It takes a village.
As a business owner, getting the right people to work for you and help your company succeed can be a challenge. They must be skilled, dependable, and trustworthy. And if they’re not skilled, they have to be trainable.
As a Strickland Brothers Franchise Owner, you can trust that we’ll support you in the hiring and training process. We’ve come up with an efficient way to onboard your new employees so they can get to work fast and you can focus on growing your business.
Here is an introduction to Strickland Brothers University, how the program was created, and why this training leads to successful franchising.
What Is Strickland Brothers University?
Strickland Brothers University is a college-level platform of entry-level and management courses that features 100+ modules, videos, quizzes, and mobile access.
When you start to explore the quick lube industry, you’ll discover one of the biggest challenges is labor: finding, training, and keeping workers. With our online training program, new hires are taught how to perform their duties quickly. This helps management deal with turnover while ensuring operations continue to run smoothly.
Our in-depth, eLearning system is available to all employees to get them up to speed when they start working with us. This proprietary education platform makes it easier for franchise owners to seek out workers from a broad applicant pool with no experience necessary.
For example, one of our employees, who started as a hood technician, worked her way up to store manager and then area manager. Before she worked for Strickland Brothers, she sold cell phones.
How Was Strickland Brothers University Created?
Justin Strickland—Founder, CEO, and President—also started his quick lube career as a hood technician. That’s how he gained tons of hands-on experience over the years performing tasks like pulling drain plugs, adding oil, and changing oil filters.
When it was time for Justin to figure out how he wanted to help Franchise Owners train the people who would be working in the shops, he decided to go with an eLearning platform. After settling on an LMS (Learning Management Systems) provider, they told him they were going to bring in subject matter experts to develop the content.
But Justin had another idea.
“I told them I wanted to be the subject matter expert,” he said.
Justin wanted to find a way to train each employee himself. So he scripted every course at Strickland Brothers University to share his decade of quick lube experience with future workers.
What Courses Are Taught at Strickland Brothers University?
The curriculum starts with an orientation where new employees learn what Strickland Brothers is all about it, including our core values:
- Customer satisfaction
- Servant leadership
- Speed of service
Next, there’s the entry-level training for technicians on the basics of quick lube procedures. Lastly, there’s a section on management training, which, in part, revisits the original core values and suggests ways to maintain and exceed those standards.
How Does Strickland Brothers University Help Franchise Owners?
Franchise Owners are required to complete the online courses of Strickland Brothers University. That way, by the time they come to the corporate office for training, they already know the procedures and can focus on the hands-on experience, while reviewing what they’ve learned.
The data shows Strickland Brothers University works in favor of your success as a Franchise Owner. In one study, 55 employees across several states were given a test before they started the courses, and then another test after they completed the curriculum. The report showed scores from pre-test to post-test jumped an average of 26%.
In another study, we discovered having workers go through Strickland Brothers University had a direct correlation to a store’s success. The top three locations where 100% of employees finished the training were also the top three stores in revenue growth and customer satisfaction. Stores with the lowest course completion rates fell toward the bottom of the rankings.
Strickland Brothers University: A Culture & Model for Growth
Now you know what Strickland Brothers University is and the role it plays in successful franchising.
Our virtual academy prepares entry-level and management employees to start working right away with the knowledge and skills necessary for great performance.
At Strickland Brothers, we understand preparing our Franchise Owners and their employees to succeed is imperative in helping meet and exceed their objectives and goals. That’s why we’ve invested in a solid curriculum—created by the CEO himself—to fuel growth.
Your success is our success.
And we vow to support you every step of the way.
When the pandemic took over our lives in 2020, it made a lot of us stop and rethink our futures.
Some small business owners closed their doors and retired after decades of being in business. Other people lost their jobs and felt the need to regain control of their lives. For many of them, investing in a franchise sounded like a great opportunity.
This was our first year of franchising at Strickland Brothers. We sold more than 100 units in 2020—despite a global pandemic and a struggling economy. Here’s how we did it.
