SA Franchise Brands welcomes Grant Brady, Franchisor of Car Service City.
What has been paramount to Car Service City’s success?
Car Service City has had a clear vision from the start, ‘To create a business opportunity that is safe and offers excellent returns in a market where there’s a great demand’. To ensure that there is a demand for our services, top quality repair work and outstanding customer service remains priority. Repeat customers spreading the word, in turn, translate into a happy franchisee as they watch their business grow.
What challenges do you face at present?
The success of the business, like all businesses, is reliant on the people. To continually find potential employees to supply our franchisees, who are self-motivated, customer orientated and shares in our company ethos remains a perpetual challenge.
With a network of more than 40 franchises nationwide, how has your franchise model worked in favour of the group?
The successful execution of our expansion strategy relies on the careful selection of sites, the maxim location, location, location holds true. This coupled with our well-grounded, enthusiastic Head Office specialists (Human Resources, IT, Operations, Marketing, Legal Advisory, Accounting, Tax and Customer Relationship Management) providing daily support to our franchisees, is the backbone of our franchise model.
No man is an island – this rings true in business too – ensuring our franchisees entrepreneurial spirit is not stifled, yet providing a host of people to support one in one’s venture, can only yield success.
What are some of the attributes required from franchisees?
A business background with particular emphasis on interpersonal skills and financial management is particularly key. Franchisees that are not knowledgeable about the car servicing industry are advised to employ a knowledgeable manager to ensure the service to customers remains high. However regardless of the product one is selling or offering, one has to have sound business principles to ensure the business’s success.
How would you describe the overall relationship between the group and its franchisees?
An open, honest relationship.
Franchisees opinions regarding business processes are encouraged. Our franchisees have a wealth of business knowledge, stemming from all sectors of business and therefore their input is greatly appreciated
Our head office has an open door policy of which our franchisees are regularly present drawing on the expertise of our staff members and vice versa. Quarterly franchise meetings are held to uphold our open communication channels as well as to update the franchisees on new industry findings. It is in these meetings where business processes are discussed and if all agreed, changed if it is believed to be in the best interest of the business.
What kind of training and support can franchisees expect?
Head Office provides invaluable, practical support encompassing both the business and operational sides to the franchise.
Head office is present to provide the Human Resources, IT, Marketing, Legal Advisory, Accounting, Tax and Customer Relationship Management support for the franchise
Every franchisee, branch manager and secretary is required to attend specifically designed training courses lasting two to four weeks at a Car Service City Head office owned branch. In addition to being trained on all secretarial and managerial functions, the franchisee’s training includes all Car Service City procedures and standards, financial controls, administrative requirements and procedures and staff management.
Further ongoing training throughout the year regarding products and systems ensures that franchisees remain abreast of developments within the car service industry.
Which factors are paramount for sustained future growth within the group with specific reference to its present and future franchisees?
Business orientated franchisees who welcome the head office support and use the head office to maximize their business processes. The franchisees that share in the head office vision of being customer orientated and ensuring the customer will return for their next vehicle service. This is what will ensure future business for the individual franchisee as well as the brand as a whole.
Where to from here and into the future?
Car Service City’s mission is to be the most recognized, trusted and respected brand in the car service industry in South Africa, outside of dealerships.
Our growth plan for 2014 will ensure that even more South Africans will know and rely on Car Service City for all vehicles service and repair needs.