All posts by clicktecs

How to augment the services you offer by opening a franchise alongside your independent auto shop

Small business owners will try any number of marketing ideas to bring in more customers. But with many of these tactics, the increase in traffic to your business is temporary. For a permanent boost to your business’ customer base, make a fundamental change, like adding on new services. By partnering with Moran Family of Brands to expand your automotive shop’s services, you can permanently expand your offerings and bring in customers who might have never needed your shop before. Here’s why so many of our franchisees have found success through co-branding their independent auto repair shops.

More Services = More Customers
It’s simple math, but it’s so important for small business owners. To ensure your business’ growth, you must have a steady stream of new customers coming through your doors. Coupons and skilled marketing can accomplish this, but a more effective customer acquisition strategy is to make sure you can help any customer who comes with any need. When the people in your community know they can rely on your business for every automotive need, they’ll trust you more with one of their biggest investments. For example, if your independent shop currently specializes in engine repair, partnering with Moran Family of Brands to offer Mr. Transmission services or Milex Complete Auto Care can dramatically increase the range of issues your business is capable of handling.

Your Expertise Makes You a Resource
When your community knows your services address multiple automotive issues, this is a signal to them that they can count on your technicians to find the exact problem their car is experiencing. Cars are complex, and often customers find automotive trouble intimidating and confusing. Knowing that the technician they’re visiting is an expert in various automotive systems can put their minds at ease, which can mean the difference between the customer visiting your business and another shop. Make it so your community relies on you to answer their questions and solve their problems, and referral traffic will rise effortlessly.

Partnering Is Easy
Ask the dozens of franchisees who have partnered with Moran Family of Brands to add services to their businesses, and you’ll find one thing: Moran makes the process easy. With just your current expertise and a willingness to learn, you can build an additional revenue stream that can instantly change your business for the better. Between our franchisee mentorship program and our new education modules, you won’t ever have a question go unanswered. And if any aspect of the business confuses you at first, you’ll have help from the franchise support team and your fellow franchisees to help navigate you through the situation.
John and Jamie Blanton opened Barebones Auto and Diesel Repair in Denton, Texas in 2011. Last year they added Alta Mere Automotive Outfitters and SmartView Window Solutions to their business. The Blantons have been able to increase the number of services they can provide for their customers. Window tinting has been a natural fit for people in the area who are looking to reduce the heat exposure for their cars, offices or homes during summer months in Texas.
When you expand your services, you can easily welcome more customers, and you make your business a resource for more people in your community. If you already own an automotive shop, a slight expansion with Moran Family of Brands can be an easy way to open yourself up to even more business. Visit our franchise site today to find out why partnering with us is a great way to transform your business!

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Susan Trumble – Mr. Transmission Franchisee of the Year

