Sheri Granger, a Milex/Mr. Transmission franchisee, is working diligently to build a rapport with customers to help her business become a neighborhood staple.
Granger recently joined fellow Mr. Transmission franchisee Susan Trumble to detail how franchising helped fuel her entrepreneurial goals on “Where Passion and Purpose Collide,” a podcast hosted by Elizabeth Denen and Rebecca Monet. While the automotive field remains a male-dominated industry, women are a force to be reckoned with in the small-business community.
Women operate 12.3 million businesses in the United States, generating revenue of $1.8 trillion a year, according to Fundera, a small business financial resource. The U.S. economy is becoming increasingly reliant on female business owners. In fact, at least 40 percent of U.S. businesses are owned by women, and 27 percent of small business or franchise owners are female, Guidant Financial reports. Women are starting their own businesses to pursue their passion and escape the corporate grind.
“If you want to deal with Milex Complete Auto Care and Mr. Transmission in Bradenton, Florida, you’re going to have to talk to me,” said Granger. “If you want to deal with a man, you can go down the street to another shop.”
Granger spent the majority of her career working in the medical field. After marrying her husband, the couple relocated to Bradenton, bought a tire store, and turned it into a co-branded Milex Complete Auto Care/Mr. Transmission location. Bill Granger spent 17 years as a mechanic working for several car dealerships, which gave them the confidence to run their own shop. Bill and Sheri oversee a wide range of automotive services, such as oil changes, engine and brake repair and installing and repairing transmission systems and drivetrain components. The couple also keeps the tradition of the old shop alive by continuing to sell tires.
Finding Common Ground
Granger spent nearly 25 years working in the medical field. She admits when she started working at the shop, she would mistakenly call customers “patients.” However, she was able to find common ground between the two fields to fuel her success. In her previous career, she talked to patients to reach a diagnosis for their health, and now she gathers evidence from customers to diagnose their car-repair needs. Providing stellar customer service is key to achieving success.
“You always need to be polite to customers. You need to follow through with customers and find answers if you don’t know them,” she said.
She credits on-the-job experience as well as Moran Family of Brands’ extensive training program for facilitating her transition. Granger also relies on her service technicians to provide support. “We hired people who knew what we wanted for our shop. They are invested in this business just as much as we are, and they want the customers to be happy,” she said.
Teamwork for Husband and Wife Pair
Granger acknowledges the benefits of teaming up with her husband to provide their business with upward momentum. The happily married pair understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and they know what to expect from each other. Granger runs the front of the shop and leaves the details of the engines to her husband and the service technicians.
“My job is to get customers in the door. Women listen more. My strategy is to ask a question and sit back and let the customer talk. I write everything down and make sure to get all the information,” Granger said. “I make sure they understand that if they have a concern, they can talk directly to the technician. I also follow up with every customer a few days after their appointment to see if their car is operating properly,” Granger said.
Granger can see their hard work is slowly paying off as more people come in to get their cars repaired after receiving a recommendation from a satisfied customer. “To me, success is somebody leaving here and telling their friends,” Granger added.
For more information about testing the waters of a career in the franchise industry with Moran Family of Brands, visit our franchise page.