Franchisee Myriam Guerrero on Buying a Tint World Franchise

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Melissa Castoro

After successful careers in nonprofits and the military, Myriam and Alex Guerrero opened their first franchise in El Paso late last year – and they’re just getting started.

When Myriam Guerrero’s husband, Alex, decided to retire from the army after 28 years of service, the couple knew they needed to find a meaningful way to occupy his newfound free time.

“[Alex] built his whole career around the army, so we wanted to find something for him that would, of course, sustain our income after his retirement, but also give him something to do that he enjoyed doing,” Guerrero says.

For Guerrero, who works full-time at a nonprofit, finding a business opportunity that would allow the couple to give back to their local community in El Paso, Texas, was also important.

“I very much enjoy participating in nonprofits, giving back to the community and sustaining those relationships. We wanted something that would generate income to allow us to pour back into the community,” Guerrero says.

In 2020, the Guerreros found what they were looking for when Alex was introduced to a local franchise broker while attending a retirement workshop at Fort Bliss, who encouraged the couple to consider buying a franchise as a means of launching an enjoyable post-retirement career.

For the Guerreros, the suggestion to become franchisees was a good one. After purchasing their first franchise last year from Tint World, an automotive styling and window tinting company with stores in 25 U.S. states and several international locations, the couple embarked on a journey that brought them unexpected success – and a chance to grow their business even more in the future.

Finding the right fit

As first-time franchisees searching for a brand that could offer everything they were looking for, finding the right fit was critical for the Guerreros during the initial stages of their franchising journey.

“Our franchise broker actually played a heavy role in [our buying a franchise from Tint World]. … One thing that she said to us that was very important was, ‘I would not lead you somewhere that I wouldn’t go myself,’” Guerrero recalls.

Despite the level of trust the Guerreros placed in their franchise broker, however, the couple also made efforts to do due diligence on their own – putting a priority on understanding exactly what they were getting themselves into as new business owners before making a purchase.

“We did a lot of homework on the return on investments. We did a lot of homework on what other franchisees’ experiences had been, and started sifting through our choices, just narrowing it down,” Guerrero says.

After taking an initial trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to meet with Tint World’s corporate team, the Guerreros began to get serious about buying a franchise from the company – an attitude shaped largely by its team’s responsiveness and dedication to helping the couple access information they needed to make informed choices about the brand.

“Even before we met [the team] in person, it was the phone calls, it was a reply to those text messages, and all sorts of hours validating or answering whatever question we had. It was just them picking up the phone and saying, ‘Okay, what is on your mind? What are you thinking? Someone else has gone through this, let me get you what you need,’” Guerrero recalls.

In addition to the typical questions many first-time franchisee candidates have while considering franchise opportunities, the Guerreros also had important questions for the Tint World team about whether or not opening a business would be feasible amid a pandemic – a topic Guerrero says the team was willing to address.

“A lot of those questions were, ‘How difficult is the build-up going to be? How difficult is it going to be to actually get this going in the middle of all this chaos?’ And, you know, just sharing those other [franchisee] experiences and knowing that other stores had successfully opened and were doing well out of the gate were important to us.”

Beyond the risks of opening a business during uncertain times, Guerrero also had concerns about whether the level of support they’d received during the discovery process might taper off once the sale was closed.

“I honestly thought that they were being nice to us until we signed off, and then once we got going, that service would scale back a little bit. But that hasn’t been our experience. … The whole thing that flipped us and completely sold us on Tint World has been the experience with their team or corporate team,” Guerrero says.

Unseasonable success

After deciding to purchase a franchise from Tint World, Guerrero says the process of buying and opening the store took around a year – a longer timeframe than the couple initially anticipated, but a duration she believes was advantageous to their success as new business owners.

“We assumed that it would be a smooth, fast process. Those were self-made assumptions. … Our timeline was completely off – and it was off in a good way, because it allowed us the opportunity to do our homework, to get to know people, to build those relationships,” Guerrero says.

A key part of building relationships throughout that year-long process included the trust Tint World’s team worked to establish with the Guerreros while supporting the couple in opening their business, including offering critical instructions for selecting the right location and avoiding common mistakes – something Guerrero says initially caught her off guard as a new franchisee.

“At first I was like, ‘Well, this is really restrictive.’ But it was restrictive with a purpose. They’ve done it before. They’ve done it multiple times, and they knew what they were looking for. I would not change a thing. …” Guerrero says. “They put those bumper guards in place for us.”

As the only Tint World territory in El Paso, Guerrero says success came quickly to the new location after it opened late last year – something she credits, at least in part, to a lack of competition combined with positive brand recognition among customers in the region.

“We opened in December (2021). We expected that our store would do okay in the winter, that it would be okay. But we didn’t expect to ramp up until it started getting warm right about this time, but we were wrong. What we’ve discovered is that there is a need for this, and so our waiting time for, ‘Let’s see how this turns out,’ just went out the window, because we’re ready,” Guerrero says.

Not slowing down

For the Guerreros, achieving that level of success in such a brief timeframe came down to teamwork and making smart business decisions based on each partner’s unique strengths and skill sets.

“[Alex] is very strong on the operational side, so he’s very good at running stuff – we owe that to the military. He’s organized, he’s structured, he’s got discipline. I, on the other hand, have the backside of the house. My experience has been with administration of businesses, the financial aspect – the boring stuff that people don’t want to do when they run their business. I think my advice to anybody looking into any franchise would be to do a true assessment of what you bring to the table,” Guerrero says.

Based on those experiences, Guerrero advises new franchisees to take stock of their own strengths when starting a business – and to delegate the right tasks to the right people rather than trying to do it all themselves.

“Identify your weaknesses and don’t be afraid to ask for help. We have been very fortunate that we complement each other. …” Guerrero says. “If we didn’t have each other, then we would have a gap.”

In addition to making smart business choices, Guerrero says the success of the couple’s first franchise has also been the result of the high level of support provided by the corporate team at Tint World – support that has inspired the couple to consider becoming multi-unit franchisees.

“I think [Tint World] under-sold themselves. I mean, they told us, ‘We’re here for you guys, we will support you.’ But I think they fell short on really emphasizing those things, because they have been tremendous. It has been a very positive experience for us – and now we’re looking at store number two,” Guerrero says.

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