right. Just remember there is a tipping point. Sometimes you need to know when to admit the job is beyond your skill set to be profitable.
The cost of switching to distilled water or trying a better soap is minimal in comparison to the installation itself. Those are easy ways to slightly improve how clean your job is. Better light and temperature controls, or even getting an ozone machine to remove dust, can improve the cleanliness of your work. Those are long-term investments that can help give you cleaner installations. This prevents you from having to remove and replace it due to installer issues.
All in all, I consider installers to be troubleshooters. We are constantly dealing with problem solving. Just don’t let yourself get on the insane train.
Open your mind to different ways of being more efficient so you can be more profitable. Making that much more per hour multiplied by the amount of jobs you do per year, multiplied by the number of years you are more efficient can lead to tens of thousands of dollars. As always, exceed expectations every day fellow installers.
So, yes, running a business, and having a baby, is hard. But the end result is amazing.
Jamie Werner is the national sales manager and head trainer for PremiumShield.
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