All posts by Moran Family of Brands

Investigating a franchise with the franchisor

When you’re looking to buy a franchise from a specific franchisor, you should learn as much as you can about the company. That includes reading over the franchise disclosure document, doing research and finding out what options you have in terms of purchasing it, among other things. One of the most important ways of learning about the franchisor is the in-person one-on-one interview between yourself and its representative. There is a lot at stake: You have to show the franchising company that you’ll be a capable owner, while this person has to prove that earning a franchise from them is in your best interest. When dealing with a representative from the Moran Family of Brands, you’ll learn much about the company’s history and proven business model. In addition, you will get honest, straightforward answers to your questions about the Alta Mere Automotive Outfitters, Mr. Transmission and Milex Complete Auto Care franchises.

Ask what your franchise can do for you…
When you first meet the franchisor, it’s likely that you’ll have a lot of questions to ask. This is the case even if you spoke to someone over the phone about applying to purchase a franchise. The more you know about the organization and fellow franchisees, the better informed you are when you make a decision. The simplest question is how much you expect to make out of running a business under a specific brand.

However, it’s important to note that this information you are unlikely to get a direct answer because of legal reasons. There is also the basic fact that this answer can vary based entirely on the circumstances, such as location, owner and current economic situation. Instead, look to ask about what’s in the Item 19 of the FDD, which will provide information on gross revenues and expenses.

Stepping away from the money situation, you should look to ask about the culture and values of the company, and see if they match with what you believe in business. Having strong values that align with the franchisor’s ideals can help you perform better as a business. Moran’s is built on the proven philosophy of DRIVE: Dedication to the company’s mission, Respect for everyone they work with, Integrity with every effort made, a Vision towards the future, and Enthusiasm for the company.

…And what you can do for your franchise
However, the franchisor will have some questions of its own. After all, running a franchise is a major investment in anyone’s life, and the company wants to make sure they can trust you to do a fine job. The first thing the representative will want to know is what your goals are for working with this franchise. Similar to how you should know if your values match up, the company will want to know what you intend to do with the franchise as a whole. By having goals that mesh well with what the franchises can do, you’ll find yourself more compatible with the business over the course of the interview. The representative will also ask about your experience both in franchising and in the industry. While neither are entirely necessary, they can make the franchisor feel more comfortable with the prospect of you purchasing a franchise.

In addition to being asked about your experiences running a franchise, you will likely be asked about the sacrifices you’re willing to make. You should be able to respond on what kind of hours you’re willing to work, what kind of financing will back your purchase and how your family members feel about doing this. Demonstrating support and commitment, especially to a Moran representative, will show that you have the DRIVE to run an Alta Mere or Mr. Transmission.

Want to learn more about franchising? Visit the Moran Family of Brands website!


Being prepared to buy a franchise

While buying a franchise can be a great way to run your own business, it’s also a major investment. Depending on the location, size, brand and market for the franchise, you could be looking at dropping  a significant chunk of money just to get the property and brand. And then there is the time spent getting it running, as well as the training to understand the business model the franchisor operates. There are a lot of things that you have to learn and prepare yourself for. The Moran Family of Brands offers high-quality training and support for first-time owners of Alta Mere Automotive Outfitters, Mr. Transmission and Milex Complete Auto Care franchises. Still, it’s a good idea to see that you have everything you need to be a successful franchisee.

A risky drive
Franchising is quite different from starting your own business. The main difference is that you’re running under a business model that is defined by your franchisor, rather than your own rules. Moran’s uses a proven model built on professional auto repair and high-quality service. The guidelines found in the model are there so that your franchise has a consistent level of service and goods, along with maintaining a dependable brand. Because you have to follow them, you have to ask yourself if you’re willing to stick with this model while you run the franchise.

More importantly, as a business, franchising involves some form of risk to invest and to function. Because of this, you have to question whether you’re able to tolerate a lot of it, especially in the first few years of operation. To assess your own risk tolerance, look back on all the major decisions you made in your life involving money. In those decisions, the cost of failure was significant. How did you handle the choice? Did you prepare, or did you have some backing assuring a soft landing so you didn’t have to take on severe debts? Either way, how you responded to the decision and its aftermath is crucial in determining whether you can take on the big swings that running a franchise can entail.

An investment with returns
Of course, even with the talent to handle the risky plunge and a willingness to follow at least some rules, running a franchise involves other things you need to prepare for. The most significant is money. Buying a franchise involves a lot of upfront costs, from purchasing the brand to acquiring the property to other initial fees. There are a lot of things that you need to research to determine if you have the funds and equity necessary to complete the initial purchase, including the fees are expected in the first 12 months.

Another thing you have to consider with franchises is that many expect you to have a significant net worth. This value is determined by the amount of assets such as properties or goods you have minus the liabilities such as debts you possess. Knowing this important fact will help you narrow your search into who will accept you based on net worth, as well as what you can afford.

