All posts by Moran Family of Brands

Beat the Entrepreneurship Odds

Many people dream of being their own boss and owning a business, but few are willing to take the necessary steps and risks on the way to reaching that dream. One way to pave your way forward into successful business ownership is by partnering with an established franchise. Entrepreneurs who join a proven franchise tend to have a higher rate of success than small business owners who go it alone. Franchises offer incomparable stability and support in a challenging business world, and with so many automotive franchises out there, you won’t have to look far to find one that fits your needs. Moran Family of Brands is one such franchise, with a track record of success and a mindset that puts franchisees first. Here are some ways in which partnering your automotive shop with Moran Family of Brands can breathe life into your business and help you find success.

Managerial Expertise

The support of a franchise organization can mean the difference between floundering for solutions to business challenges or quickly finding your footing in a competitive landscape. Instead of trying to build operating procedures from scratch, you can begin with a proven system that will put you miles ahead of the competition. You’ll hit the ground running, and your business will grow at a faster rate since the team at Moran are experts in customer acquisition.

Name/Brand Recognition

When customers face an urgent need, they don’t want to take a chance on a business they don’t know or trust. With a name people recognize, you gain an instant reputation by proxy. This can be a huge advantage to your business as a customer evaluates their service options. Moran Family of Brands includes several divisions – Milex Complete Auto Care, Mr. Transmission, Alta Mere Automotive Outfitters and SmartView Window Solutions. This variety of brands and national reach provides a variety of services to meet your consumer needs including a nationwide warranty.

Peer Support

When you join an organization as large and as established as Moran Family of Brands, there’s one guarantee: That no matter what challenges you’re facing, there’s someone, somewhere, who has been through it before. When you join a brand that believes it’s strength comes from lifting each individual up, you’ll find that mentors and others willing to help you find solutions to events that would otherwise derail your operations. Just think about it.  You could waste hours of valuable time and effort on a problem you’ve never seen before, or gain near-instant access to someone who has seen this exact obstacle many times over and can help you. Confronting a problem alone can feel overwhelming and isolating, but tackling a business issue with an experienced ally can give you confidence and put your mind at ease.

Entrepreneurs open their businesses with lofty goals and visions of success, but sometimes the eventual reality doesn’t quite match up to their initial hopes. There’s never a guarantee that your business will succeed, but why not give yourself an extra boost in the right direction by partnering with a proven business, and gaining access to a system that works? Moran Family of Brands knows how to help you acquire customers and grow your business. If this has piqued your interest in partnering with a franchise, you can reach out to a representative and see if Moran Family of Brands is the right fit for you.


Moran Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day being celebrated on Saturday, April 22, Moran Family of Brands is offering suggestions of things you can do with your vehicle and commuting routines to take better care of the planet. Earth Day Network says transportation is now the fastest-growing source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 24 percent of global emissions. Here’s the good news: Going green doesn’t mean spending a ton of green. Let’s examine several solutions to protect the environment with your car that don’t involve adding a brand-new hybrid to your garage.


We understand that ditching the car in favor of a bike or the bus may not be feasible to most people. However, spending one or two days catching a ride with a co-worker who lives nearby, or even a neighbor who works near you, can make a difference. Carpooling may help put a little extra cash in your pockets, while potentially reducing congestion on your local commute.

Slow Down

Reduce your carbon footprint by easing your foot off the accelerator. Traveling as little as 10 mph slower can boost your vehicle’s fuel efficiency while decreasing the output of carbon dioxide. Cruise control on the highway will help you maintain a consistent speed. Plan accordingly and leave for your intended destination a few minutes earlier if you’re worried your speed will make you late.

Window Tinting

Cars can become greenhouses during the summer, trapping in heat and sunlight.  Air conditioning is a necessity when your car gets too hot, but running your car’s air conditioning is the main contributor to reduced fuel economy in hot weather. With window and windshield tinting from Alta Mere, you can keep your car cool and comfortable throughout the sunny days.  Window tint also protects passengers by reducing up to 99 percent of the exposure to harmful UV rays.

