As a woman working in a male-dominated industry, Susan Trumble relies on adaptability, confidence, and the support of her coworkers to succeed in her career as a franchisee with Moran Family of Brands.
Susan Trumble, owner of the Mr. Transmission/Milex Complete Auto Care store in Florence, Kentucky, recently detailed how franchising helped fuel her entrepreneurial goals on the “Where Passion and Purpose Collide” podcast. She was interviewed by hosts Elizabeth Denen and Rebecca Monet along with her fellow franchisee, Sheri Granger of the Mr. Transmission/Milex store in Bradenton, Florida.
The podcast’s mission is to interview women on how their passion and purpose collided to create healthy relationships and profitable businesses. Women are thriving in the franchise industry. Female ownership among franchises increased overall by nearly 50 percent, according to a recent study from the International Franchise Association. Approximately 30 percent of all franchised businesses are owned by women, IFA revealed. Franchising is an excellent option for women who want to run a business that allows them to have work-life balance and solid earnings.
After graduating from high school, Trumble became a flight attendant with American Airlines. She took over her father’s Mr. Transmission location when he decided to take a less hands-on role at the business, and now the location is co-branded with Milex Complete Auto Care. Together, the two brands serve as a one-stop shop to meet all customers’ auto repair needs.
“I’ve enjoyed my 25-year career owning my Mr. Transmission shop. Every morning, I wake up ready and happy to go to work. There are stressful days just like in any career, but all-in-all, this is where I want to be,” Trumble said.
Adaptability is Essential
Working in a male-dominated industry came with some challenges, and adaptability was key to Trumble’s success. People who need a car repair want to feel confident that they are leaving with a vehicle that is safe. Trumble was able to apply her customer service skills honed during her tenure as a flight attendant to make her customers feel at ease and her employees feel appreciated. Being a flight attendant helped her to learn how to read customers and treat them with compassion.
“Adaptability is a huge component of success. It’s vital for us, especially during times of crisis, to be able to adapt our thought processes and strategies,” said Monet, co-host of the podcast. “When we enjoy learning, then it’s easier to change and to adapt.”
Initially, Trumble took a two-year leave of absence from American Airlines to give herself time to decide whether she should turn in her airplane wings for auto part supplies. She quickly realized she was happy helping customers get their cars back on the road and working with the service technicians at her location. “I thrived working with customers and technicians. I was good at problem-solving and I truly enjoyed the interaction with customers, parts suppliers — the whole gamut.”
Confident Attitude Builds Customer Support
As a woman working in auto repair, Trumble has had to deal with customers who did not believe she was knowledgeable about mechanics. To help break down stereotypes, Trumble hired a male manager who works at the front desk with her. “A lot of people think I’m the secretary. Some people would simply prefer to talk to a man,” she added.
During her tenure with Moran Family of Brands, she has only had to turn away business from one customer who did not appreciate receiving auto repair advice from a female. Trumble strives to gain customer confidence when they first come in the door or call on the phone. Trumble also trusts her long-time service technicians, who are more like brothers than employees, to provide stellar service. “People know when you’re here to help them and are genuinely concerned about their vehicle and the repair,” Trumble said. “Women have a better ability to show care, in my opinion.”
Measuring Success One Customer at a Time
Trumble measures success from both her emotional well-being and the financial success of her business. She feels successful when she provides customers with a valuable service that garners repeat business. Most of her new business is driven by word of mouth. Trumble also feels successful as a respected member of her community. She was named Mr. Transmission Franchisee of the Year several years ago and has received numerous accolades from business associations in her local community.
Trumble’s location continues to thrive despite the outbreak of COVID-19. Her shop was able to remain open and provide an essential service to customers. Despite her location’s success, Trumble believes each year offers a chance for improvement. “There’s always room to do more and be more successful, so we will keep plugging away,” Trumble said.
For more information about embarking on a career in the franchise industry with Moran Family of Brands, visit our franchise page and get in touch!