How did you get into the industry?
I had my first gas station at 20 years old. I‘ve started 22 automotive shops. I’ve been in the business for 47 years….a long time. Years ago I owned a few Meinekes. That’s what got me. I learned a lot. The best thing I ever did was go into franchising. I was an independent shop for years and I made a paycheck. Franchising taught me how to make money and now we show people how to make money.
What’s New in the Business or in the Franchise Model?
We’ve added tires and alignments in the franchise model. This is an optional add on to our brakes, oil changes and light mechanical.
I can get them open for less than $75K. Up and running and renovated for around $75K, so this is a lower cost model. You can build your own building and stretch this bigger. You can sell tires or not sell tires. You can do our basic model —Brakes and oil changes and light mechanical. It’s the individual and what they want as they build out the franchise.
Where do you See Opportunities or Challenges for the Franchise/Business Moving Forward?
The challenge is not having a challenge; you have to have a challenge in life. I saw an opportunity to grow Brakes for Less and built the Buford shop and now launched this franchise model because it does so well.
What is your Goal for the Business Moving Forward?
The goal is to make Brakes for Less the best it can be. We are concentrating on the South. Starting from Texas, Alabama,, Louisiana, South Carolina. I wanted to retire but it’s not in my blood. I built the Buford Building…I put together a good team with Eric and Joe who are young, driven and involved. We have a great team of people to move the business forward and you have to have a team you can trust.
Talk to us About Training and Support, How Do You Deliver?
We do training in Buford for 2 weeks and then we go to their store. We are there for one week and then there for once a month or when needed. We help with hiring and renovations…the whole 9 yards. Helping them get opened and hiring the right manager is key. Not everyone is cut out to be a front manager so we concentrate on getting the right team in place for our franchisees to be successful.
Your most difficult moment at the Franchise Business?
I learned that we need a franchisee who is in the shop everyday. I had one franchisee who was never there and their business failed. It wasn’t the model; it was that they were never there. We need people who will be present and be involved and that is how the business thrives.
How is your Franchise Model Structured?
A. Training and Support Model?
2 weeks at headquarters, 1 week at the franchise location. Ongoing support and visits as needed.
B. What is the Fee Structure?
Franchise Fee: $30,000
Royalty Fee: 6% of Gross Sales on Service
3% of Gross Sales on Product and Tire Sales
Estimated Minimal Initial Investment: $65,250 (includes franchise fee)
C. Territory Definition?
Around 20,000 people, but we will provide markets that have enough size, the right demographics and characteristics to not only start successful automotive franchises, but to scale and grow them as well.
What does Your Franchisee Do in the Business Every Day?
Well, it depends. I am after people that are in the business every day. I don’t want absentee owners. They are involved in the entire business management portion.
Who is the Ideal Franchise Candidate?
We are looking for people who are actively involved in their shop. This is not for people who want to buy this and never be in the shop.
Success Stories and Failures with Franchisees?
I have a franchisee who owns 5 stores. He started with one store and then he bought another and another and another… He has done extremely well. He is successful because he is there and his wife does all the books. He is in the office everyday. He has a great operations manager. We made sure he was successful. We are willing to do that with everyone.
The first franchise we sold is still in business in Louisiana. We opened up the new Buford store and then we added tires; the store has done so well. We did around $22K just last week and this is our first year. We’ve been in business 11 months in Buford and are on track for around $700K for the year. This is a tiny town with a population of 16,000 people. That is how well that location has performed!
For more information on the Brakes For Less Franchise system, visit the corporate site: https://brakesforless.net/franchise/