Moran Family of Brands is excited to announce that Susan Trumble, owner of the Mr. Transmission/Milex store in Florence, KY is the winner of Mr. Transmission Franchisee of the Year. She has worked tirelessly to grow her store after she purchased it from her father, and she is proud to have earned this distinction from her peers. Her commitment to serving her customers and building a community within her co-branded Mr. Transmission and Milex store has brought her success and joy for many years. We found out her secrets to star-caliber performance, and we’re here to share them with you!
After graduating from high school, Susan became a flight attendant with U.S. Air. Her father had also been with U.S. Air as a pilot before becoming one of the first franchisees of Mr. Transmission. Susan began helping her father in 1992, in an arrangement that was meant to be temporary. However, she took to the business and the customer service like a duck to water and soon became a permanent fixture at the store. When her father wanted to take less of a hands-on role in the business, it made sense to allow Susan to buy the business from him.
When Susan took over the business from her father in April of 1993, people in the area began to doubt how long the business would last under her leadership. Their skepticism about her abilities only served to light a fire under her, and the business is still thriving almost two and a half decades later.
From the very beginning, Susan’s focus was on creating a place in her community that people could rely on. Mr. Transmission often sees customers when they’re feeling frustrated, helpless and confused, and the last thing they want to worry about is poor service or exploitative technicians. Susan learned quickly to strike a balance between compassion and honesty that consistently earns her rave reviews and business referrals. Susan loves the ability to be someone’s saving grace in the middle of an automotive crisis, especially for women who may enter an automotive shop feeling intimidated due to a lack of knowledge about cars.
Susan has far exceeded customer expectations to build a business that serves others in need of service to their cars. The people who visit her co-branded Mr. Transmission and Milex Complete Auto Care shop know they can count on getting the best from Susan and her staff. She recalls a time she drove overnight to pick up a customer whose car broke down and how thankful the woman was that she had someone on her side. This is the kind of above-and-beyond service that has shot her to the top this year.
“I think it is important to show people compassion in their time of need,” said Susan, who believes she learned that from her time as a flight attendant. “Nobody is prepared to spend hundreds of dollars on emergency car repairs. I just try to reassure them that this is just a vehicle, and I will help them get through this.”
Susan’s advice for franchisees and potential entrepreneurs alike is to invest in your community. This doesn’t just refer to your customers, but also to your employees. For example, two of her technicians have been with her business for over 20 years. This is a significant investment of time, and clearly, they’ve been happy enough to stay throughout the many changes in the industry during the past two decades. Susan has said they often spend evenings just talking in the shop after the day’s work has finished, which she knows is unique. She also recommends that business owners lose any fear, and reach out for help at every opportunity.
“Prospective franchisees should know there is a lot of support and assistance they can receive from the home office to help them run their business. People just need to know it is there and reach out for help if needed.”
No one can say Susan hasn’t worked hard to earn this accolade, so we want to extend some hearty congratulations her way! Join us in celebrating her win of Mr. Transmission Franchisee of the Year. If franchising with Moran Family of Brands sounds like a winning proposition to you, visit our franchise page and get in touch!

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Moran Franchisee of the Year – Alta Mere’s Randy Durham

Moran Family of Brands announced its annual Franchisees of the Year, an award voted on by fellow franchise owners throughout the system. These franchisees have set the bar high for their peers through their consistent effort and unyielding commitment to excellence. So, what’s their secret? We caught up with Alta Mere Franchisee of the Year Randy Durham of Plano, TX to find out what sets his business apart.
Randy was an engineer in his prior career, and he always enjoyed working on cars. His desire to own a business is what spurred him to look at franchising to begin with, and when he was introduced to Alta Mere, he found a business that fit both his preferences and his community’s needs. Randy was impressed by the model of a store that sold automotive accessories that could outfit a car from top to tires, and he was impressed by the product offerings. He felt it was a great business opportunity, and Randy never looked back.
Randy thinks what differentiates his shop from others in the industry is his approach to running the business. According to Randy, his business kicked into overdrive when he took a much more active role in the daily operations. He’s in his store every day of the week, and his additional hours spent have allowed his business to grow. He’s a leader in the Alta Mere system in sales of everything from window tinting to 12-volt items.
Randy’s store was also helped by the Alta Mere rebranding that took place in his store in the spring of 2015. He said this step was key in helping customers see displays and easily find what they were looking for, leading to higher sales in 2016. This trend continued into 2017, and shows no sign of stopping.
“We offer great service, and that earns us consistent positive reviews,” said Randy. “We treat the customer how we would want to be treated, because it’s the right way to do things, and it just so happens that this policy brings back customers.”
Randy has taken his success and turned it into something that benefits others in his franchise system. He serves as a mentor to other Alta Mere owners, helping new franchisees with their initial store setup and openings. He feels that as a successful, longtime franchisee, he has a responsibility to others in his system to help them when they need it.
Randy feels proud of the business he’s built and how he gives back to the franchise system.
“The feeling of accomplishment is probably my favorite part of franchising with Moran Family of Brands,” said Randy. “Knowing that I built this Alta Mere store and played a role in determining its success gives me a great feeling of pride in what I have accomplished.”
Randy has benefited from the advice of his fellow franchisees, and he’s proud to be able to pass along what he’s been given. Alta Mere gave Randy an opportunity to shine as a new business owner in 2003, and after more than a decade of successful business, Randy has earned the title “Franchisee of the Year” twice in the last four years.
Congratulations to Randy and the other winners of this annual recognition. They will travel to Washington, D.C. to receive their awards at the International Franchise Association dinner on September 12.
If Moran Family of Brands sounds like the franchise of your dreams, get in touch on our franchise page.

