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Bringing Something New to Auto Repair Franchising as a Woman Tired of being "treated like a moron" when she went to the auto repair shop, Sherry Rector decided to open an Honest-1 Auto Care franchise of her own.

By Kate Taylor

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Sherry Rector
Sherry Rector

Franchise Players is Entrepreneur's Q&A interview column that puts the spotlight on franchisees. If you're a franchisee with advice and tips to share, email ktaylor@entrepreneur.com.

For most of her life, when Sherry Rector went to an auto repair shop, she felt like she was being talked down to. She grew used to technicians treating her as if she was unable to understand the intricacies of her car without a man present. Instead of getting mad, Rector decided to take matters into her own hands. Today she owns an Honest-1 Auto Care franchise. Here's what she has learned as a female franchisee in a predominantly male industry.

Name: Sherry Rector

Franchise owned: Honest-1 Auto Care of Ladson, S.C.

How long have you owned a franchise?

My location has been open since early 2012.

Why franchising?

I felt that being attached to a franchise would be beneficial with training, support, and a proven system of marketing and advertising, instead of trial by fire. I was able to reach my business goals quicker than I would have just on my own.

Related: Bringing Innovation to the Dry Cleaning Industry

What were you doing before you became a franchise owner?

Before I became a franchise owner I was the corporate quality control manager for a manufacturing company.

Why did you choose this particular franchise?

I really thought Honest-1 Auto Care had a business model that was inviting. Previously, I felt that the auto repair shop was a place where, as a woman, I was not really welcome. I felt I could change that with Honest-1. Over the years of taking my vehicle to various shops for repair work, I often felt that I was being pressured to buy services I did not need. I was also talked down to as if I were a moron or needed a boyfriend, husband or father to help me understand what the technicians had to say about my car. Our business and the system are tailored to women and families, which really resonated with me.

How much would you estimate you spent before you were officially open for business?

The franchise fee for Honest-1 units is $35,000, with a total estimated start-up cost between $169,750 and $457,975.

Where did you get most of your advice/do most of your research?

While working on my master's degree, I had to come up with my own business plan, so I knew what I was looking for initially. I did a lot of my research online, and I worked with a franchise broker to finalize my decision.

Related: Starting From Scratch After 15 Years in the Workforce

What were the most unexpected challenges of opening your franchise?

Finding the right employees to make my business grow was unexpected for me. It took a little time for me to find the right staff and be confident that if I needed to step away, I could.

What advice do you have for individuals who want to own their own franchise?

Develop thick skin. For me, owning an auto care business is a shock to many because I am a woman. But because I am a woman, I have a great perspective of what other women go through with other auto care businesses. With owning a business in the auto care industry, I have to be knowledgeable on all aspects of the car and take great pride in delivering great work to our customers. It's rewarding to know that we can make life a little easier for a mom or her family.

What's next for you and your business?

We are expanding and opening our second location in December.

Related: Helping Dementia Patients Through Franchising

Kate Taylor

Staff Writer. Covers franchise-related trends and topics.

Kate Taylor is a staff writer covering franchises for Entrepreneur.com. Related areas of interest include chain restaurants, franchisee profiles and food trends. Get in touch with tips and feedback via email at ktaylor@entrepreneur.com or on Twitter at @Kate_H_Taylor. 

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