If you are chomping at the bit to become your own boss by investing in an automotive franchise, now is certainly a good time to do so. The Autocare Association placed the U.S. automotive aftermarket at $273.4 billion in 2017 and we all know our current economy is stronger. Before you spend a significant amount of time researching which automotive franchise could fulfill your expectations, however, it’s a good idea to take the time to ensure you have what it takes to be a successful franchisee. The following are six traits many successful automotive franchisees share.
Willing to Deal With All Aspects of the Franchise: If you think you’ll be sitting back in a leather chair directing others from the comfort of your office, think again. That could eventually happen once you are profitable enough to hire staff to fill roles you find unappealing or that are not the best use of your time. However, until you are, you’ll have to fulfill many if not all the roles running your franchise entails.
Not Afraid of Hard Work: Having your own business, whether a franchise or one you started from scratch, is a lot of work. You truly get out of it what you put into it. Just remember, it’s not how many hours you work that will have a positive impact on your success, it’s how wisely and effectively you use them that will.
“A franchise system isn’t a magic wand! You need to build your business,” says Wesley Wenger, who owns a Novus Glass franchise, which provides automotive, commercial, and residential glass repair and replacement services, in Atmore, Alabama.
Able to Follow Established Procedures: Although most people understand that one of the most valuable aspects of investing in a franchise is that they receive a proven successful business model, some still think they know best and deviate from the model. This often results in their timeline to profitability taking longer than it should have. If following direction from someone else doesn’t sit well with you, then franchising probably won’t be a good fit for you.
“There have been many programs my franchisor has implemented that have helped me and the brand succeed,” says Allan Engelmeyer, who owns and operates 16 Jiffy Lube locations in the Portland, Oregon metro area. Jiffy Lube provides automotive preventive maintenance and light duty repair services.
Capable of Sharing Responsibility: Many entrepreneurs have a tendency to believe they should do everything themselves. Do you think this way? If yes, it will hurt your success as an automotive franchisee because when you try and do everything, it hinders your ability to focus on what is most important in order to grow your business. It’s a good idea to outsource roles that are not the most efficient use of your time.
“Surround yourself with good people who are smarter than you. Then expect them to prove they are smarter than you each day,” says Engelmeyer.
Patient: In the face of difficult clients will you be able to maintain a professional demeanor? As an automotive franchise owner, you’ll have to deal with customers, hopefully a lot of them, as your business grows. You’ll have to communicate well and not react negatively to criticism. Interacting with people positively will help build a positive reputation for your business.
Good at Networking: Although your franchisor will help you attract new business via marketing and possibly sales support, you’ll ultimately be responsible for sales until you are able to outsource the role if you so choose. Networking in your community is one of the best ways to drum up business.
“Take the national brand you’re working with and make it local,” says Wenger. “Be involved with the community.”
If after reading the above, you feel that you’d be a great automotive franchise owner, then an exciting time awaits you. Keep in mind, that just like with any business, you’ll put a lot of time into growing your business. The advantage of owning an automotive franchise, however, is that you will have a proven business model to follow as well as the support of your franchisor and fellow franchisees while simultaneously working for yourself, having a somewhat flexible schedule, and directly profiting from your hard work.