Provide an overview/ description of your industry. Include reasons why it's a great industry to start a business in today.
The average age of a vehicle on the road today has increased substantially over the past few years. Customers are keeping their cars 11 years on average which means the need for preventive maintenance and automotive repair is on the increase. Cars are definitely lasting longer and consumers are keeping them far beyond the original warranty. In addition, cars are much more complicated and require more specialized services than in years past. The number of customers who can "do it yourself" is on the decrease.
How has your industry changed in the last 10 years? 20 years?
Preventive maintenance has become key to increasing the longevity of vehicles. Due to the difficulty of do it yourself auto repair, more customers are finding a need to have an established relationship with an automotive repair shop. In addition, there has been a need for automotive service repair shops to be able to handle bumper to bumper repair in essence doing away with shops that only cover specialized repair services. Our co-brand model was specifically created to address that need a one stop automotive repair shop able to handle the small repair to more complicated and specialized transmission repair.
What trends do you see in your industry over the next 5 years? Next 10 years?
Over the next 5 years, we see the average vehicle age increasing as well as miles driven increasing compared to the 2008 nationwide decrease. With vehicle age increases and the complex computer controls required to keep them running, we see an increase in those needing ongoing maintenance and repair services rather than trying to tackle the repairs themselves.
What is the biggest concern about your industry that a franchisee candidate should be aware of and investigate?
The biggest concern is the industry national bay shortage. Service Stations and Repair Centers operated more service bays than they did 4 years earlier, however due to the 35,000 bays removed from the dealerships; this has created the largest national bay shortage on record. From 2008 2010, dealers service bay share dropped to 26% while Repair Centers and Service Stations share increased to 74%. Although the market share has increased for Repair Centers and Service Stations, additional bays are needed as the average vehicle age increases.
Why do you think your company stands out in the industry?
Our co-brand model clearly explains to customers that we can handle any type of repair from basic preventive maintenance services to more complicated transmission repair. Cars are becoming more and more complicated and consumers are coming to rely on one auto repair shop to manage maintenance and repairs.
What makes your franchise/ business opportunity more attractive than your competitor's?
Both Mr. Transmission and Milex Complete Auto Care are time tested brands. They distinctly say what they do so there is no confusion with the consumer. With our co-brand model, the customer clearly knows they are getting the best of both areas in the repair segment. Others have simply added services to their existing brand. We took the approach of bringing the best of the two brands together in one model.
Describe the ideal candidate. Do you think your requirements are any different than your competitor's?
First and foremost automotive experience is not required. We find that many of our owners enjoy being around the automotive industry whether they are technicians or just car enthusiasts. And many see the benefit of being in a stable industry such as automotive repair. We also look for proven performers in other fields of business. Someone who has good people skills and management ability. Has strong sales ability, a good work ethic and is skilled at team building. Has integrity and ethics. Is an entrepreneur that can work within the framework of a system. And is a self-starter with initiative.
What's the strongest skill you require in a candidate?
The strongest skill would be a great work ethic with a sales and management background
Describe the working environment of your franchisees (indoors, home office, mobile, etc). Is your environment typical of other companies in your industry?
Franchisees typically manage the day to the day operation and marketing of the business from the center, however there may be instances where they need to step in and work with customers. An owner is acting more in a professional position and is does not typically involve themselves in the mechanical repairs of the car.
Why has you're your company been successful?
Our company continues to be successful based on long-standing principles of creating customer loyalty and satisfaction. It's something we strive for with our franchisees and customers.
What advice would you give someone interested in buying a franchise in your industry?
Do your homework! Investigate at least 3 different opportunities in your category and reach out to existing franchisees to get a real life perspective.
How much experience in this industry should a franchisee candidate have should they consider buying a franchise in your industry?
No automotive experience or background is necessary to be a successful franchisee in our system. A general business management background is recommended with experience in working with customers and managing people.