RICK MILLER, A CHRISTIAN BROTHERS FRANCHISE OWNER, RECEIVES BLESSINGS AFTER BEING RETIRED FROM THE MILITARY
Rick Miller says he was surprised by the affordability of opening a Christian Brothers franchise.
Rick Miller opened his Christian Brothers Automotive franchise in June 2010, in the wake of a surprise retirement from the U.S. Army. He had been a lieutenant colonel and had deployed to Iraq in 2008, but upon his return he was informed that he would be retired after a 30-year career, as younger officers were being promoted. Discouraged, he and wife prayed, and they feel that Rick’s visit to a Christian Brothers Automotive franchise in Arkansas was God’s answer.
How were you led to Christian Brothers?
I took a little time off after returning from Iraq to get used to being back in this great country. Afterward, a general informed me that a retention board had decided not to retain me. I asked the general why, and he assured me that I had a stellar career, but that they needed to promote some young officers. Since I had the time in for retirement, I would be forced into it. I left the office in shock.
My wife and I had not planned on retirement. We did not have our finances set. I had become very discouraged, so I prayed. Telling God how unfair I thought I was being treated, I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me saying, “Rick, shut up.” I got very still, and in my heart the Lord spoke to me and said, “Do you actually think that your career hasn’t been in my hands from the time you enlisted in 1980?” I told the Lord I knew that my career had always been in his hands, but that I felt very discouraged. In my heart, God spoke to me and said, “Rick, I have something for you to do. I retired you for a purpose.”
One day, as I was driving home, I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to turn my car into a Christian Brothers franchise. I had been thinking about opening a tire store across from there, and I wanted to talk to the owner, Sid Moore, about whether he would send me business. I had thought maybe I would send him front-end repair, and he would send me tires. But Mr. Sid told me that they do tires at the Christian Brothers franchise. Instead, Mr. Sid asked if I would like to consider owning a franchise.
Did you hesitate?
I looked at the beauty of the store and how well it was constructed, and I told Sid I didn’t have the finances for that. Sid asked for my email address and if I would allow him to send it to the home office. I knew that if I said no then I would have had closed a door myself, and I didn’t want to close a door that God had opened.
After looking at my resume, David Domine at Christian Brothers called and said they would like to meet me and my wife at their corporate office in Houston. Christian Brothers is an awesome family. We met Mr. Mark Carr, who started Christian Brothers in 1982, and we learned about the Christian Brothers story and how they started.
At the end of the day, Mr. Lewis Ten Have, the COO, asked me to share my testimony. Then he asked my wife to do the same. He responded by saying that we are the type of family he’d like to franchise a Christian Brothers. I shared my reluctance over the buildout costs, and he told me something I’ll never forget: “Rick, you go home and pray about this. We’ll be praying about this here in Houston. If God opens that door, we’ll just walk you through it.”
So how has business been?
The Christian Brothers family is awesome. I know nothing about fixing cars. I know nothing about running a business, but the Christian Brothers family held my hand and fed me everything I needed to know to be successful. We’ve been open five years now, and our parking lot is full every day. Our customers love us, and we love our customers. It’s the Christian Brothers family, and the Christian Brothers climate, that has taught us to be successful franchisees.
Have they been giving you plenty of support?
When I have a problem, I call Houston. They fix anything I need fixed. There’s always someone at the end of the line who has my success and best interest at heart. They work very diligently to make sure that this shop runs smoothly. I can take care of my customers and my techs, but when it comes to the hard stuff, they’re right there for me in every situation. I encourage anyone considering a franchise to give the Christian Brothers family a call and check them out.
Tell us about your first year as a Christian Brothers franchisee.
When my brother and I opened the shop in June 2010, we had zero experience. Every week, someone from the home office called me. I had a coach, and his name is Mark Trulock. Mark called me every week to check on me and make sure that any problems I had were solved. If there’s anything he saw within the books, he took care of it.
In the first year, we had someone calling us every week, and sometimes several times a week, to make sure that we didn’t have any problems with our franchise. That is so indicative of the Christian Brothers mentality at the home office. At first, I didn’t even know what my numbers were. They walked me through every scenario, every problem, every issue — and I understand much better now how to run this franchise. If you do what they say — and sometimes you have to swallow a little pride — they will ensure you are successful.
LEARN MORE ABOUT CHRISTIAN BROTHERS
Christian Brothers is a highly rated, faith-based, auto repair franchise with a unique financial model. Christian Brothers assumes a majority of the risk by purchasing and constructing “built-to-suit” buildings, which the franchisee then manages. Christian Brothers does not charge a franchisee based on top-line revenues like virtually every other franchisor, but instead on a share of the profits, which is calculated after expenses. Franchisees also pay themselves a salary before they pay the franchisor a nickel. For in-depth details about the Christian Brothers Automotive franchise opportunity, contact us today!