Rev up your life with an automotive franchise [part three]
Interested in dealing with corporate clients? Superfinish Express caters specifically to the likes of motor dealers and corporate fleets. Is brand recognition a key determining factor for you? Consider what's on offer at Autobarn.
According to Autobarn’s general marketing manager Brad Hyde, the statement “We know how to get you there” encapsulates what the brand is all about.
“For us, it’s not just about selling products,” he says. “Autobarn staff want to know what it is our customers are trying to achieve, what type of car they have and whether they plan to do the work themselves or need a hand from us.”
Autobarn recruits people who are both passionate about Autobarn and all facets of running their own business – from the product and managing staff to delivering exceptional customer service.
“Our screening and orientation program is rigorous; we only want the very best to represent our brand,” says retail director, Peter Tilley.
The brand has subsequently adopted a comprehensive training program for new franchisees, he adds.
“Our successful applicants go through an extensive induction program with our head office team members. They receive training at our ‘in house store’ and put their skills to the test out in our network so by the time they take over their own store they’re absolutely ready.”
In addition, Autobarn introduced a new learning and development program in 2012 to ensure franchisees receive the ongoing training and support they need to operate a successful business.
“Fundamental to the continued success of our business is ensuring our franchisees, their management teams and staff have the skills and knowledge necessary to deliver on the brand promise,” explains Luke Rich, the brand’s learning and development manager and program creator.
“Under the banner of our Retail Training Academy we have a variety of training programs available covering franchisee induction, employee induction, sales training, management engagement courses, product knowledge modules and certified retail operations and frontline management qualifications.”
Autobarn launched a refreshed store design complete with new fixtures, flooring, colour schemes, customer navigation and branding at Nunawading, Victoria in November last year, and it will continue to roll out the new look.
“This is only the beginning for the evolution of our store design; we’ll be monitoring store performance and the feedback from customers and our staff as we roll out these new features across the network and into more new stores,” says Shane Logan, Automotive Brands’ general manager of network development.
Superfinish Express provides onsite paint repair services exclusively to corporate businesses such as motor dealers and corporate fleets.
The brand’s franchise development manager, Caedmon Foy explains franchisees use the best quality paints and materials during the repair process.
“All of the products that we supply are controlled for quality and performance. Most of our products are developed by working with major local and international industry suppliers and manufacturers.
“With the click of a mouse our on-board central ordering system allows for the daily delivery of products straight to the franchisee’s door, allowing them more free-time and less down time,” he adds.
Superfinish Express provides new franchisees with three weeks of one-on-one training, as well as two weeks of field training.
“If a franchisee requires more training we will provide this free of charge. All training is conducted at our training centre in Brisbane by a fully accredited professional training team who have over 80 years of combined experience in the business and the automotive paint industry.”
Ongoing training is delivered in various forms at regular intervals throughout the year, says Foy.
“We hold state-wide workshops, a yearly national conference and visits from our field support officers are ongoing.
“We also encourage franchisees to become active members of our National Advisory Council, which allows them to contribute to the direction of the company.”
Foy explains Superfinish Express franchisees enjoy a number of other benefits, including a guaranteed weekly income, monthly progress reports and access to a 24/7 technical support line and intranet.
The company manages franchisees accounts and handles the billing process, and was included in the Australian Financial Review’s annual “Top Value Return On Investment for a Franchised Business” list two years in a row.
The brand has adopted a personality and attitude rather than skills based approach to the recruitment process, which means existing franchisees come from various different backgrounds.
“No prior experience is necessary. A desire to succeed is a must, we have the training system in place to help anyone achieve their dream – all they need is aptitude and attitude,” says Foy.
“Our franchisees include ex-carpenters, electricians, mechanics, sales professionals and even computer hardware and software technicians.”