Family automotive businesses have the upper hand on franchises
I heard a segment on MarketPlace today about the perilous position that many franchise businesses are in for a variety of reasons, real estate, bad business models and overly optimistic revenue projections. Franchise businesses are starting to drop like flies. The automotive repair shops are a good example. The article referenced below is a good sign of how the economy will recover. The personal service model of independent auto repair shops stands in stark contrast to both the business model and the sevice model of most franchises. Where a franchise will have an absent owner, an independent shop will have multiple family members with a vested interest in the business dealing directly with customers. I can put my keys in the hand of the mechanic that will work on my car and talk to him about the repairs afterwards. These are economic tough times but the shake out of how business is conducted in Americ could prove to be a great thing.
The Allen family became entrepreneurs in 1986 to be their own boss. Before beginning their automotive maintenance business, Robert Allen worked at J.C. Penney’s garage. Jimmy Allen was with Goodyear in the early 1980s. They began in a partnership on Kingston Road, and when a parts shop on the opposite corner put their place up for sale, they opened as an independent family operation in 2004.
Harry Allen, the senior member of this family business, gives credit to his wife, Billie Allen, for “bankrolling their opening business.”
The loyalty of their customers is obvious. “We saw them move from car seat to driver’s seat,” Harry Allen said.
Gary Lindsay, owner of Gary Lindsay Auto Sales on Wallace Lake Road, stated that he refers not only customers, but any friends to Affordable Automotive for repair and maintenance of vehicles. “They are dependable, honest and trustworthy,” he said.
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