All posts by Moran Family of Brands

Why Now Is a Great Time to Franchise with Moran

There may come a time in your career when you begin to evaluate whether you want to continue working for others, or whether you’d like to control your own professional destiny. If entrepreneurship is in your blood, answer the call with a business in a strong industry and a proven track record of success. There are thousands of franchises to choose from, so the decision might seem difficult at first. But we’ve got some good reasonswhy Moran Family of Brands should be top of your list.

The Industry Is Growing

There are more cars on the road than ever before, and every one of them is going to need continued maintenance in the course of its life. The Department of Transportation estimates that there are 272 million cars on United States roadways, and each is driven an average of 11,048 miles per year. In addition, these cars are aging with the average lifespan of a vehicle being 11.6 years. Cars need regular maintenance to run smoothly, and they need to visit the automotive shop more often as they get older. This means that your potential customers are around you every day, and they will all need someone to help them care and maintain their vehicles.  Why can’t that person be you?

The Economy Is Recovering

The recent recession was frightening for business owners, and many small businesses struggled at the end of the last decade. But now, with the economy on the way up, growth is the name of the game.The Department of Labor has found that available jobs in the U.S. have increased nearly every month for two years straight. Recently, the job growth has begun to level off, signaling that the economy is returning to normal. The Federal Reserve has held interest rates at a low level for a while to stimulate economic growth, so business loans are cheap. This is an excellent time to start a business, and Moran can be there to help you get through all of the hoops. While it may be risky to label any industry as “recession-proof”, for the reasons listed above, there will always be a market of people in need of having their cars serviced on a regular basis.

Moran Will Be There Every Step of the Way

Moran Family of Brands offers franchisee support that is unmatched. We have boots on the ground to help our franchisees from day one. From assistance in choosing and laying out a location to help learning how to hire and lead a team of excellent automotive service workers, we have the expertise and the willingness to help. That means you’ll never have to go with your questions unanswered. We’re here to ensure you succeed, even if that means getting our hands a little dirty. Many of our franchisees come from backgrounds outside of the automotive industry, so we understand and are prepared for any questions and knowledge gaps you might have. You can rest assured that with Moran, your success comes first.

Franchising is not for the faint of heart, as it comes with all of the challenges of owning your own business, plus a few new ones. But if the passion and the business acumen are there, there’s nothing that can stop you from achieving your dreams. Contact ustoday to see if franchising with Moran Family of Brands is the right choice for you!


Alta Mere Offers Great Holiday Gift Ideas

This time of year we are all looking for great gift ideas for friends and loved ones.  It can be quite a challenge, from finding something new and creative to getting a present for the person who has everything.  Alta Mere, The Automotive Outfitters, may have the perfect solution.

Alta Mere’s extensive selection of high tech accessories and driver safety products are fun and practical gift ideas for any car owner.  They include premium automotive features such as security and radar detection systems, remote starters and keyless entry, hands-free blue tooth phone systems as well as exterior services such as custom window tinting and paint protection applications.

Anyone looking to upgrade their driving experience and become safer on the roads would be wise to consider Alta Mere products this holiday season.  Customers must feel the same way, as these products have been popular items at the start of the holiday shopping season.

Longtime Oklahoma City Alta Mere franchise owner Greg Goodman began his Black Friday sale the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and ran it through the Saturday after the holiday.  He experienced an all-time record for Black Friday week sales, and an increase of 35 percent over the same period in 2015.

Why has Goodman experienced such record-breaking sales this year?  While part of it is having great products to sell, he also implemented an aggressive new strategy to find the right customers and the best time.

When Goodman attended the Moran Family of Brands convention in October, he met a representative with Mudlick Mail, a direct mailing company.  Mudlick assisted him in the timing of the mailers and geo-targeted areas in and around Oklahoma City which has the highest amounts of his customers.  Goodman committed his largest advertising budget to the direct mail campaign with 18,000 pieces, and saw immediate results.  Moran Family of Brand’s marketing department also generated Black Friday sale images and graphics on the Alta Mere website and social media pages as well as e-mail campaigns and in-store signage.

