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Plain Training and Automobiles

You can't find success 'til you learn the trade.

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This story appears in the February 2003 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Ammar Katabi, 36, learned to be a perfectionist from his father, who told him that failure is not an option. But never was this lesson so hard to live by as when Katabi opened a Dent Doctor franchise in Columbus, Ohio. Inexperienced at the dent-repair process, Katabi was faced with a job that he initially couldn't do. "That's what killed me in the beginning," he says.

Specializing in paint-free automobile dent repair at a relatively low cost, Dent Doctor has franchises across the United States and provides franchisees with four to five weeks of training in repairing dents. However, the training is just the beginning. According to Katabi, it takes eight months to a year to reach a level of expertise, and when the franchisee is inexperienced, a dent that should take 10 minutes to repair can instead take up to seven hours. To get his own franchise underway, Katabi needed three months of additional assistance from Dent Doctor technicians. "The training is the [hardest] part of our business," he says. "But if you last a month, you'll be fine."

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