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Start Your Engines

Franchising

Franchising has long been a way to speed up expansion for a growing business. But Tuffy Associates Corp. in Toledo, Ohio, has found a way to put even franchise growth into overdrive.

The 25-year-old auto service company purchases new locations from auto shop owners who are ready to retire, then manages the stores until they can be resold to franchisees as Tuffy Auto Service Centers.

Tuffy director of franchise development Bob Bressler says the company has been aggressively pursuing this type of growth for more than a year.

In the process, Tuffy reaps another benefit: Sellers can refer qualified employees who are interested in helping the new franchisee run the shop. "Who better to run the business than someone who has already been in the business?" asks Bressler.

This turbo-charged growth strategy has helped Tuffy grow to 172 units, mostly in the Midwest-and the race is far from over.

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This article was originally published in the February 1996 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Start Your Engines.

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