World Entrepreneurs Day is August 21 and its purpose is to create awareness for entrepreneurship, innovation and leadership throughout the world. It is a time to recognize those who have started their own business and learn more about their challenges and successes along the way.
So in honor of World Entrepreneurs Day, we caught up with Lowell and Cindy Hester, who own the Mr. Transmission in Sandy Springs, Georgia. Cindy gave us the scoop on how they’re thriving as busy entrepreneurs.
How things began. After several years in real estate, Lowell looked into an opportunity with Mr. Transmission in the mid-90’s. He wasn’t initially keen on the idea – he didn’t like getting his hands dirty – but he loved cars, and he was looking for a career change. He had sold houses and worked as a mortgage broker, and he wanted something new.
Lowell started as a center manager at Mr. Transmission, and then bought the shop several years later in 1998. Cindy joined Mr. Transmission in 2008 and now serves as the store’s president of marketing and administrative operations. It is a partnership that has worked for more than a decade. They’ve won two “Franchise of the Year” awards over that time (2011 and 2016). They also owned a Mr. Transmission in Decatur, Georgia, until the they sold it to Lowell’s son, Scott, It should be noted, Lowell and Cindy are very active in their community, participating in a local Toys for Toys campaign every year.
What the Hesters have learned about being an entrepreneur over the years. They have learned countless lessons about running a business and the importance of customer service. One of Lowell’s favorite sayings is, “You can never go wrong by doing the right thing,” and that philosophy has guided them and helped their business thrive.
The Hesters recognize that a business lives and dies by the quality of their customer service.
“Customer experiences can make or break a business,” said Cindy. “Always be prepared for the variety of personalities you will encounter and strive to help each customer understand the process and make sure they are completely satisfied with the results.”
While being a business owner may mean you can make your own hours, that is mostly in theory, according to Cindy.
“Business owner hours are not 9-to-5, Monday through Friday,” she said. “You are responsible for your own success and you need to work whatever hours are necessary to get the job done.”
The Hesters’ advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Cindy said that the human element of a business – such as hiring people and having to let them go if things don’t work out – is extremely challenging. “It’s a very underrated part of running a business,” she said.
In fact, running a business is hard, period, and it’s important to recognize that going in, she said.
“But the benefits and rewards outweigh the tough times,” said Cindy. “The saying is true: Nothing comes easy. You must be willing to work and put in the hours to be successful.”
Being a franchise owner can require a lot of long hours and hard work, but it also a very rewarding career in many ways. World Entrepreneurs Day is one way in which we can recognize and appreciate the unique path in life each of the franchisees in the Moran Family of Brands’ system have traveled.