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Milex Franchisees of the Year – Albert and Serina Daniel

How do you know when you have a winning formula? Maybe winning the Milex Franchisee of the Year award three separate times could be a hint! Albert and Serina Daniel, owners and operators of two Milex franchise locations — Frederick and Boonsboro, MD — know the secret to good business, and they have built up their Milex Complete Auto Care locations to a level of quality that stands out among franchises throughout the nation. We caught up with the two powerhouse franchisees to see what the secret was, and how other Milex franchisees could replicate their success.
Albert grew up around the automotive industry, which awakened an early passion for vehicle repair. He learned the basics from his father, and his skills only improved when he entered the US Navy. Once he figured out the basics, it was easy for him to transfer his skills, and he spent the rest of his civilian career in the automotive repair business.
After an injury at work at a previous job, his wife Serina, gave him a homework assignment to help advance their careers. She asked him to look for franchise businesses that might be good for the two of them to invest in. This is how they found Moran Family of Brands, and were introduced to Milex Complete Auto Care.
Once they decided to look into Moran, the rest happened quickly. The couple opened their first location in 2007, just as the economy was beginning its historic downturn and the government was starting the Car Allowance Rebate System, otherwise known as the “Cash for Clunkers” campaign. The first few months were tough, as with any fledgling business, and these additional challenges didn’t make the situation any easier. But when they started to break even six months later, they knew they had done the right thing.
“Those first few months were definitely stressful,” said Serina. “There were times in the beginning where he [Albert] was working until midnight and we only had one other mechanic on-hand. We had to learn to start spreading out scheduling and manage incoming tasks so he wouldn’t spend his whole life in the shop.”
Serina and Albert have built a reputation in their area that sustains their business success. In fact, their community service ethos includes one ironclad principle: always be able to solve a customer’s car troubles. This has led Albert to make himself and his staff experts in repairing cars of all makes and models. It means no customer is turned away, which lets people know they can count on their local Milex for their car repair and maintenance needs. It’s that trust that has grown their customer base, through repeat business and referrals, leading to the couple’s third win during their short time in business.
Albert and Serina have two big pieces of advice for business owners who want to gain a reputation for excellence. The first is to keep up with the rapidly-changing technology in your industry. “Cars are changing every day, in terms of the technology they contain,” said Albert. “The best thing you can do to keep from turning away a customer is stay on top of technology.”
Serina advises, “Social media can be fantastic, but business owners must keep a balance between communication channels for customers. Many people still prefer a phone call or email to a Facebook post.”
Albert Daniel sets an example for the franchisees the Moran system, and looks to share his advice and support others. He serves on the Franchise Advisory Alliance and has long been a trainer and mentor to other Milex owners. The secret ingredient that sets the Daniel’s franchises apart isn’t tough to find — consistent, hard work and a belief that every business decision should be made with the customer’s needs in mind. So, join us in congratulating Albert and Serina for a job well done, for the third time since 2007!

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Using Alta Mere to Summer-Proof Your Car

August is known for being the hottest month of the year. They’re not called the “dog days” of summer for nothing! But surviving the rest of the summer can be easy if you’re equipped with the right automotive accessories to help you out. You won’t want to be caught without these accessories from your local Alta Mere Automotive Outfitters as we finish out the season!

Remote Starter
When you’re getting ready to leave the comfort of the air-conditioned indoors, it can be a dreadful thought to consider the heat and humidity awaiting you in your vehicle. Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside your car can rise by more than 150° in very little time. By using a remote starter, you can avoid much of the unpleasantness of entering a hot car by allowing the air conditioner time to cool your car’s interior.

