A couple years ago it was time for Greg Goodman, owner of an Alta Mere auto accessories and window tinting store, to sign a new agreement with the Moran Family of Brands. They’d been his franchisor for 25 years, but he wanted to develop a concept of his own.
“I decided that my idea was so different than what Alta Mere was doing, I could not continue what I wanted to do under the Alta Mere name,” he said. “Of course they freaked out when I told them I wasn’t going to renew.”
The result was a rarity if not a unicorn in the franchise world. After Moran signed a non-disclosure agreement with Goodman, the franchisor and franchisee partnered on a year-long beta-test of Goodman’s concept, including splitting 50/50 the costs of remodeling, new signage and a new online ordering system.
Goodman now operates the first Turbo Tint store, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and plans a second store opening in March 2022, in Tulsa. He also signed an area development agreement with Moran, for three or four stores in Oklahoma City and two or three in Tulsa. He will open some himself and sell others to franchisees.
Moran officially launched its new Turbo Tint brand in January 2021, and when reached this March had already sold 11 units, almost as many as in the Alta Mere chain, 13. Moran’s two biggest chains are Mr. Transmission and Milex Complete Auto Care, most co-branded, with 130 units; the Moran Family of Brands is more than 60 years old.
Cost of a Turbo Tint franchise ranges from $212,000 to $282,000; it takes about 3,000 to 4,000 square feet and offers well-appointed waiting areas and a one-hour guarantee. Average unit volumes at an Alta Mere store are about $350,000 to $400,000. “With this store we’re doing well over that, over $800,000,” said Pete Baldine, president of Moran, who hailed the partnership.
“It’s very exciting to do it with a franchisee that’s been in our system for a long time, and to have that level of trust and level of cooperation, for him to change his plans and say ‘Yeah, that makes sense. It makes sense to do it with you guys instead of on my own,’” said Baldine.
Goodman said he was cooking up new ideas for his store because times had changed.
“I knew we had to do something different,” Goodman said, particularly because car alarms, remote starters, backup cameras and the like sold in his store were now being installed in cars by the manufacturer.
Meanwhile, his more lucrative window tinting business was done the way it always had. Customers would come in to pick out a tint package and come back another day to drop off the car, and one person would work on each car, alone, for a time period difficult to predict.
Goodman had looked at businesses like Carvana and Chick-fil-A, “that gets a sandwich out in three minutes,” he said. As for Carvana, “If you can buy a car online, why not a tinting package?” Read more on Goodman’s innovations in the May print edition of Franchise Times.
Story originally posted on Franchise Times.