The popularity of vehicle graphics today is skyrocketing into a mainstream trend.
We regularly hear from shop owners who are reporting steady growth, as more and more people are inspired to wrap their commercial and/or personal vehicles.
Meanwhile improvements in graphic films also now make it easier to install a wrap and create a new design whenever the mood strikes.
By developing a growth strategy for your business, you can help ensure that your bottom line benefits from these new trends.
It can also help ensure that, when you do bump up your sales by taking on more projects, you are able to manage operations seamlessly amidst the boom in business.
Identify Your Target Customers
To grow any business, reaching new customers is going to be key.
Identify your unique market and niche within the industry. Because wrap projects can range from customizing a car’s exterior to installing graphic films on a yacht, it helps to understand who your shop’s target consumer is.
While the growth of personalized wraps in recent years has allowed consumers to ramp up their own vehicles, the commercial market also continues to show steady growth. Millions of businesses across the United States use commercial vehicles for branding and promotions.
Understanding which target markets are best suited for your sign or graphics shop will help grow your opportunities with potential clients.
Whether your shop is large and has a bigger capacity or is a smaller one better served for niche customers, using your relevant experiences to help garner new business will lead to a roadmap of potential prospects.
Consider where your shop will best succeed—whether it be wrapping trailers, luxury vehicles, racecars, buses or custom RVs.
Finding an area or niche that fits your unique skill set will best equip you to compete for new business and possibly help you to avoid areas that might already be oversaturated.
Embrace Social Media
You can increase your shop’s following in the vehicle wraps industry by utilizing a tool that is right in front of you—social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.).
Many shops find that putting in the time and effort to reach their target audiences on social platforms is time well spent. Social media helps you humanize your company, which is a powerful way to create a connection with clients.
A popular outlet for professionals in the graphics industry is Facebook. As one of the largest social media platforms, Facebook allows you to set up a business page, while also building a community around your brand.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to have 80 percent of your content on social media directed at audience interaction and 20 percent of content reserved for promotional marketing and sales.
Manage Your Expanded Operations
Developing a growth strategy will also help you improve efficiency and open doors to take on the flow of new customers interested in your services.
To keep things running smoothly, outline the logistics for your operational processes, marketing tactics, management, and finances.
Quantify the amount of time you and your team should be spending on each wrap or vehicle graphic. Choosing films that install faster and easier is a great way to achieve significant time savings under tight deadlines.
While it is tempting to promise a quick turnaround, it is very important to understand your capabilities and the proper materials needed in order to give an accurate timeline projection to each potential customer.
Before you agree to any project, it is a good idea to outline the project design time, the cost of materials, and the installation time. Addressing such wrap details in a contract will help keep you and your customer on the same page throughout the wrap process.
Invest in Quality Resources
As you grow your business, another way to make sure your shop comes full circle is to take the time to produce quality results the first time around. Choosing the right films can make a big difference.
Reducing wrap redo’s is an important goal to set, no matter the size or scope of your shop. Mishaps can be blamed on a variety of factors.
When a business invests in proper training and materials, mishaps can be reduced and the end results will speak for themselves.
Unforeseen circumstances are bound to happen on occasion, so thorough preparation can help eliminate the hassle that would typically cause stress. Having versatile films in stock can bolster your confidence for tackling car wraps and vehicle graphics.
Another investment that can pay off in the long run for your shop is gaining installation accreditation.
Earning one or more of these titles will give you a value proposition to promote and many times the organization providing the title will promote your services as well.
If you’re not ready for the test, then there are a large variety of installation courses out there to fit various skill levels.
Utilizing quality resources like installer training courses can not only save you the headache of redo’s, it can preemptively protect your businesses’ reputation.
By Tim Boxeth, marketing manager at 3M Commercial Solutions.