“I was extremely pleased with our sales from the Black Friday specials to kick off the holiday season,” said Goodman.  “This year we were able to showcase Alta Mere’s outstanding products and services to customers in our area and provide a great incentive to get them as presents for the holidays.  Based on the initial interest we have received, we expect a great month ahead.”

Customers can purchase gift certificates or make payments ahead of time and then schedule installation at a more convenient time after the holidays.  Remote starters are the most popular holiday gift due to the cold weather in many parts of the country.  Goodman estimates 60 percent of his remote starter sales come in December.  Some of Alta Mere’s safety products also make great gifts for parents wanting to keep their young drivers safe on the road.

“Alta Mere offers many products that really make great gifts for the holidays,” said Peter Baldine, President of Moran Family of Brands.  “They appeal to a wide audience – anyone who owns a car – and are useful over the entire lifetime of the vehicle.  The holidays are an ideal time to give others products that will enhance their driving experience and protect them behind the wheel.”


Greg Goodman, Alta Mere: “Just Do It”

A special podcast interview with Greg Goodman, Alta Mere Franchise Owner in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Greg is a top-producing franchise owner from the Moran Family of Brands system and he shares his insight into the franchising world.

Discussion areas includes:

  • Benefits of having a franchise business.
  • Doubts of starting a business
  • Helpful tips for the “entrepreneurial way” – “Just do it” mentality
  • Entrepreneurial journey – importance of culture
  • Learning curves: how to manage money
  • Influence of gut-feelings vs. business decisions
  • Secrets to success
  • Non-franchise vs. franchise – Greg’s personal 30+ years’ experience
  • Personal development, leadership, motivation
  • What would you do with your business if you knew you wouldn’t fail? – Marketing, advertising, expansion, but still playing it safe
  • Skills to double business/customers
  • “Three Golden Nuggets”


Recap of the 2016 Convention

For Moran Family of Brands, our convention is how we keep in touch, share what we’ve learned and celebrate system success.  The 2016 Convention was no different. This has been a record-setting year, and we’re glad we had the opportunity to celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of our franchisees. Here is a recap of the 2016 Convention, our first since 2007!

The convention took place at the Marriot Riverwalk Hotel in San Antonio, Texas, from September 29 to October 1. Our executive team and franchisees from around the world gathered together for educational workshops and networking sessions, which featured distinguished speakers and Moran system leaders. Day one was an opportunity for people to get registered and begin milling about, meeting fellow Moran franchisees and executives in a casual, laidback setting before events really got rolling. A reception was held at the River Terrace and Patio to officially welcome all attendees.

Friday morning, the convention events began in earnest. Our keynote speaker was Nancy Friedman, who is also known as the Telephone Doctor due to her role in growing her business, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training in St. Louis, Missouri. Nancy is an expert in using stellar customer service to grow your business and build your reputation, and she shared what it takes to be the very best in customer satisfaction.

Each day, after the general addresses and awards ceremonies, there were educational sessions for attendees to choose from. These included panels on customer satisfaction and lead-building, the future of the repair industry and marketing to millennials. Panelists were high-performing franchisees, Moran Family of Brands executives and other automotive industry experts. These panels were followed by continued awards and some free time to explore the lovely San Antonio surroundings.

The final day held the Awards of Excellence ceremony, the Franchisee of the Year ceremony and the Awards Gala. These were spread throughout the day, in between a general session on how to acquire and retain customers, more education sessions and roundtable discussions. There was also some time for an exhibition show, which showcased the latest products and resources for franchisees to use in their stores or add to their inventories.

The Franchisees of the Year received their awards at the very end of the last night. Lowell and Cindy Hester (Mr. Transmission), Al Martin (Milex/Multistate) and Greg and Patti Goodman (Alta Mere) were presented with their awards at the gala that Saturday evening. The Franchisee of the Year Awards went to franchisees who not only embodied the ideals of D.R.I.V.E. — Dedication, Respect, Integrity, Vision and Enthusiasm – but also builtup their fellow franchisees through mentorship, offering additional training and being available to help new franchisees build their businesses.

The 2016 Convention was an excellent opportunity for franchisees and executives of the Moran Family of Brands to come together, sharing the wisdom and successes earned over years of hard work developing the Moran franchise system into the industry leader it is today. To see pictures from the event and learn more about Moran Family of Brands, visit ourwebsite orFacebook page!


