“I’m glad the SBDC was there to help me start, and their information on finding and hiring employees will be very helpful.”
Dustin Gaylor came to the Southeast Idaho Small Business Development Center in 2018. He had been working for an auto dealership installing window tinting and wanted to open his own business doing the same. The SBDC helped him with a business plan and cash flow projections, and he got a personal loan to start the business. In the first year, he was making more than he had at the dealership, installing window tints and clear bras on automobiles. He then expanded his service to include architectural window film, Christmas light installation and window washing.
In 2019, the SBDC wrote an article about him in the local newspaper “I got two jobs from that,” recalls Gaylor.
As 2020 began, Gaylor shifted his focus to residential and commercial window film, and he watched sales double during COVID. He added antimicrobial film installs and spray downs. “Everyone was working from home, and they’d call me and say ‘My house is hot!’”
In early 2021, Gaylor sold the window cleaning part of his business and used the money to open a new automotive window treatment shop in Idaho Falls. “Sunstoppers” began serving the luxury automotive market in June 2021. He now provides high-end customer service to up-market clients, including perks like free Uber rides to clients.
As for his residential and commercial window tinting, “I stopped being transactional and started being customer service focused. Marketing became more about creating partnerships with interior designers and architects. When I quit advertising, I got top tier work by word of mouth,” said Gaylor. He passes smaller accounts to other businesses.
His reach for automotive, residential and commercial window customers now spans from Jackson to Pocatello. Gaylor has two full time workers now, and will start hiring later this year.