Curtis Nelson's father began K&N Mobile franchises in 1972 and they have since grown into an amazing company. We had to chance to ask him some questions and he had a lot to tell us about his business and the franchising world as a whole.
What has changed in your vision for the company since you began almost 40 years ago?
We have always grown thru company salesmen, but over time I realized our best growth strategy would be to franchise our concept. We would like to be nationwide one day, and I firmly believe franchising is the way to do this.
What do you believe is the single most important factor when choosing a franchise?
In our industry you have to enjoy talking to people to do really well.
What makes K&N different from other franchises?
First, there really aren't any other similar franchises. Although we operate like the tool trucks the primary difference in our business is that businesses have to have our types of products each day to repair and manufacture machinery. Second, we provide more franchisee support than any other franchise I know of. Third, our franchisees have unlimited income potential. Fourth, our franchise offers the best work and life balance because the franchisee sets his own hours each day. Fifth, one of my company salesmen summed up our business best. He said "Where else could I go to work and make this amount of money and just go out and visit my friends all day".
What makes your industry attractive?
It is very recession resistant. Vehicles, equipment and machinery will always break down and they will always need the parts we sell to fix them.
What do you look for in a K&N Franchisee?
We look for someone with an outgoing personality and enjoys talking with people.
What is included with your franchise fees and royalties?
The franchise fee covers the start-up cost. The royalties cover the rights to use our concept and on-going support. The ongoing support is as follows:
- Automatic inventory replacement for all parts sold from the "mobile parts store".
- Toll free hotline for sales and product questions.
- On-going field training.
- Computer services.
- Accounts Receivable collections and processing
Do you protect your franchisee's territories?
Our territories are protected and they have a minimum of 1,000 potential customers.
What makes K&N Successful?
Our franchise has been successful because of our method of delivery thru our "mobile parts store". Although we have a lot of competitors none of our competitors have mobile parts stores.
Where do you see K&N in the next decade?
In five years I expect to have at least 100 franchises in the U.S. and Canada. In ten years I expect to have over 500 franchises in the U.S. and Canada and start to expand more internationally.
What is the best advice you give your franchisees?
Follow our concept and work 8 to 5 for at least your first six to twelve months.
Tell us a little more about your financing and the burdens of starting a franchise?
Their financial success depends on their willingness to work. We work with Ford Credit for financing the truck and $12,000 worth of equipment.
What is the start-up time for K&N franchisees?
From eight to sixteen weeks depending on the time it takes to have a box built for the "mobile parts store".
How did you decide to start with K&N?
My Father started the company in 1972 and I have worked in the company since I was eight years old.
What make K&N franchisees different from other franchises?
Every single franchisee talks about the reactions they get from prospects concerning their "mobile parts store". While inside the "mobile parts store" prospects continually using the saying, "I feel like a kid in a candy store".