Veteran’s Day

Veterans’ Day is a day to give thanks and acknowledgement for the sacrifices our armed forces make to keep us safe and secure. By giving up the things we take for granted, like time with their families, their safety and sometimes, their lives, members of the armed forces ensure that Americans don’t have to worry about attacks on our liberty or way of life. There’s nothing we can do to fully repay this debt, but holidays like Veterans Day allow us to reflect and show our appreciation. We at Moran Family of Brands use this opportunity every year to celebrate the veterans within our system, because the choice they made to join us after a career of service to our country means a lot to us.

Moran Family of Brands is proud to have 16 franchisees who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. These veterans represent each branch of the armed forces, and between them, they have served throughout the past seven decades. Our veterans add value to the Moran system by bringing their expertise, discipline and knowledge in confronting daily challenges. Our veterans represent the key ideals we wish to model throughout our franchise: Dedication, Respect, Integrity, Vision and Enthusiasm, or DRIVE. By being some of the top-performing and cooperative franchisees in the system, our veterans do more than just contribute to our bottom line – they make our business stronger one action at a time.

We at Moran Family of Brands recognize the importance of rewarding military service, so we offer several benefits to veterans joining our family. We are VetFran members, which means we offer a $5,000 discount to any honorably discharged veteran who qualifies to join our system. We also offer unmatched mentorship and support for those who make the choice to franchise with us as their second career after the military. We’ve found this is a huge benefit for those working to transition to civilian life.

Lowell Hester Owner & VeteranVeterans like father-son pair Lowell and Scott Hester have found out first-hand the success that’s possible through our franchise. Lowell served in the Air Force for three years and was deployed in Vietnam, and he has been a top-performing franchisee since 1998. His son Scott started in the business after eight years of service in the Navy, operating his father’s store. Scott then went on to purchase his own Mr. Transmission in 2000. Both have been recognized with the Award of Excellence each year they’ve been franchisees, and Lowell just earned the Franchisee of the Year Award for the Mr. Transmission brand.

Nothing can repay the bravery, sacrifice and strength of our nation’s veterans, but this holiday is a great time for us to recognize the accomplishments of so many in our system who have served our country. For every honorably discharged veteran, we encourage you to evaluate whether the Moran opportunity is the right one to follow your military service. For more information, visit our website.


Q&A with John and Jaime Blanton, Alta Mere of Denton, TX

What were you doing professionally before you became a Moran franchisee?

John has been a master and L-1 technician for 30 years. In 2012 the couple opened Barebones Auto and Diesel Repair, which has become the fasting growing independent shop in their area. Jaime spent nearly two decades in PR and nonprofit fundraising.

How has that experience helped you now that you own an Alta Mere/SmartView store?

Successful businesses thrive when customer service is at the forefront and your employee team shares your vision and values. We’ve spent our careers learning how to manage both aspects of our business. We have found that many of our customers so far have come from our Barebones business, and we believe that is a result of the familiarity and trust we have built up with them.  That gives us a certain level of credibility for the products we sell and we like to promote ourselves as a one-stop shop to meet all of their vehicle needs.

How has the first month gone and what has been the reaction of customers in the community?

Our first month was full of unexpected challenges with permitting, signage and even unseasonable weather, but we also experienced remarkable sales. We are fortunate to have a strong base of loyal and supportive customers who have shared our enthusiasm.

What made you decide to open up a franchise with Moran Family of Brands?

When conducting research on various franchising options, we saw that Alta Mere is a trusted brand with proven results.  Many of the other Alta Mere franchisees we spoke to were long-tenured and successful owners who were very enthusiastic about the future of their business.  Alta Mere is always looking for new and innovative products to offer their customers, which we believe is an exciting aspect to owning the business.

What is your favorite product(s) offered by Alta Mere/SmartView and why?

We love the Alta Block film, which can be used to safely and legally tint any vehicle windshield. We see this product as perfect for Texans looking to reduce heat, glare and UV rays through the car’s largest piece of glass.

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

We love that there is a proven business model for success.  If you follow the plan they have in place and trust the system, you are going to be successful.  We also love the support with vendors and marketing that comes with a franchise experience.

