TAT International founder and owner Kirk Knapp hasn’t had it easy in business. “Nine years ago I was broke,” he says. “No job, no car, no home. I had a family I had to support. I owed a quarter of a million dollars. Half of that I owed to my best friend, and you can’t walk away from that.”
But Knapp worked his way out from under that debt, through a business selling long-lasting temporary tattoos, called tats. He started TAT International; launched a Web site, tatstore.com; and now sells his proprietary inks and application systems to others. His newest offering is a franchise marketing and sales program to help customers who want to achieve financial independence.
“What we do is we put people in the business of retailing temporary airbrush tattoo, which is a cosmetic product. This product has the actual look and feel of an actual tattoo. If I had one on me, you would not tell the difference,” Knapp says.
“I come from an impoverished background,” says Knapp. “I just love helping people.” He’s not saying, of course, that his customers will earn a quarter of a million dollars. But he is promising that his new program will double sales and triple profits. That’s why he’s calling it his “2 by 3” program. According to Knapp, “The ‘2 by 3’ stands for ‘double your sales, triple your profitability.’ And it doesn’t cost a million dollars. It doesn’t cost tens of thousands of dollars. It just costs a few hundred dollars.”
The program targets people who want to be entrepreneurs. They usually have a full time jobs and families, Knapp says, and they want to own their own business. “This is a way for them to get into it. We have people who have quit their jobs and are doing this full time, and its working out great for them.”
Tats customers sometimes own brick-and-mortar establishments, from salons to resorts. But others work fairs, flea markets, and swap meets. “We have a lot of customers who do flea markets,” says Knapp. “There’s no place that we don’t want to be. Anybody who feels that this would help them, we want to help them.”
Knapp designed the 2 by 3 program to specifically address the five main reasons that small business fail. “According to Entrepreneur magazine,” he says, “the five reasons why start-ups fail in the first two years are: 1) poor budgeting, 2) poor customer service, 3) poor training, 4) they are in the wrong business, and 5) marketing.” But the new program through TAT International addresses those issues.
The new resource includes a Web site that offers ten mentors, actual customers who are willing to work with 2 by 3 franchisees. “These people will be of service,” says Knapp. “They’re not going to try to sell you anything. They’re just going to answer your questions and give you good information.”
The 2 by 3 program offers several options designed to boost effectiveness. “The program includes video training, workshops, and coaching. Customers are assigned a coach to help them. It’s a very comprehensive, results-oriented program. It’s a win-win,” says Knapp, “because it’s in our interest to have that customer be as successful as possible so they’ll buy more systems, more ink, more stencils. And of course it is in their interest.”
But the program goes beyond training and coaching, Knapp explains. “We have a cloaked site. When you become an MVP, you get special pricing as well as access to training materials and videos.”
And the program is fundamentally sound because the product is a market leader, according to Knapp. “We differentiated ourselves from the competition because we have the best ink on the market. It lasts twice as long on the skin as any other ink. And when you are in the retail business, the first thing you learn — and you learn this ad nauseum — the customer always says, ‘how long does that last?’ So having one that lasts twice as long gives you a competitive advantage.”
“We not only have a proprietary ink, but a proprietary way of applying that ink,” says Knapp, referring to his Duratat line of inks. “We invented the Power Palette,” which takes a base of 13 colors and allows them to be combined to make hundreds more. “You can dial these colors in, blend them, mix them, create new colors and shades of colors. It’s really cool. State of the art.”
Knapp knows his customers, so he is able to offer a program tailored to them, he says. “Our average customer is 47 years old, married, and has a full time job. They make somewhere between $5,000 and $50,000 a year extra doing tats. The 2 by 3 program is designed to help them double their sales and triple their profitability.”
For more information, contact:
4950A Plainfield Ave.
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Outside the U.S.: 616-868-9722
Web site: www.tatstore.com