What Were Strickland Brothers’ Successes in 2020?
First, here’s a little bit of our background to put things into perspective:
- In 2016, the first Strickland Brothers location was founded in Thomasville, North Carolina. The next year, we made improvements to create a scalable model.
- In 2018, five additional corporate locations opened in North Carolina and South Carolina.
- In 2019, seven additional corporate locations opened in North Carolina, West Virginia, and Virginia.
This year, Strickland Brothers started national expansion through franchising. We awarded our first agreement on April 7th. By the end of the year, more than 110 franchise units were awarded.
What Were the Keys to Selling 100 Franchise Units?
Justin Strickland—Founder, CEO, and President of Strickland Brothers—said the company’s performance in 2020 involved three steps.
The first step is the easiest. Anyone can award a franchise unit, take a check for payment, and then go on their merry way. But Justin believes the relationship between Franchisor and Franchise Owner goes deeper than that.
“It’s so much more than: You sign a franchise agreement, you hand us a franchise fee, and we wish you good luck—and you can use our name,” he said. “We look at it as a partnership.”
Building relationships with franchise consultants across the country has allowed us to find Franchise Owners who fit the Strickland Brothers culture. These firms help future entrepreneurs evaluate their range of interests, industries, and values until they land on the franchise concept that’s right for them.
Setting Up for Success
The second step is putting our Franchise Owners in a position to open successfully. We get a lot of help at this stage from our friends at Linville Team Partners. They assist our Franchise Owners with site selection and development.
Starting up a quick lube business is not as easy as developing other franchises. For instance, the process of finding a good location is a difficult task.
“This isn’t building out a strip mall like you would for a restaurant chain or juice bar,” Justin said. “We have to find dirt, and we have to build a free-standing building.”
Being able to connect our Franchise Owners with a business partner for the development process has been instrumental in the success of building our teams.
Partnering with the Right Owners
The third step is finding then partnering with the right Franchise Owners and pointing them toward profitability. We work with the folks at FranDevCo to educate our new entrepreneurs through the Discovery Process, which includes:
- Initial call
- Business overview webinar
- Operations & Support webinar
- Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) review
- Executive call
- Discovery day
- Decision day
- Signing day
Justin talks with each potential franchise owner during this stage to find out more about them and answer any questions they may have.
“I want them to tell me about their kids, their spouse, their parents, just anything they’re willing to share with me,” he said.
Justin said after a potential new Owner goes through the education process, meets the leadership team, and takes a store tour, they have a better understanding of what the company is about and how they will be supported.
What’s Ahead for Strickland Brothers in 2021?
“Rinse, repeat, and innovate,” Justin answered.
With all of the franchise units sold in 2020, the company’s goal is to open the 100th store, which includes franchises and corporate locations, in 2021. However, when it comes to selling more franchise units, Justin is a little more flexible.
“We’re going to grow at the pace when qualified Franchise Owners present themselves who align with our values,” he said. “Not any faster and not any slower.”
Justin said he won’t sign agreements just to keep adding franchises if they’re not the right partners.
“When you’re not money-motivated, and you’re motivated by people, it’s an easy decision to make,” he said.
How Strickland Brothers Sold More Than 100 Franchise Units in 2020
Now you know how Strickland Brothers was able to sell more than 100 franchise units in 2020 amid a public health crisis and economic recession.
By establishing partnerships with our Franchise Owners and setting them up for success, we were able to provide entrepreneurs with lucrative opportunities, as well as support and guidance.
The in-demand nature of our industry (plus established protocols) gave Strickland Brothers an edge in 2020. You can learn more about the value of running a recession-resilient and contactless business by checking out this blog.
The global pandemic of 2020 turned the business world upside down and forced many leaders in various industries to make impromptu pivots.
In the beginning, the situation seemed temporary. As long as everyone shut down for a few weeks and stayed in place, we could get the virus under control and go back to business as usual.
But that never happened.
Then, protocols such as social distancing at stores and curbside service at restaurants made their way into our routines. This was now the new normal, and companies that adapted to it had a better chance of survival.