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

As both independent business owners and franchisees we’ve learned that nothing is gained without the willingness to take a risk. If you’re willing, patient, have a good sense of humor and are financially prepared then GO FOR IT.


Meet the 2016 Mr. Transmission Franchisees of the Year, Lowell and Cindy Hester

When someone makes a difference in your life, they should be rewarded. The positive impact you have on others deserves to be recognized. That is the purpose of the Franchisee of the Year Awards, and Moran Family of Brands takes these honors seriously. This year, the winners under the Mr. Transmission brand were no strangers to excellent service. So congratulations once again to Lowell and Cindy Hester, the Franchisees of the Year under the Mr. Transmission brand!

Lowell and Cindy Hester are the owners of Mr. Transmission in Sandy Springs, GA. They have been in the system for 18 years, and in that time, Lowell moved from being a center manager to purchasing his own location. Cindy started working at the store in 2008 and serves as President of Marketing and Administrative Operations. This isn’t the first time the Hesters have been recognized for their incredible customer service – the couple has won the Franchisee of the Year Award once before, in 2011. Clearly, the two have figured out the formula to earn their location the top spot. Their involvement with Moran extends to other family, as Lowell’s son, Scott, owns a Mr. Transmission store in Decatur.

“It is a tremendous honor to be named as Franchisee of the Year, and we are humbled that our peers voted us for this award,” said Cindy Hester.  “We always strive to treat others who come to us how we would like to be treated as customers.  From the time a customer walks through our door, we want to treat them as the most important person in the world.

“Lowell has a saying that ‘you can never go wrong by doing the right thing’, and that is the general philosophy our entire store operates each day.”

The Franchisee of the Year Award is not based on sales volume or other objective measures. Instead, it takes the votes of fellow franchisees, who decide who has most embodied the core values of DRIVE: Dedication, Respect, Integrity, Vision and Enthusiasm. The Franchisee of the Year is someone who has supported their fellow franchisees and the Moran system by being a Franchise Advisory Alliance member, contributing to the Moran mentorship program or offering in-store or centerfield training. The Franchisee of the Year also consistently provides excellent customer service, going beyond the everyday to make every visit to their store an incredible experience.

Here are some of the other Franchisee of the Year Award nominees for Mr. Transmission/Multistate Transmission/Dr. Nick’s Transmission:

  • Tom Layman
  • John Olson
  • Al Martin
  • Jay Pond
  • Jimmy Mitchell
  • Frank & Linda Norton
  • Dean Bingham
  • Lowell & Cindy Hester
  • Tim & Laura Rodifer
  • Tom Costello
  • Nick Bragano
  • Danny O’Rouke

The Hesters will formally receive their Franchisee of the Year Awardat the Moran Family of Brands Convention on October 1 at the San Antonio Marriot Riverwalk Hotel.


Alta Mere Franchisee of the Year – Greg Goodman

When a colleague does something beyond what their job entails to help you, they should be rewarded; that is the guiding principle behind the Moran Family of Brands Franchisee of the Year Award. This year, Alta Mere franchisees voted on the Franchisee of the Year in their system, and they selected Greg Goodman to receive the award.

Greg Goodman has owned his store in Oklahoma City for 22 years. He was Moran’s first ever Franchisee of the Year in 2005, and he has won the award three additional times – in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Goodman’s location served the model store during Alta Mere’s recent rebranding efforts, featuring an updated showroom, digital menu boards with video demonstrations and updatedprice guides, along with refreshed websites.  He takes pride in setting an example for other franchisees in the system.

“I greatly appreciate all of the franchisees in the system who voted us for this award,” said Greg Goodman. “We have been able to keep the business fresh through Alta Mere’s rebranding and store remodeling, along with new and innovative products to offer our customers. It’s always fun being able to offer people in our area the latest driver safety and auto accessory products.”

The Franchisee of the Year Award was first given out 11 years ago, in order to recognize the excellent work of franchisees in helping the brand grow. Franchisees cannot win this award simply by meeting a certain revenue target or gaining enough customers. The nominees for Franchisee of the Year have gone beyond the call of duty to support their fellow franchisees, either by being a Franchise Advisory Association member, by contributing to the Moran mentorship program or by offering in-store or centerfield training to new franchisees. The winners exemplify the core values of DRIVE: Dedication, Respect, Integrity, Vision and Enthusiasm.

