Tim Bettis of Wrapcision
What’s the most rewarding part of owning and operating your own automotive wrap installation company?
My family is the most important thing in my life and having my own wrap shop has allowed me to schedule my work around the things that matter the most. When owning a business such as a custom wrap shop, I can schedule my installs so that I do not miss out on moments that I cannot get back. While the bulk of my work, since opening my own shop, has been high-end color change wraps that take days or even weeks to install properly, I still have a lot of fleet and commercial accounts that need vehicles installed for the same day or next day delivery. Having my own shop gives me the ability to make a schedule that works for both myself and the client, as well as maintain the high-quality standard that our clients have come to expect from us.
I have an honest conversation with the client and give them realistic deadlines and expectations regarding the project. I am not just selling a vehicle wrap; I am selling my valuable time and skills and backing up my name with my work. Being able to control the quality of the work that comes through the shop is important to me. I will not allow a wrap to leave my shop that does not pass my standards. I am also very picky about who I allow to work on wraps with me, only using other installers that I have known for years and have proven to me that they have what it takes. It takes years to establish a good reputation and only a minute to destroy it. We all make mistakes when we wrap. How you respond to those mistakes can make or break your reputation.
Walk everyone through the ups and downs of your journey to becoming one of the elite wrap installers in the industry?
I started out in this industry when I was going to college for Electrical Engineering. I have always loved vehicles, so I applied for a job as a designer for a very large graphics shop. They did not have any design positions open but told me I could work in the install bay if I wanted to try it. I had no idea I would still be doing it 18 years later. I have worked for a few shops over the years, starting as an installer and moving up to lead installer, and then eventually ending up as the Operations Manager for a local shop here in Indianapolis.
I started noticing that there was not a standard being used for proper methods of installation and everyone had different opinions on what the correct techniques were. There were no certified installers in my city at the time so I decided to enroll myself in a certification class. I had 10 years of experience going into it and wanted to keep an open mind. I am glad that I did because I met a lot of people from different markets and realized that there was much more to this industry than I had known.
From that point on, I have tried to absorb as much as I can from other installers and industry professionals, so that I can improve my skill set and make myself a better installer. When I work with other installers we always consult each other on the best way to approach a job. Sometimes we have to adjust the strategy and try again. Being an elite installer is so much more than just being able to install some vinyl or having a busy social media page–you have to know the products you are using, you have to know the proper techniques, and you have to know what type of shop you are trying to become.
Additionally, I will not push myself to finish a job if I am too tired or busy to install it properly. I always explain this to the client when selling the job, especially color change wraps. I will let them know that we need a little extra time in order to meet their expectations. Clients will always get it if you take the time to explain. Not once has a client told me to skimp on quality in order to get it done faster. At Wrapcision we have decided that quality and client service will always be the priority.
What keeps you motivated and what keeps you up at night?
My family is my motivation. I have been married to my beautiful and intelligent wife for over 10 years and we have 2 amazing children together. Every decision I make is based on what it means for our future. I want to build a shop that my family is proud of. I feel that as long as I stay focused on what is best for my family I can filter out the noise in life that can distract us from doing what we need to do.
You recently completed the ORAFOL Vehicle Wrap Certification exams. Explain to everyone the importance of being certified and what you thought of the certification process with ORAFOL?
There are several reasons why I believe that completing certification programs are important.
Our industry is growing rapidly and for new clients, it can be difficult for them to differentiate between a reputable installer that has proven themselves with years of wrapping experience and an inexperienced installer that they saw on social media.
Clients do not want their vehicles used as practice, they want their vehicle in the hands of someone who has proven that they are dedicated to the industry and understands the products and techniques used during the installation process. Every job is different, whether it is a large fleet account or a color change on an exotic car, installers need a full understanding to ensure they’re using the right product for the application. Continuing education and regular communication with media suppliers, along with certification classes, is by far the best way to learn about film characteristics, install techniques, and other key features and benefits.
Networking and teaming up with other certified installers throughout the country is another benefit of being able to identify as a certified installer.
What I liked most about the ORAFOL Certification is that it is geared towards the experienced installer that wants to take it to the next level. It is not an entry level wrap training class; it has prerequisites that include prior certifications and business requirements such as liability insurance and proven shop experience. ORAFOL offers this class with limited availability, so it attracts only the most elite and professional installers out there.
While attending the ORAFOL Certification class, we spent the first day expanding our knowledge surrounding the business of wraps, learning more about ORAFOL and its broad portfolio of wrap products, followed by hands-on practice. We spent the entire second day certification testing. The certification testing covered a wide range of installs solidifying that the installer can properly handle any type of job that is asked of them. We worked through panel alignment while wrapping the side of a trailer. We also wrapped mirrors and door handles with color change film, along with a multitude of other commercial graphics and solid color change scenarios.
What inspired you and your client to choose the ORACAL 970RA Matte Nato Olive color for their Chevrolet Silverado?
I have wrapped several vehicles for this client over the last couple of years and he expects impeccable quality and attention to detail. He actually owns a painting company so he is accustomed to paying attention to not only the minute details but the overall finish of a job. He wanted the military green look for his truck, and after comparing several color samples, he liked the look of the ORACAL 970RA Matte Nato Olive the best. He liked the supple satin matte finish of the ORACAL 970RA more than a previous matte wrap he had. He felt that this film offered the best overall appearance, giving him the sheen he was looking for.
He gets the door jambs wrapped on every vehicle so for him, the overall presentation of the vehicle had to match his expectations. This was also the first time we’ve been able to wrap the plastic mirrors. These can be a challenge due to the chemistry of the plastic construction. We spoke with ORAFOL and they recommended laminating the 970RA material to the ORAJET 3951HT (High-Tack). Needless to say, it worked perfectly and now I have a go-to material for wrapping hard to stick plastic!
He was extremely impressed with the finished look of the wrap and would like to use ORACAL 970RA on his next project.
What are some of the qualities you appreciate when working with ORAFOL products?
I like how ORAFOL doesn’t compromise the quality and durability of their product just so they can reach a larger market. I like the fact that it is a little thicker compared to other films and I don’t have to treat it delicately to achieve the results I’m looking for. I have noticed that it hides imperfections in the paint underneath extremely well. I also appreciate that when I heat the film after installation, the light surface scratches from the installation process will easily go away. We used the ORAFOL Cleaning and Care Kit for Matte Wraps on this wrap and noticed the Long-Lasting Sealant was more of a wax than a liquid, and once it was applied you could see and feel the difference compared to other sealants I have used. I am extremely impressed with the products I have used from ORAFOL and will continue to regularly use them in my shop.
Tim Bettis, Owner
6830 Industry Pl, Unit G
Indianapolis, IN 46219
ORAFOL Materials Used:
Oracal 970RA: 285M Matte Nato Olive