As the year wore on, it became clearer the COVID-19 outbreak wasn’t going anywhere. A business being recognized as essential, while providing contactless interaction, seemed to be the key to staying afloat, even thriving.
In this blog, we’ll explain how the pandemic reaffirmed the value of running a recession-resilient business that offers contact-free service and how easy it was for Strickland Brothers Franchise Owners to continue to operate.
What Is a Recession-Resilient Business?
When the economy is in a downturn, a recession-resilient business is not affected. It continues to provide products or services that are in high demand. Even if money is tight, consumers won’t go without their essentials. Examples include food and beverages, baby products, healthcare, information technology, and repair services.
During the pandemic and subsequent recession, the need for delivery services surged because people were advised to stay home as much as possible. However, they still needed items like milk, diapers, and prescriptions. Online services saw an uptick as well because people were seeing their doctors through virtual visits instead of going to the office or exercising with a group via Zoom instead of hitting the gym.
While some recession-resilient businesses can send goods to your doorstep or offer consultations online, others have no choice but to function in person. You can’t have virtual repairs done on your dishwasher. There’s not a way for you to have a cavity filled online. And you can’t get an oil change delivered to your house.
What Makes Strickland Brothers Recession-Resilient?
As long as there are cars on the road, quick lube will be a service that’s always in demand. It’s an $8 billion industry with nearly 290 million registered vehicles across the U.S. Even in a down economy, people still need to drive to get places such as work and school. They must also keep up with regular auto maintenance. Otherwise, they’ll pay for costly repairs later.
When the pandemic hit, quick lubes were one of many businesses that were deemed essential. This allowed franchises like Strickland Brothers to stay open and keep providing necessary services for our customers. However, while others scrambled to adapt, we didn’t have to make any large adjustments to figure out how to operate. This gave us a big advantage over our competitors.
Our business model was designed for contactless interaction and social distancing. Customers stay in their vehicles while they’re getting service, and they have limited exposure to the technicians. As such, it didn’t take much for us to continue operations during the pandemic. We stocked our locations with face masks and hand sanitizer and advised our technicians to stay six feet apart.
Why Is Strickland Brothers’ Contactless Service Valuable?
While other businesses struggled with our new COVID-19 reality through the spring and summer, Strickland Brothers saw record sales in May, June, and July. Those successes were achieved not only because the demand for service continued, but also because our existing contactless system worked like a charm.
The idea of a drive-thru system was originally derived from our customer-first mentality, We didn’t want our technicians getting in and out of vehicles because we knew they would stay dirty all day. No one wants to hand over their keys to have their car serviced, then get back behind the wheel and sit in a grease spot.
Our contactless model is a win-win for customers and technicians. The customer has the convenience of staying in the car and possibly getting another errand done on their phone. The technician can stay in the bay and do their job without worrying about messing up someone’s interior. And everyone gets to stay six feet (or more) apart.
The Value of Running a Recession-Resilient, Contactless Business in a Pandemic
Now you know the value of owning a business that’s essential and contact-free during an economic crisis such as a pandemic.
When you own a quick lube franchise like Strickland Brothers, your services will always be in demand—whether the economy is good or bad. You can also offer a convenient service by allowing customers to stay in their cars and away from other people.
While the pandemic may have stunted other businesses’ growth in 2020, Strickland Brothers added franchises and continued down a path of success. If you’re thinking about starting a quick lube business and would like to learn more about our achievements this year, take a look at this blog.
The quick lube industry remains in high demand despite a global pandemic and the resulting recession.
Why? Because we’re Americans, we love our cars, and we just can’t sit still.
Getting an oil change is the most common service for car owners. With more than 230 million licensed drivers in the U.S., there are many advantages to investing in vs. starting a business in this $8 billion industry.
Here are the top five benefits of owning a quick lube franchise—plus features offered by Strickland Brothers 10 Minute Oil Change.
What Are the Top 5 Benefits of Running a Quick Lube Franchise?
