HOW FAITH-BASED PRINCIPLES AND A PASSION FOR EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER SERVICE AND HARD WORK DRIVE THE SUCCESS OF A CHRISTIAN BROTHERS AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR FRANCHISE IN MAUMELLE, ARKANSAS
Sid Moore’s passion for the automotive industry dates to his childhood in Maumelle, Arkansas, where his circle of friends included families who ran automotive repair shops. When the time came to open a shop of his own, Sid wanted to treat his customers according to his faith and conduct his business with honesty and integrity. Christian Brothers Automotive, the top-rated faith-based auto repair franchise was a perfect fit — so perfect, in fact, that Christian Brothers had already started building a store in Sid’s hometown. It is the same store Sid and his wife now own, and it was in progress before he made the call to franchise with us.
Sid is in his sixth year as a Christian Brothers auto repair franchise owner. This is his story:
What made you want to open a Christian Brothers Automotive franchise?
When I was growing up, I knew a couple of families that owned automotive repair shops, and I had always been interested in owning a shop myself. I’ve always thought it was a good business. The world could use more honest automotive shop owners, because this industry doesn’t have the best reputation. I started looking for a way to do that.
First I sought to purchase an independent shop that someone had for sale, but I weighed that against all of the things that I wanted to do in my shop: my belief system, the way I wanted to treat customers, and the level of care I wanted to give to the cars. Shortly thereafter, I came across Christian Brothers, and it pretty much matched all of the things that I believe in. I didn’t look at a lot of other automotive franchises after that.
Is it true that when you called to franchise with Christian Brothers, they were already building a store in your neighborhood?
Yes, it’s true! I gave Christian Brothers a call to talk to them, and to ask if they would be interested in putting a shop in the central Arkansas area. They told me they were already laying the foundation for a new shop. It was about a half mile from my house! It was amazing how it worked out.
How did Christian Brothers support your startup?
I don’t think I could have succeeded as well on my own if I had just purchased another shop. The level of support that Christian Brothers provides to my wife and me is incredible.
They invest a lot in people. There are people I can call to help me through the challenges of owning my own business. They provide training and expertise to help guide me through things that I may not be familiar with in terms of auto repair. Technology changes so quickly in this industry, and just having a place that I can lean on for help is invaluable to me.
How has your relationship with Christian Brothers been beneficial to you?
Christian Brothers doesn’t take any profits from me unless our business is profitable. They want to make sure that our business is strong and successful before we split any profits.
One of my favorite stories about how this relationship has benefited my business took place during our first Christmas as Christian Brothers franchisees. I didn’t know at that point if I should take any profit splits or not, because we were still a new business. I spoke to Lewis Ten Have, our COO, and he took a marginal amount.
Later, I came to realize that at that time he probably could have asked me to split three times as much as we did, but he said: “Look, I want you to make good decisions. I want your company to be financially secure and strong. Let’s just take this amount for now.” This was very impressive to me, because he probably could have, by all rights, said, ‘Let’s take a lot more out of the account.’ That he cared more about the long-term well being of my business over the short-term profits was very impressive to me.
Can you describe your role in the business now that you’ve been successful for several years?
A lot of my time at this point in the franchise is focusing on ways we can serve our customers better. We’re doing everything we can to make sure that we’re presenting the value in what we provide our customers. I am also continually looking at ways that we can sharpen our skills and gain more knowledge of the industry. It is essential to continually provide training for our team, so I spend a lot of time on that.
Of course, as a business owner, you get to wear all the hats. I’m the human resources person, I do a lot of the payroll, and I get to interact with customers. It is of vital importance for me to make sure that we’re all maintaining the level of customer service that we want to provide our customers.
What training and support does Christian Brothers provide to keep your business successful?
We have an annual convention that brings the owners together, and it is a great time for us to bounce ideas off of each other. We also have a service manager and technician training conference every year, and those are also very beneficial. I think the thing that is probably hard to quantify the value of is the support that I have from other shop owners, and the technicians that we’ve gotten to know since we opened this business.
We’ve developed friendships with people all around the country; it’s a huge network of knowledgeable people. They’re just wonderful mentors and friends that I would have never known had I not been a part of this franchise. We’ll have very frequent interaction with other shop owners, or even other technicians at other shops, and I wouldn’t have had access to their expertise if I was trying to make it on my own.
What qualities are important if you’re going to be successful with Christian Brothers?
I think the key to being successful in this business is hard work. If you’re a farmer or a gardener, you’ve always got to be watering and fertilizing your plants. It’s the same thing with this business. You have to be a go-getter. You have to be willing to work hard, and I think you have to be willing to be teachable. You have to want to learn and have a general idea that nothing is going to happen if you don’t work hard to make it happen, and pray.
What role does faith play in your business?
Though we are a faith-based business, it is important that we remember that people who don’t follow or share your belief system still place a high value on trust. Our faith is a symbol that the work we do is done with honesty and integrity. The other side of that is more personal — again going back to the other franchisees, technicians, and people at the corporate office we’ve met. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for these relationships and the friendships that we’ve made with these people.
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