If you think you can afford to buy a franchise and have the net worth to start one, you’ll to prepare yourself with financing the purchase. If you already have enough capital, then you should be fine. However, should you need to raise funds to match the amount required, you should look into different options. You could sell stakes in the business to friends and family, or seek out a loan from either a bank or the U.S. Small Business Administration. Either way, once you have made all the preparations and sought out the right franchise, you can look forward to owning your own business.

Want to learn more about franchising? Visit the Moran Family of Brands website!


9 ways a franchisee can give back to the community


Being a franchisee means more than just knowing how to run a business. There’s also talking to customers and working with them to solve their problems. Within your store, you’re working closely with employees so that they can help your store perform well. You also have to work closely with local and national suppliers of the items you need. In many ways, being a franchise owner is very much about being a people person. With this in mind, you’re expected to interact a lot with the community around you.

However, no franchise is an island. Just as much as people come to you for support on their needs, whether it’s auto repair, aftermarket accessories or other services, they expect you to come to them for whatever reason. More importantly, they expect you to be a participant to your city, town or county’s local activities. By being an active supporter of your local community, you become akin to an institution that people can feel comfortable around. You’re able to build relationships with your customers in this way. As a result, the Moran Family of Brands puts community service and contributions as a key aspect to its own franchising philosophy. Here are some ways that you can give back as a franchisee:

  1. Promoting other businesses as often as you can
    Now you may think that working with other businesses can be a risky endeavor. However, communities grow and become stronger not through the individual actions of each business, but how they work together. Take the time to visit your neighborhood businesses as both a franchisee and a paying customer. It is through buying local that you’re able to develop a strong connection with the town’s businesses. Don’t be afraid to take things a step further by providing links on your website to them, or using social media to post information about them from time to time.
  2. Set up a collection jar for your favorite charity
    A little collection goes a long way. With charity donations, you’re able to give back without having to worry about taking too long to do so. Picking a prominent spot to collect contributions from customers can be a major factor in showing you care about the community’s well being. You may also want to collaborate with your franchisor, since sometimes it has a charity that it favors. For example, Moran has worked extensively with the Alzheimer’s Foundation in the past.
  3. Having employees volunteer on a weekend project
    A good way to show you’re giving back is to get involved in some community project. Your employees can play a major role in this. If it’s within reason, close the shop for a day while you have your employees work on some project, such as cleaning up a beach or repainting a building. If there was a recent natural disaster, providing relief support is also helpful. Doing these acts of community service makes you both visible and credible to those around you. This can be a great way build trust in your franchise.
  4. Sponsor a local kids’ sports team
    In many towns and counties, there are organized youth sports that are played involving lots of families and teams. These teams often needs funding to get the equipment they need to compete at a local level and beyond, along with publicity to show they are a team to watch. By sponsoring them, you’re providing them with the funds that are necessary to complete this. In turn, you’re also getting some bonus promotion by having your franchise’s name emblazoned on their jerseys.
  5. Lend your skills
    You may not think that your franchise has much to offer in the way of skills to the general community outside of business, but you’d be wrong. In fact, many businesses would love to take advantage of the services that you offer, even in auto repair stores such as Mr. Transmission and Milex Complete Auto Care. Providing a class on road safety to children, teaching drivers how to find out if something is wrong with their car and offering inspections can be one way of giving back to the community in certain ways.
  6. Build a house for a family
    One of the greatest bonds anyone has to a community is the house they own, but not every family can afford one. This is especially the case after the Great Recession. However, many charitable organizations such as Habitat for Humanity offer built homes to families in need. These homes are usually built on weekends, and most of these charities allow you to organize your employees so that they can be involved. It’s a great way of really showing that you’re interested in the well-being of your community.
  7. Participate in “shop local” events
    While you may be a franchise that is supported by a large brand name, you’re still a small business that’s based locally. Showing those credentials will make people in your locale more comfortable around you, and will be more likely to come visit as a customer as well as a supporter. Keep tabs on community events that encourage residents to visit and shop local stores. Small Business Saturday events can also help you achieve this goal as well. In being involved, you boost business, provide support to the community and improve the local economy.
  8. Sponsor an event
    Speaking of events, your community often holds celebrations and ceremonies on a regular basis to bring people together. This can be something such as holiday parades, summer cookouts, local festivals and other activities. All of these require funding to function properly. By adding your name to the sponsors list, you’re providing communities a way to make these things happen. In return, your name will be found all over the place, providing some form of publicity.
  9. Create a scholarship
    Higher education has gotten increasingly expensive for young adults and their families. However, there is one way you can help students: providing a yearly merit scholarship for students that need the financial support. Providing this can work even more to your favor by tailoring the reward so that it’s for aspiring students in your business field. For example, it could be for aspiring entrepreneurs or those looking to become auto mechanics. Either way, even a small reward can help pay for books and other expenses.

Looking for more ways to be a community business? Visit the Moran Family of Brands website!