Goodman and other Franchisee of the Year Award winners received their awards at a gala event during the Moran Family of Brands Convention.  The conference was held in at the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk hotel from September 29 to October 1.

We were delighted to see our franchisees and renew the drive that keeps us all going throughout the year! Congratulations again to our winners!


Milex Franchisee of the Year Winner

People do phenomenal things every day, and most of the time, they go unnoticed. But that’s not how we do things in the Moran Family of Brands. To recognize the incredible impact being made by franchisees in the system, we recognize their accomplishments with our annual Franchisee of the Year Awards. This year, our winner under the Milex brand was Al Martin.

Martin has been at his location Naperville, IL for 22 years. He operated a Multistate Transmission store in Naperville, IL for 20 years before adding Milex Complete Auto Care to become a co-branded operation in 2015.  Martin got his start as an operations manager in the Moran system before becoming an owner. Although this is his first time winning the Franchisee of the Year Award, he has consistently been a top 10 performer in the Milex system.

“It has been a pleasure being a part of the Moran Family of Brands system for more than two decades,” says Martin. “Last year, we added Milex to our existing Multistate Transmission for a co-branded operation, and it has been a natural fit. I’d like to thank Moran and all of its franchisees who selected us for this tremendous honor.”

The Franchisee of the Year Award doesn’t go to the franchise location with the highest sales volume, or the most gross revenue. Instead, it was meant to recognize the contribution a franchisee made to the growth of the system as a whole, whether it was through helping fellow franchisees or training newcomers. Franchisees who receive this award embody the five values of DRIVE: Dedication, Respect, Integrity, Vision and Enthusiasm. Fellow franchisees vote on this person or persons, because the aim is to reward people who contribute the most to the Moran system family. Nominees for Franchisee of the Year in the Milex brand included Martin, Frank and Linda Norton, Dean Bingham, Tim and Laura Rodifer, and Albert and Serina Daniel.

The Moran Family of Brands 2016 Convention will be held at the San Antonio Riverwalk from Thursday, September 29, through Saturday, October 1. We hope to see all of our franchisees there, as we celebrate another year of excellence and growth of the Moran system!


Safety Musts for New Drivers

Congratulations, new driver! With your freshly-printed license, you’re ready to zip off to all of the destinations that are now within your reach! But we at Moran Family of Brands hope you’ll take a moment to consider what could make your first few trips safer. Mile for mile, new drivers are three times more likely to get into a wreck than experienced drivers.  We want you to be safe, so consider outfitting your car with one or more of these accessories to help you curb hazardous behavior and get where you need to be with your car in one piece!

  1. Back-up Camera. It can be hard to get used to the size of your vehicle, and if you struggle to back up in the direction you want or to see everything behind you, a back-up camera could help! It allows you to see everything the body of your car blocks from your view, so you can note the presence of obstacles and gauge your distance from them.
  2. Text Blocker. You might be a social butterfly, but behind the wheel is no place to be checking your text messages. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 20 percent of accidents in 2014 were due to distraction, and the rate of drivers using mobile devices while they are behind the wheel is estimated to be around 660,000 at any given time. To avoid the temptation to look at your phone, you can turn on a text blocker. This device keeps your phone from receiving messages while you are driving, and can be programmed to send people who are trying to get in touch with you a message that you are busy and will get back to them. This protects you and those around you from your own distraction!
  3.  Window Film. Window film is endorsed by the Skin Cancer Foundation as a great way to prevent skin damage from the sun while driving, but it has some other cool, less well-known benefits. For example, it can reduce the glare of the sun, which for a new driver, can make the difference between seeing an obstacle and being blinded to anything in your path.
  4. GPS System. It can be terrifying to be lost on unfamiliar streets, and that stress can keep you from focusing on hazards in the road. Instead of getting distracted reading a map or holding your phone as you call someone for help, use a car-mounted GPS to give you directions and keep you heading the right way!

As a new driver, you need time on the road to gain experience, but that time can be made a lot safer by using these tools! Your odds are not your destiny, and if you approach driving with the caution it merits, you can preserve a perfect driving record and gain the experience to be comfortable on the road! Find these accessories and more at your local Alta Mere.