You’ll be interested in owning a quick lube franchise if these five factors sound appealing to you: simplistic industry, streamlined processes, recession-resilience, recurring revenue, and ongoing support.
In a traditional auto repair shop, you must amp up your recruiting efforts to find the right people to hire who can do the job. There’s more training involved with this type of business because technicians need to know diagnostic procedures and equipment. A quick lube franchise requires a much simpler skill set for its labor force.
Perhaps the biggest challenge the industry faces right now is finding, training, and retaining sufficient personnel. After all, most young people don’t have much interest in cars these days and aren’t likely to wake up in the morning hoping to get a job at a quick-lube shop.
At Strickland Brothers, we can hire, train and retain top-notch employees who want to grow within the company through our proprietary education platform. Strickland Brothers University makes it easy to attract individuals from a broad applicant pool with no experience necessary.
When you purchase a quick lube franchise, you are investing in a business model that has made other entrepreneurs successful. You don’t have to start from scratch and find out what works (and doesn’t work) the hard way. A strategy for success has already been laid out for you. One of the most difficult aspects of this industry is inventory. In most competitor models, the Franchise Owner is solely responsible for counting, ordering and stocking inventory.
One of Strickland Brothers’ best features is our inclusive inventory model. Our vendors order products through demographic reports and even stock them on the shelf on behalf of each Owner. You don’t deal with expensive master packs, dead stock, tied-up capital, or inventory headaches. This means stronger profit margins.
Consumers consider car maintenance an essential service to prevent costly problems down the road. Millions of drivers in the U.S. still have to get from point A to point B—whether the economy is up or down. To keep moving, those motorists must have somewhere to go to get oil changes. That makes the quick lube industry recession-resilient.
Our signature 10-minute oil change is quick, convenient, and hassle free. We always include checking and topping off under hood fluids. Our drive-thru setup allows our technicians to guide a client into a bay so they can stay in their car and see the job done correctly right before their eyes in 10 minutes or less. There’s no appointment necessary.
When you’re starting a business, it’s important to understand the worth you’re building beyond your current income statement. If your model is done correctly, you’re going to have repeat business with a quick lube franchise. It’s not a one-and-done type of service; it’s recurring maintenance that lasts the lifetime of the vehicle.
Customers come back to Strickland Brothers not only for maintenance but also for convenience, fair pricing, and quality service. We help our Franchise Owners attract and keep their clientele through our full-service marketing program. There are very few, if any, other automotive franchise companies that offer this type of support.
Because we handle marketing for every Franchise Owner from our corporate office, they can focus on other aspects of running their business. All they have to do is make sure there’s money in the bank to pay for ads, accept coupons when they’re brought into the store, and reap the benefits of a loyal customer base. That’s it!
With a quick lube franchise, you enjoy the benefit of brand awareness. Instead of trying to build a reputation, you already have the name of a company that customers know and trust. As a franchisor, that company should also support you in areas such as setup, marketing, inventory, partnerships, and overall guidance.
Having built over 20+ locations corporately, Strickland Brothers understands the ins and outs of the entire site selection and construction process, so we’ve partnered with a couple of preferred vendors to oversee this process to find the best locations possible while keeping costs low.
As one of our Franchise Owners, you’ll be assigned a dedicated Franchise Business Consultant (FBC) who will be your primary point of contact to assist with training, benchmarking KPIs, and more. Your FBC will visit your location at least once per quarter to assist with on-going support, training and compliance.
Top 5 Benefits of Owning a Quick Lube Franchise
Now you know the top five perks you’ll get out of running a quick lube operation.
The benefits of a franchise include a simplistic industry, streamlined processes, recession-resilience, recurring revenue, and a support system.
If you have more questions about owning a Strickland Brothers 10 Minute Oil Change, check out our free eBook that explains everything you need to know about running a quick lube franchise.
If you’re ready to take the next steps of becoming a Strickland Brothers Franchise Owner, fill out this form and one of our development directors will be in touch!