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Business Leader Behind a National Auto Repair Franchise’ Growth In Just a Short Time Span

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Franchising is one of the best to unearth opportunities in the automotive industry. Moran Family of Brands is one of the nation’s leading franchisors of general automotive repair, transmission repair and automotive accessory centers.. Based in Midlothian, Illinois, Moran Family of Brands provides specialty products and services in virtually every aspect of the automotive aftermarket through four individual brands and a total of more than 120 franchise locations nationwide including: Mr..Transmission, “The Professionals”; Alta Mere “The Automotive Outfitters”; Milex Complete Auto Care centers and SmartView Window Solutions. Under the leadership of Pete Baldine, they now have more quality franchisees in such a short period of time, along with entering several new markets.

We had an opportunity to interview President of Moran Family of Brands, Pete Baldine, and asked about their story, how they started and their future plans.

Tell us your story. Why did you start Moran Family of Brands?

Dennis Moran started in the automotive business in 1958 however, Moran Industries was formed in 1990 when he acquired Mr. Transmission, which was the beginning of our entry into the franchising world. Over the years Mr. Moran’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident as he built the original business around automotive resale & wholesale and eventually saw the need for automotive and transmission parts and repair services. In 1990, Mr. Moran, his wife and his youngest daughter Barb founded Moran Industries and expanded the business model to include franchised repair facilities with the acquisition of Mr. Transmission. Through hard work, commitment to customers and development of innovative products and services, Dennis, Cele and Barb built the business into one of the leading transmission, auto repair and accessory franchises in the country. Barb has led the company through a changing industry and has served as the President and CEO since 1999.

In 2010, Barb Moran, bought the business from her parents. Growing up in the business, Barb knows the value of building positive relationships and supporting her franchisees. This is demonstrated by her commitment to Moran franchisees in providing more tools, more technology, more system enhancements, and more vendor programs than ever before. In 2012, Moran Industries became Moran Family of Brands to better reflect the multiple brands and services that the company offers and the commitment to building a family environment for franchisees. We believe that in order for us to be successful, our franchisees must be successful. One way that we believe we can accomplish this is by promoting open communication among all of us. As a team, we are able to accomplish more with a common goal of success in our franchise. By working together, we not only create a strong and growing franchise system, we make a real difference in people’s lives by helping them to achieve their dreams.

 

How did you come up with your business name?

Moran is the family name of our co-founders Dennis Moran and Barbara Moran Goodrich.  For “Family of Brands” we felt this best reflected our philosophy of focusing on family and building legacies through business ownership.

 

Tell us about your products and services. How do you help clients in the automotive repair industry?

With Moran Family of Brands we have multiple products and services that we offer to the driving public.  We have a full array of services in the automotive repair business through our milex and Mr. Transmission brands.  We perform all aspects of repairs from oil changes all the way to engine replacements and transmission and drive train repair.   Our co-branded stores offer the most comprehensive one-stop shop services in the industry.   In addition to our repair offerings we offer automotive accessories through our Alta Mere Automotive Outfitters franchise.  Our accessory product lines include window film, paint protection film, electronic accessories for convenience, entertainment and safety such as remote starters, text blockers and lane changing sensors to name a few.  Thanks to our expertise in the window film industry we have branched out into residential and commercial window film services through our Smartview Window Solutions franchise.  With Smartview we install high-performance window film in homes and businesses to save energy, increase comfort and block damaging  UV rays.

 

What makes you unique? What is your unique selling proposition (USP)?

Co-Brand Advantage; All Moran Family of Brands’ opportunities can be combined into a co-branded business. Our co-branding strategy creates competitive advantages and promotes higher customer frequency of use and customer retention.

Why co-branding makes sense

Operate with comparable overhead expense as a single location but with multiple revenue streams

Reach customers with greater frequency and value-added services and products

Building a “one-stop” location translates into customer loyalty and tremendous repeat business designed to build long-term customer relationships

 

Where do you see your business in the next 3-5 years?

The automotive aftermarket provides an exceptional franchise opportunity. The auto care industry consistently shows annual growth driven by a shift in consumer behavior of keeping and maintaining cars longer while commuting more miles annually. In the United States, there are over 272 Million Registered Vehicles, an increase of 12% over the last 10 years. The average age of passenger vehicles is 11.6 years, an increase of 18% over the last 10 years. The U.S. auto care industry was a $342.5 billion industry in 2015 and is projected to reach $394 billion in 2019

Typically recession-resistant needs-based business

Our strategic direction is focused on the strength of the market and our advantages we feel we have with our proven franchise  model.  We plan to execute a multi-faceted approach to our growth strategy that includes not only growth through additional  new locations, welcoming existing independent operators into our system and most importantly revenue growth for our existing franchisees.  One of our strategic goals over the next 3-5 years is substantially increasing the average sales per store for each of our brands

 

Any advice you would give to entrepreneurs and business owners?

Starting any new business on your own can be rewarding and also challenging.  Having a proven business system to follow, along with a committed “support center” team that is committed to your success, can make the experience much more rewarding and successful.   Being part of a franchise community that allows for sharing of ideas and experiences that help you stay on top of market and customer trends is an important part of the experience.  You have three choices, you can go it alone and hope for the best or you can join a team that truly cares about your success and provides you with the tools and support you need to make it a reality.   The third choice is to do nothing and accept the status quo.

 

What is your favorite business quote and why?

My favorite business quote comes from none other than Will Rogers:  “even if you are on the right track you’ll get run over if you just sit there”.  I like it because it is comical to an extent while seriously pointing out the importance of taking action and not riding on your laurels.

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