Window Tinting
To keep your car at a manageable temperature and protect your vehicle’s upholstery from the sun, nothing beats window film. It’s more permanent and vastly more effective than using reflective windshield screens or window mesh, and it can protect your car’s insides from all angles. Window tinting can also keep you and your passengers from getting sunburned by blocking much of the UV rays that would otherwise enter through the windows and damage your skin.

Portable Jump Starter
Getting stuck with a dead battery is awful enough, but in extreme weather, it can be a disaster. Extreme heat or cold can quickly lead to injuries, and it can take a while for people to help you out. To make sure you don’t get stuck in a situation like this, bring along a portable jump starter. The heat can do a number on your battery, so it’s important to be prepared!

Paint Protection
Paint protection and car bras can be life-savers for your car’s exterior. The summer heat and direct sunlight can weaken your paint temporarily, making it much easier to scratch or damage. This is why experts will always tell you not to wash your car under direct sunlight. Dust and debris, like pollen or grass clippings, can also gradually wear away at your vehicle’s paint job. Paint protection and protective accessories can mean the difference between getting that first scratch and preserving your car’s beautiful paint job.

Depending on your location, the hot weather may extend several more months into the fall. We have almost made it to the end of the “dog days,” but for many, cooler temperatures may still be months away. Pick up a couple of these accessories at your local Alta Mere to make the heat a bit more bearable!

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Summer Vacation Trip Hazards

Summer Vacation Trip Hazards

Sunshine, warm weather and easy driving mean summertime is the perfect opportunity to take a road trip with friends and family.  Unfortunately, those long car trips can come with some hazards, including rough roads, car trouble and sun damage. Luckily, there are steps you can take to dodge those road blocks and keep your vacation running smoothly.

Brace Yourself for Wear and Tear

Before you embark on your epic vacation, it’s important to make sure your car is in top form. The road can really wear down your car over time, so it’s best to be prepared. Regular oil changes, preventative maintenance and proper brake care will help stay you off the side of the road, and keep you cruising toward your destination. A broken-down vehicle is a sure-fire way to ruin a vacation in a heartbeat. Make sure to schedule a pre-trip maintenance appointment at your local Milex Complete Auto Care store to help you avoid the hassle of needing a tow truck later down the road.

Be Ready for Rough Roads Ahead

The more you drive, the more likely you are to come across construction, uneven roadways and even a pothole or two. While the occasional small bump in the road may not affect your car overly much, repeated exposure can lead to serious problems, particularly in terms of steering, suspension and alignment. It’s important to properly maintain your vehicle so you can enjoy a smooth, safe ride to paradise.

Protect Against Sun Damage

Finally, a vacation hazard that is often overlooked is damage from the sun. What many motorists fail to realize is you are actually at risk for sunburn and sun damage while in your vehicle. In fact, leathery, wrinkled skin along the left forearm is a common ailment amongst long-haul truckers – the result of years of sun damage built up from long days spent with an arm along the window.  Keep yourself safe and take preventative measures. Professionals with Alta Mere The Automotive Outfitters can install window tint to block more than 99 percent of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. It also reduces the heat inside the car, making for a more comfortable ride. Window film can protect your interior from fading and cracking. With the help of an automotive window tint, you can spend your summer enjoying the sun, not suffering from it.

Road trips are a wonderful tradition. Load up the family, hit the road and make those memories – just make sure your car is up for the challenge.

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Recalculating

Moran Family of Brands President & CEO Barb Moran-Goodrich recently appeared on an episode of the “Recalculating” podcast, which focuses on small business and entrepreneurship. Moran-Goodrich spoke with program hosts Dan Perkins and Don Mazzella on a wide range of topics such as about the history of the company, the auto repair field and the future outlook of the industry.

Here are some of the topics discussed in the interview:

  • Company overview and history
  • Her professional background and time with Moran Family of Brands
  • The state of the auto repair industry and employment opportunities in the future
  • Franchise ownership opportunities in the auto repair field
  • The newly created Moran Future Auto Tech Internship Program.

