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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 thislesson so hard to live by as when Katabi opened a Dent Doctor franchise inColumbus, Ohio. Inexperienced at the dent-repair process, Katabiwas faced with a job that he initially couldn't do."That's what killed me in the beginning," hesays.

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

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