Milex/Mr. Transmission Franchisee Teaches Son Valuable Lessons
Spending time at Sheri Granger’s Milex Complete Auto Care/Mr. Transmission location in Bradenton, Florida, helped her son learn the importance of customer service and the value of building relationships.
Sheri Granger and her husband Bill met in Indiana and visited Florida on their honeymoon. The pair loved the area so much they decided to leave the cold Chicago winters behind for good and moved to Bradenton at the beginning of 2017. They opened their co-branded Milex/Mr. Transmission shop in 2019. The pair jumped at the chance to purchase an existing tire franchise and converted it to a Milex/Mr. Transmission shop.
In addition to providing car maintenance and repairs and installing transmission systems and drivetrain components, their location sells new tires. Bill handles most of the service writing and technical work, while Sheri leads the front office by tackling the administrative responsibilities, like bookkeeping, payroll, and invoicing, and customer service.
Prior to franchising, Sheri spent 25 years in the healthcare field, handling billing coding and office management for family doctor practitioners. Bill spent 17 years as a mechanic working for several car dealerships and spent 10 years in the oil refinery industry with BP. He most recently oversaw management of landfill gas plants at the Manatee County Landfill.
Eric Granger was 16 years old when the family moved to Florida to open a franchise with Moran Family of Brands. Growing up, Eric had a tendency to be reserved and shy. Coming into the car repair shop to do his homework after school helped him come out of his shell. During his visits, he saw Sheri interacting with customers and realized he needed to be more outgoing to succeed in the business world.
“My mom is probably the nicest person I’ve ever seen in how she interacts with others,” said Eric. “I’ve been able to see that in the store with how understanding and encouraging she is with the employees. She is an inspiration for me.”
Watching her work taught him the value of developing relationships with customers and providing personal service. Spending time in the shop also helped him hone his telephone skills. Eric will occasionally step in and answer the phone at the store when it is busy. At his part-time job at Walmart, Eric uses many of the skills he learned watching Sheri work.
“Bill and Sheri Granger interact with their customers like they are family and provide honest recommendations about the type of service for their cars,” said Peter Baldine, President of Moran Family of Brands.
With his parents working long hours to get their location up and running smoothly, Eric became more independent. On days when he works at his part-time job, the couple does not see him. Having busy schedules makes the family value the time they do get to spend together. Sheri and her son enjoy working out together, riding motorcycles, spending time at the beach, or going to Busch Gardens, an amusement park.
Many Moran franchisees enjoy the flexibility franchising provides. They are able to bring their children to work with them during school holidays or if babysitters fall through. Owning a franchise offers a work-life balance that is difficult to obtain in the corporate arena. It also has the added bonus of providing a legacy for future generations and gives children the opportunity to learn a timeless trade.
Although Eric doesn’t envision a future in auto repair, his parents’ business helped fuel an interest in cars. He learned about car maintenance and repairs by spending time in the shop, and he enjoys going to car shows in their spare time.
As an only child, the responsibility of showering his mother with attention on Mother’s Day is all on Eric’s competent shoulders. This year the family plans to spend time together in the morning, and Sheri will spend time with her extended family after Eric heads to work later in the afternoon. Sheri is looking forward to seeing how Eric will mark the occasion this year. Last year, Eric surprised her by planting a garden. Another time, he decorated the house with balloons and streamers and baked her cookies.
Regardless of their plans, it will be another opportunity for Sheri and Eric to appreciate their relationship and how much they mean to each other.