Steve Marble’s franchise, Ultragloss, is a profit-creator for the automotive market. Ultragloss franchisees-known as automotive appearance specialists, are a welcome sight at automobile dealerships everywhere.
That’s because they offer a low-cost service that improves the appearance of the vehicles on their lots which in turn, helps increase profit margins.
Clean cars = More profit.
I interviewed the founder, Steve Marble, and asked him a few questions about his franchise business opportunity….
1. When did you open your business, and why did you do so?
I opened Ultragloss in 1992 when I was 18-years old. I had a passion for cars my entire life. I even kept my Hot Wheels in mint condition as a kid. I began detailing, working for someone who is actually a client of mine now. As I made more contacts in the industry I decided to go out on my own. Initially we were a detail shop. My clients began referring more business to me and I saw the potential to grow. As I became more educated and experienced in the industry, I saw the need for a niche to be filled. That niche was the repairing the scrapes, scuffs, blemishes, and other cosmetic damages that hinder the sale of used automobiles.
While I had a fixed location, I found that I could make even more money going mobile. I started to expand quickly and began training more people to put out on the road to fulfill our client’s needs. It’s no surprise how much used car dealerships need our affordable services. There are tons of dealerships out there and used car sales outnumber new car sales significantly each year.
2. What are some really cool things that my readers should know about the Ultragloss franchise?
Before we decided to franchise, we researched franchises with similar models (i.e. mobile paint franchises). Ultragloss offers the lowest royalty. We also don’t make anything off our proprietary products. We’ve negotiated contracts with our suppliers and that’s a savings we pass on to our franchisees.
On a more personal level, I do all the training myself. I trained every truck we have out on the road now and it’s something I love to do. My subcontractors and franchisees have really grown and they do so fairly quickly. I take great pride in my company and watching our people succeed is my passion.
I really individualize the training. The franchisee typically starts our online training a month before coming to our boot camp training. We have days worked into our 12-day boot camp style franchise training to evaluate the franchisees progress and focus on the weaknesses so they don’t leave our shop feeling inadequate in any area. I also do a follow up when the franchisee first opens where I go out and help them solicit accounts. Getting new accounts can be the most intimidating factor when starting your own business and it’s something I’ve been doing for over 20-years.
3. What are some of the backgrounds of your franchisees?
Well, they come from all different backgrounds. Take Joe, he used to own a trucking company. One of our newest franchisees, Tony, was a Ford autoworker and worked his way into the electrical field. Another franchisee, Greg, used to install and fix marble countertops.
Some of our subcontractors used to do graphic arts, cut meat, work construction, served in the military, some worked in body shops, others worked in tire shops, and manufacturing. We find that motivation is key. People need to have an open-mind and a will to learn a new skill and we have found most skills are easily transferred to our industry.
4. Please tell us about your new franchise program for military veterans?
We offer military veterans a $10,000 discount off of our initial franchise fee. Our initial franchise fee is $35,000 and it includes our 12-day training program, grand opening assistance training (typically lasts 3-5 days), learning the management system prior to training, and more. We’ve made all the costs associated with our offering available on our website.
5. What are some of the misconceptions about your business that may cause potential franchise owners to skip over your offering?
I would say being a new franchise without a well-recognized brand may hinder interest. The reality is that this is a proven industry itself. We’ve perfected every aspect of it from the way we perform repairs down to the way we manage our client’s inventory and relationships.
Another may be it’s hard for people who are not in the industry to see how it can be profitable. The reason we decided to franchise was because we saw the success of our subcontractors and we thought this would be a great way to take our name across the US. So we worked with franchise specialists and duplicated our existing mobile business model and now we’re extending our offering to motivated, self-starters.
6. How can people that are interested in Ultragloss contact you for more information?
Our phone number is 1-855-GET-1UGA (438-1842).
Our franchise website is www.ugafranchise.com where interested prospects can learn more about our offering and fill out an information request form online.
Prospects may also e-mail us at ugafranchise at ultragloss dot biz
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