Volume 17, Issue 5- September/October 2013

Reaching New Heights
Joshua Hinton,
Precision Tint, Lake Charles, La

Joshua Hinton, owner of Precision Tint in Lake Charles, La., knows it takes time, dedication and a willingness to think outside the box to build a window film business from the ground up. The budding businessman got his start in the industry when he was offered a job while getting his car windows tinted in high school at Eubanks Detail and Tinting.

“I started talking to the guy doing the install on my car about audio and e-breaking around corners. Halfway through the install, Mitch, the tinter, asked if I wanted a job. I was surprised … I said yes and showed up the next morning to start my job,” he says.

Just Like That
Following Mitch’s departure from Eubanks to move to Baton Rouge, Hinton says he stepped up and asked to take over Mitch’s position as the main tinter.

“I told them I’d figure it out quickly; I didn’t want to lose the job that I’ve grown very passionate about so quickly. So, after a month or so of trial and error, some pretty bad tint jobs and with Mitch coaching me over the phone, I started to get the hang of it all,” he says. “I had been ordering everything we needed and stared handling customers and estimates, and doing the installations since Mitch left. I stayed at Eubanks for three years running the tint side of the business.”

After deciding to pursue a degree in economics at Louisiana State University, Hinton joined Mitch’s new tint shop, Tint Labs, part time before heading to TNT Tint and Trim with John Thomas.

“John taught me little tricks of the trade and really helped me critique my halfway self-taught skills. I worked there for about a year before my girlfriend and I got pregnant and decided to move back home to be closer to family,” says Hinton.

Starting from Scratch
“I started my business as soon as we moved back to Lake Charles in September 2012,” says Hinton. “I do all automotive installs in my grandmaw’s garage, and she loves entertaining customers. I explain that I have done this for a while.”

Though he operates with a small budget, Hinton’s name has gotten around, attracting the attention of a variety of customers.

“Since March I have had full weekends every weekend. It is no longer just friends and their friends and acquaintances calling. I spend my lunch breaks calling people back and running around giving estimates. When I first started it was two or so cars a weekend and now I’m doing six on average plus flat glass jobs have really started to pick up, as well as boats and tractors. I estimate that I’ll make about $40,000 to $50,000 in revenue this year, which isn’t bad given that I only work two days a week. By January 2014 I hope to have my shop and able to advertise mainstream,” he adds.

Sales Are Soaring
Hinton was even able to catch the attention of a private owner of a Eurocopter EC130 helicopter through Facebook. Despite the tough regulations, Hinton says he’d be interested in tinting more helicopters in the future.

“It’s a hard service to get; the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is involved heavily with helicopters so you have to get Federal Trade Commission approval to be able to put anything on that helicopter,” he notes. “You can run it by the company but they will have to get approved by the FAA. It is definitely something I’d advertise though. It would be an interesting market to enter.”

Hinton has upcoming plans to tint a Cessna 310 low-wing twin-engine plane.

“I love this industry … because of all the benefits [window film] has,” he says. “I love installing something that truly helps everyday life, from watching television or riding in the car, to helping you feel safe in your home or office.”

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