TNT Auto Body Repair
Photos Courtesy of TNT Auto Body Repair and Service Centers
Husband-and-wife team Tim and Tara Wall make up the two Ts in TNT Auto Body Repair and Service Centers. They started the business in 2002 when, after moving from New York to Virginia to attend Bible college, an opportunity presented itself for them to rent a small collision repair shop in Glade Hill. The Walls rented—and grew the business—for six years, eventually supplementing their original space with another building that became available across the street. Then, in 2008, TNT Auto Body Repair made the big move to its new home; a sparkling, 8,500-square-foot, ground-up build that the Walls own. It includes a complete collision center, a service center, an “auto spa,” and its TNT Marine business segment.
1. The shop is split into two levels. The first level is the lobby, where customers can enjoy the flat screen TV, Wi-Fi, and Keurig machine.
2. Kids have a wooden train set to keep them occupied.
3. Customers can also shop TNT products while they wait. The Walls have a long-term goal of expansion. Producing their own product line was a great way to give the business the feel of a national brand. The shop has its own T-shirts, vinyl dressing, tire shine and all-purpose cleaner available for purchase.
4. Above the lobby are the accounting and management offices where employee, marketing and financial meetings are held.
5. The employee lounge is also located upstairs and is used for many purposes, including staff birthdays and a break room. The lounge also houses the “idea board,” a whiteboard where employees can share suggestions and ideas.
6. Because it is located near Smith Mountain Lake, TNT saw an opportunity to differentiate. The shop began marketing itself as a marine facility. TNT Marine offers gel coat color restoration, fiberglass repair, and summer and winterization. Knowing that there would be high demand for marine work in the area, the bays in the shop were specifically built large enough to accommodate boats.
7. The shop can fit 15 cars inside at any given time. There is a down draft prep station that takes all of the dust and dirt out of the bays while the technicians work.
8. The TNT “Cool Bus” has become a sort of celebrity vehicle in the community. In the beginning, TNT had two 15-person vans that shuttled people to events. A year later, the shop got a deal on a Franklin County school bus and turned it into a shuttle to transport the community to events like the Franklin County Fair and concerts. Most of the time, transportation is donated as a way to give back to the community. The shuttle is a great form of advertising with the logo painted across the outside and a at screen TV playing TNT commercials inside. “The ‘Cool Bus’ is a way to make people laugh and relax when they think of us,” says Tara.
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