Choosing the Right Investment

For years, Steve Sargent would board a plane for work on an early Monday morning, return home Friday and prepare for his next trip, losing valuable time with his family. Then, he started to notice a shift in corporate America and found himself on the outside looking in. Although he had found success in the medical and pharmaceutical sales industry, he knew something had to change.

“I said, ‘You know what? I’m going to invest in myself and start a business.’ Automotive has always intrigued me because I have such a high interest in it, and I’m very mechanically inclined. With my marketing background, I realized that the reputation of the automotive repair industry is not that good because a lot of people don’t trust their auto repair shop. I knew I had to be truthful and transparent and take care of the customer,” Sargent said.

That is exactly what Sargent has done at his Cary, North Carolina, location, which is one of the highest-rated auto repair shops in the Raleigh area. Instead of specializing in one type of service like local mom-and-pop shops and other auto repair stores, Mr. Transmission/Milex offers reliable transmission and general auto repair services, making it a one-stop shop.

Sargent, who prides himself on the honest relationships he forms within his business and community, is actively involved in giving back too. “During certain months, if you bring canned goods in for the North Carolina food bank or unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots, you get a discount on your oil change. I’m part of this community, and I want to contribute to the well-being of this community. It makes us feel good, and it makes customers feel good. It’s a win-win,” he said.

Here’s a glimpse into a day in the life of a Mr. Transmission/Milex franchisee: 6:30 a.m. An hour before opening, Sargent begins administrative work. He monitors the store’s progress toward daily, weekly and monthly goals. He also responds to customers’ messages through the company’s text program.

7:30 a.m. As the store opens, Sargent assigns tasks to employees and moves from the back office to the front of the store to interact with customers and help employees problem-solve. Sargent also helps answer the 60-plus calls the store receives daily.

10 a.m. Sargent continues with administrative tasks, like taking care of warranties, scheduling inspections and making calls. If he doesn’t have a particular part in the store, he will run to a local shop or dealership to ensure that customers are getting fast, reliable service. Sargent also meets with his shop manager, completes margin analyses and even handles the paperwork for the sale of abandoned cars, which can result in a profit.

2 p.m. Throughout the day, Sargent checks on his mechanics and the work being done. Because of the complexity of vehicles, Sargent will take the data his mechanics give him and complete research to develop game plans for his technicians and ultimately provide high-quality service to his customers.

5 p.m. Once the store closes, Sargent finishes the remaining administrative tasks. He backups and shuts down computers, checks over 200 emails he received that day and completes vendor forms.

6 p.m. Sargent drives home to spend time with his wife, Nikki, and their two daughters. He enjoys assisting his youngest daughter with her chemistry homework and helping his wife with tasks around the house.

Story originally published online from Franchise Dictionary Magazine.


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