 

Listen to Moran-Goodrich’s full interview in the of “Recalculating” podcast below:

 

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Career Opportunities in the Automotive Repair

Recently, much of the dialogue in the media surrounding employment has centered on opportunities for those with the desire and ability to attend college. However, there are many career opportunities that don’t require a college degree and can be just as lucrative, if not more so, than many careers that need a degree. The automotive repair is one such industry, and it’s growing at an exponential rate. So, if you’re hoping for a fulfilling and successful career without a college education, here are some reasons why the auto repair industry might be the right place for you.

It’s growing – fast

The automotive service industry is growing, for several reasons. The first is that more cars are being sold. As the population grows, more people end up needing vehicles to travel and go about their daily lives. With more people using their vehicles, and in many cases, keeping their vehicles for longer, more people end up visiting businesses like auto repair shops more often. This leads to growing opportunities for people with the skills to repair vehicles and keep them on the road for longer. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the automotive repair industry will grow at a rate of at least 9 percent in the coming years. This translates to massive growth, and plenty of opportunity for career success.

You’ll always have a job

With its report on the automotive repair market growth, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the gap between the number of open jobs and the number of people qualified to fill them will be huge. With technicians retiring and the industry growing, as many as 237,000 jobs in the industry could open up. Over half the automotive repair technicians in the U.S. are on track to retire within the next 7-10 years, and current data show that stores are struggling to find younger people to employ. This is a massive space, where you could fit. With this many open opportunities, it can be much easier to find a job, because it becomes an employees’ market.

You can earn as much as those with bachelor’s degree

The same source estimates that the median salary of an automotive repair technician is around $38,470 a year. This is a similar wage to people who graduate with a bachelor’s degree in interior design, credit counseling or social work. The training required is typically only two years at a community college or technical school. In addition, the skills you gain starting out in an automotive repair shop can be a stepping stone to something bigger.  People who begin their career as a repair technician can gain the skills and experience that are needed to eventually open their own business. Indeed, this is the route many Moran Family of Brands franchisees have taken, with overwhelming success!

If you’re looking for a career change, or searching for post-high school options that don’t include college, automotive repair is a great choice!  Moran Family of Brands is hoping to introduce more young people to the auto repair business through the debut of its Future Auto Tech internship programs. Moran franchises will be hosting localized advanced learning and experience programs to help students who are hoping to enter the auto repair business. These programs will be open to high school students, as well as students currently in or graduating from vocational schools. Keep an eye out on the Moran Family of Brands site to watch for this program, and see if it comes to a location near you!

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A Conversation with Jay Pond

A Mr. Transmission Franchisee Reveals How He Achieved His Success

 How long have you worked with Mr. Transmission?

 33 years. I started working there in May 1984.

What did you do before coming to Mr. Transmission?

I graduated Mississippi College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Marketing. I then spent my first two years out of college working at a Sherwin Williams store, before being offered a manager position with Mr. Transmission in Jackson in May of 1984. After spending 10 years as Center Manager, I bought the Mr. Transmission store when the previous owner retired. I’ll never forget that moment. It was what I had been working toward for years, and I’ve never looked back.

Why did you decide to work at Mr. Transmission and then purchase the business?

I thought when I joined Mr. Transmission that there could be an opportunity for me to eventually own the shop. At the time, I felt that some of the technical skills and personal traits I possessed were a good fit for the industry, so I wanted to break into the industry and get some experience. I’m very people-oriented, which is important in interaction with customers, other franchisees and the franchisor. I also cared deeply about achieving a high level of customer satisfaction.

What are some of the reasons you have been able to sustain a successful business for such a long period of time?

One of the biggest factors in my business’ success has been that I’ve offered consistent, dependable service over many years. My customers know what to expect from my location. One of the keys to achieving this is to surround yourself with good employees. Your business is only as good as the people who work for you. I want to keep people happy and motivated, and that has a direct impact on customer satisfaction. I have several employees that have worked for me for many years. One of my employees is a rebuilder who has worked at my Mr. Transmission in Jackson for 25 years.

What has been the biggest change in working with Mr. Transmission for more than 30 years?

