Do You Want To Know A Secret?

Driven to the Top

Names and ages: Joel Schlachter, 57; Anita Schlachter, 54; and David Schlachter, 28

Franchise name and description: The Schlachters' Maaco Auto Painting & Bodyworks franchise provides exterior work on older and damaged cars. The partners have also worked on cars for the local fire and police departments, as well as supplied cars for the movies FX and Batman.

Franchise location: Nutley, New Jersey

Opened: 1984

1999 sales projections: $1.2 million

Driving force: "We've always loved cars," says Anita about the motivation behind the Schlachters' entry into the automotive restoration field. "We've always gone to antique car shows."

When Joel's handbag manufacturing business began to fail, the husband and wife searched for other business opportunities. After speaking with several Maaco owners from surrounding areas, the Schlachters decided it was the right franchise for them.

A family affair: David, the couple's son, grew up in the business and loved cars. After graduating from college, David decided to join his parents in the family business.

Driven to the top: Success has come consistently for the Schlachters, who have grossed $1 million every year they've been in business. "If you listen to what your franchisor says and follow its policies and procedures, you'll be successful," says Anita. "Those who think they know more shouldn't go into franchising."

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This article was originally published in the January 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Do You Want To Know A Secret?.

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