Starting the business
They purchased their franchise in January 2014 and began looking for a location. In the end, they chose a brand-new building along Gardiners Road, right off Highway 401, which is Ontario’s largest thoroughfare. They wanted customers from neighbouring communities to have easy access, but as it happened, the building was also next to the arena where their daughters Kalynn and Brenda were playing competitive hockey.
The plaza was new and the franchise was just the second unit in the area, so the Dwyers had some leverage in terms of being able to negotiate the terms of their lease. In March 2014, before they opened, Trevor flew back down to the corporate offices in Fort Lauderdale and attended two weeks of training. Sue was still working in biology at the time, at Queen’s University in Kingston.
Trevor’s training was classroom-oriented. He learned sales techniques, tips for hiring staff members, and basic business management skills.
Their grand opening was on the last weekend of July 2014. Shortly thereafter, Paul Pirro—who is now executive vice-president (EVP) of Tint World—travelled to Kingston to provide some more on-site training.
“His knowledge and experience were extremely helpful at that critical time in the growth of our business,” Trevor says, “and Paul continues to serve us to this day.”
Unfortunately, Sue was not able to attend corporate training in Fort Lauderdale, so when she felt ready to shift gears from her biology career to Tint World, she instead sought out independent training from local industry contacts.
Neither Trevor nor Sue had any technical training in the field, so they had to learn everything over time. Sue attended courses offered through some of the manufacturers associated with Tint World in Toronto for certain aspects of automotive detailing. She and Trevor also hired local specialists with expertise in these areas to come in and help them while they were still learning how to do things themselves.
“Despite this being a stressful time, we always pushed through whatever we were struggling with,” says Sue, “and we learned the support of our franchisor and our fellow franchisees was one of the best benefits of being part of a system.”
Every year, the franchisor holds a conference and awards banquet for the franchisees, with a focus on training and sharing information and knowledge. For the Dwyers, the event always feels like a big reunion, since the other franchisees have become their friends over the years. There are currently only two Tint World franchises in Canada (the second opened in 2017 in Bolton, Ont.), so most of the conference attendees are based in the U.S., but they have been a great help for the
“Starting a business is a lot of work,” says Trevor. “New franchisees wonder if they will be successful—and if they will even have any customers! That said, another aspect of being part of a franchise system is access to the franchisor’s marketing resources.”
The corporate team helps the Dwyers with online advertising, for example, which was a great relief when they were starting their business.
“Also, the franchisor is constantly working behind-the-scenes to advocate for us with our U.S.-based suppliers,” Trevor says. “They are always at our disposal. If we run into any problems, we can call on them and their expertise—not just in terms of running the business, but also for technical services. There is even a private Facebook page just for franchisees, with a technical resource area, where we are always learning new skills