 Technology is what has changed the most during my time in the business. It’s important to learn and adapt to these changes, or you’ll get left behind quickly. Technology can add a fun aspect to business that wasn’t there when I opened, so I try not to feel intimidated when it seems like things are changing really dramatically. By keeping up with the latest diagnostic and repair updates, my staff and I can offer the best service to customers in my area. I’m proud that my Mr. Transmission is one of the few transmission centers in Mississippi to offer computer reprogramming/reflashing services. I think it’s a really great way to serve customers and deliver repairs that make an immediate and long-lasting difference in their vehicles’ performance.

What has been the best part about being a Moran franchisee?

Being a family-owned franchise, there is a strong comradery and sense of togetherness among all of us in the system. We are all fighting the same battles, so we are able to share advice and suggestions of ways to be successful.

What do you enjoy the most about owning a Mr. Transmission?

Over the years, my Mr. Transmission business has grown to provide service to people in a 50-mile radius around Jackson. I like being able to offer my hometown customers quality, reliable service they can count on. I often gauge this success through return customers or referrals, which I have quite a lot of. I also appreciate the positive work environment I’ve built, and I love that I have the opportunity help my employees support their families.

What would you tell prospective franchisees interested in owning their own business?

I would say you have to be 100 percent committed to the business. This is not the type of business in which you can show up one day each week and expect to be successful. You need to be willing to work and learn everything you can. As an example, many years ago I would monitor a Mr. Transmission store in Mobile, AL, which was one of the top-performing stores in the system. There were times in which I would make the four-hour drive to Mobile and spend the day there to learn about what made them so successful. You can succeed, but you must put in the work.

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Little-Known Benefits of the Franchise Approach

When you buy into a franchise, the biggest draw is that, for customers, a recognizable name gives a sense of quality and familiarity that smaller operations don’t offer. Since the beginning of franchising, that has been the biggest reason to enter a franchise partnership. The name, and the reputation people associate with it, can do more for your marketing than any special advertisement could. But the power of joining a franchise goes much further than that. Here are five of the least-known advantages to a franchise relationship with a company like Moran Family of Brands.

Benefit 1: Management Systems
When you join a franchise, part of the agreement is that your franchise will provide you with a system for running the business, and they will help you get your business started. This gives you a huge advantage over other entrepreneurs who are starting out. Many small business owners who end up going out of business report having trouble with building a balanced system for their business. These struggles ended up impacting things like their cash flow, which inhibited business growth and handicapped operations from the very beginning.

Benefit 2: You Could End Up Needing Less Capital
This benefit is one you might not see at first blush, but if you follow the logic of franchising, you can see how it would materialize. A franchise has a lot of buying power behind it, and with that buying power comes the ability to make supply deals that smaller businesses cannot make. This volume of items purchased can vastly reduce the price, leading to discounts that are reserved for franchisees of these massive businesses. Because stock items can be purchased for much less than an independent store must pay, the start-up costs can be dramatically reduced.

Benefit 3: Peer Mentorship
When you join a franchise like Moran Family of Brands, you join a family. And this is a family that takes care of its members. Older franchisees are happy to act as “siblings” and help mentor the newest members, which can be incredibly helpful when you come across business situations that confuse or confound you. Sometimes independent small business owners can be fortunate enough to find a mentor to help them in their first years, but relatively few end up finding a mentor who is not only in their industry, but also knows their unique business challenges and management systems.

Benefit 4: Co-Branding Opportunities
Many argue that investing in a franchise limits your options as a business owner. With Moran Family of Brands, nothing could be further from the truth. With Moran, you have the option to build the automotive care business of your dreams through co-branding. Co-branding allows you to open the kind of store that can serve all the needs of your area’s customers, whether they be transmission service, automotive accessories, window film or holistic automotive repair and maintenance. Moran Family of Brands encompasses Alta Mere for automotive accessories, Mr. Transmission, Milex Complete Auto Care and SmartView Window Solutions. The more of these you add to your menu, the more you can earn as a franchisee.
Franchising with Moran Family of Brands can set you apart from the pack in how it sets you up for growth. So, are you ready to jumpstart your entrepreneurship journey with a premier auto care brand? If so, contact us on our franchise site to talk with someone and get your unique Moran profile!

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