Refillable Travel Mugs

We love drinking coffee during the morning commute. Unfortunately, less than two percent of customers at a popular coffee chain took advantage of a program that allowed the use of reusable mugs. Travel mugs allow you to enjoy that cup-of-joe-to-go without adding more trash to local landfills.

Regular Maintenance

When you follow a vehicle service schedule, you help reduce emissions and fuel consumption. That includes regularly scheduled oil changes, replacing fuel and air filters, and checking the spark plugs. Make sure you visit your local Milex Complete Auto Care for a regular tune-up.

Use Vinegar to Clean

Cleaning your car involves a lot of elbow grease. But the good news — it doesn’t necessarily mean using chemicals. You can clean your car windows with a simple solution of vinegar, tap water and a spray bottle.

Pump it Up

Make sure you consistently check your tire pressure. Properly inflated tires will improve your vehicle’s gas mileage — in some cases up to three percent. That, in turn, means fewer visits to the gas pump.

These are just some of the simple ways you can become environmentally friendly behind the wheel. Our family of vehicle maintenance franchises is a valuable resource on your journey to go green. For more information on how you can become safer and more environmentally conscious with your vehicle, visit Moran Family of Brands.


Mr. Transmission Customer Loyalty

Customer loyalty can be elusive for the average small business owner, and many entrepreneurs struggle to find the secret formula that makes customers want to come back to their business. Jason Kuriger is certainly not among that group. After just four years, Jason’s Mr. Transmission store has become a fixture in his community, and he has a reputation for integrity, honesty and caring that brings people back to his store. According to Jason’s most recent estimates, somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of his customers are repeat visitors, and he makes sure each one feels as though they were the most valued individual in the state of Illinois.

Jason entered the automotive industry in 1991, working at a car dealership’s parts and service office. After several years of being in that role and moving up through management, he decided he wanted to go into business for himself. He learned what customers really valued in their parts and service garages, and he felt he knew how to provide that in his own business. His business story clearly shows he was right.

Jason’s guiding principle is integrity. That’s what he says keeps customers coming back. He recognizes how tough it is to earn and maintain a customer’s trust, so he says his integrity is worth so much more than the possible money he could gain by being dishonest. It struck him when he was working in dealerships how often people would complain about other mechanics overcharging them or doing unnecessary work. This made the customers wary of trusting others who were working on their cars, which is why Jason wanted to go the extra mile to prove that he deserved their trust. He makes sure that every customer knows exactly what’s going wrong with their vehicle and exactly how he or his technicians are going to do to fix it. Jason is especially adamant about not performing service that customers don’t need, or not working on a car that is essentially unsalvageable. Those who visit his shop can feel confident that they’re getting the exact service they need, and nothing more.

One customer who has been with Jason’s Mr. Transmission since day one is Marylynn Ferone.  She decided when she met Jason to never have her car serviced anywhere else.  Marylynn said she experienced a different level of service with Jason and his technicians than any other location, and it really made an impression. Without prompting, she said the thing she admires most about Jason is his integrity.

“I absolutely switched from the mechanic I had been visiting before that,” said Marylynn. “I could tell Jason cared about me as a person, it wasn’t just about whether he was the one to fix my car or not.”

Jason has more than one story like this.  Mike Cheek came to the shop on Jason’s first day to let him know he would never come back because of mistakes made by a technician of the former owner. Instead, Jason convinced Mike to give him a chance to earn his business, and that was all it took. Mike remains a loyal customer to this day.

Jason believes the biggest indicator that his business principles are making a difference is the amount of people who are referred to him by other customers. He has not advertised his business in four years because his customers do the work for him by recommending him to their friends and family.

“That’s how I know I’m doing right by people, and how I validate what I’m doing,” Jason said. “I always heard, ‘You can hunt your business, or you can farm your business,’ and I prefer to farm my business by cultivating those relationships with people.”

Customer loyalty can make an enormous difference in the success or failure of a business. Jason’s story just shows that the more you treat your customers like they matter, the better your business success will be. For his success in fostering loyalty in his community, we’d like to recognize Jason Kuriger.


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.