Is there anything you could want done with a car that isn't available from an auto franchise? Not likely. The franchise industry is spreading into every facet of our daily lives--including our cars--because we're all looking for the same things: dependable products, systems and services.
Today more than ever, automotive franchises strive to deliver the choices that value-conscious consumers are looking for--which translates into lots of choices for aspiring franchisees as well. Let's take an imaginary road trip in and around the car to see just how comprehensive automotive franchise opportunities world has become.
Before you even hop in a car, the first thing you notice is the outer appearance. Are there dings or dents? If so, there are many franchises designed to quickly and efficiently repair these blemishes and get you on your way. How's the paint job? Scrapes and other damage may send you to a franchise that can give your car a new paint job with little muss or fuss. If rust is an issue (or if you'd like to keep it from being one), you can go to a rust-prevention franchise. Even if you've been in a serious accident and have major body and frame damage, there are auto repair franchises that can handle all the work necessary to get the car back in full operation. And if the only problem with a car's appearance is that it's looking a little dirty, there are car wash franchises in virtually every market throughout the country.
Now let's check out the windows. Are there cracks or pock marks on the windshield? No problem. There are franchises that will come right to your location, fix the glass quickly and even handle the insurance billing for you.
Wheels and tires
For both safety and cosmetic reasons, it's essential that the wheels and tires on a car are up to snuff. There are many franchises that specialize in products and services for these automotive components so that customers can get exactly the tires and wheels they need and want. In addition, if the brakes aren't as good as they should be, there are franchises that will repair or replace them, too.
Once you hop inside the car, the first thing you notice is the condition of the interior. Are there rips, cracks or holes in any fabric or vinyl surface? Not to worry; there are automotive interior repair franchises that will come directly to you and make your upholstery like new. As for accessories to decorate the interior of the car, there are retail automotive supply franchises that sell everything you could want--from hanging dice for the rearview mirror to American flag shades for the back window.
Under the hood
Next you fire up the engine--how's it sound? If it's running a little rough, a visit to a tune-up franchise may be in order. If the oil and lubricants need changing, a franchise can do that as well, with little or no waiting. If the gears don't shift like they used to, one of the many franchised transmission shops can get this fixed.
Let's not forget the most basic question of all-where to get the car in the first place? Many people don't realize that virtually all new-car dealers are actually franchises. When you're traveling, you may decide to rent a car and most rental operations are also franchises. In fact, if you decide to rent a truck to move yourself, you will likely be dealing with a franchise then as well.
Franchise opportunities are available for almost any automotive product or service you can imagine. No matter what a person needs, a franchise probably exists to help them deal with it. And if you've got the entrepreneurial itch--and a love for cars--you could be the person filling that need. As this tour of a car has shown, there's no shortage of demand for automotive products and services, so there are lots of opportunities for you to become a franchisee in this rapidly growing field.
Jeff Elgin has almost 20 years of experience franchising, both as a franchisee and a senior franchise company executive. He's currently the CEO of FranChoice Inc., a company that provides free consulting to consumers looking for a franchise that best meets their needs.