Custom Sounds, Austin, TX, the 17 store chain chain that is one of the top grossing car audio specialists in the country, quietly purchased a commercial automotive and flat glass window film company in Austin and has launched Custom Tint Solutions.
The new business has been operating for about seven months and has expanded into the San Antonio and St Louis markets.
Custom Sounds President Mike Cofield expects the new business to gross over $2 million in its first year ending in August and then $5 million annually by the third year. “It’s going to become a big part of our business,” he said.
“The flat glass business [home and business window film] very much reminds me of the car audio business 20 years ago. It’s dominated by single outlet mom and pops without a lot of business acumen,” he said.
Custom Tint has the advantage of being well capitalized. “When you do big commercial jobs they don’t pay you immediately. So those companies have to deal with mom and pops and do something outside of the norm and give them money up front so they can buy the film. We can treat them as a typical large customer and extend them 30 or 60 day terms, they much prefer,” said Cofield.
He now has 12 people working in the division which has 7 vans.
But he says flat glass is a completely different business model than car audio, if you “more than dabble in it.” “You have to have the cash flow to finance the customer and hire a completely separate staff,” he said.
For Custom Sounds, it was a $1.2 million investment and he claims, “We’re smoking!” “We did more business in March than the company we bought had ever done in a month and we’re not into the hot season yet.”
The chain leverages its current base of car audio customers who have come to trust the shop by sending out email blasts to let them know they’ve expanded into residential glass.