Midas Franchise Review — Twin Cities Midas Franchise Honors Three Generations
Posted on: June 13, 2014
Adam Stranik talks about the longevity of the family franchise in this Midas franchise review
The Stranik family of Minnesota has been connected to the Midas brand for more than half a century. Richard Stranik, the patriarch of the family, opened his first shop in St. Paul in 1962. Richard retired more than two decades ago, but he kept the business in the family and handed the reins to his son Joe. Eventually another son, Mark, joined the business. Adam Stranik, 31, became the third generation of Straniks to join the business when he began working for franchise in 2008. Father, son and uncle now run the franchise together, with Adam handling the responsibilities of operations manager. In this Midas franchise review Adam chronicles the history of the family business.
What were you doing before you joined the family Midas business? I graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 2005, and from there I had a sales job in legal publishing. After that I worked at Progressive Insurance as a claims adjuster. That was the last job that I had before I came onboard.
Did you work in the family Midas shop growing up? I worked at Midas minimally as a teenager when I needed cash. I never even had a conversation about having a career at Midas until I got a phone call from my dad when I was working at Progressive. He said: “Hey I just fired a manager. You want to manage one of the shops?”
Were you itching to get out of the corporate job? Yes and no. I really, really liked working at Progressive. It was a fun place to work and had a lot of employees in their mid-to-late 20s. Everything was different every day, and I really liked that part of the job. But Midas is similar; everything changes here from day to day, too. I am definitely glad that I decided to join the business.
What do you like about your job now? I like being a decision-maker. In a corporate job you have zero control when it comes to big decisions. I like seeing people develop their skills, and I like seeing sales growth. I like making a difference. When you run a company with your family, you get to implement changes. You have the opportunity to hire really great people. We’ve created a fun place to work, and having two generations working together is really interesting. I’ve heard some people say working with family members is a challenge, but for me it’s really been great.
Now that you are in a leadership position in the family business, do you think you’re going to pursue Midas as your career as you move forward? When I first started working for the company I was strictly an employee and manager. I did that for four years. For the past two years I’ve been a shareholder. Hopefully, my future will include growing in that role.
What sets Midas apart from competitors? I think probably the biggest differentiator is Midas’ name recognition. Everybody knows the Midas name.
How much opportunity is there in this industry? I think there’s a lot, especially because of our partnership with TBC Corporation (which owns the Midas franchise system as well as several tire chains). I believe tires are going to be a big part of our future. We have strong buying power now compared to what we used to have. We’ve had a significant growth over the past couple of years, and I think it’s only the beginning.
How important is it for a franchisee to have previous automotive experience? I don’t think you need it. My father didn’t have any automotive experience. My grandfather was in tire sales when he first started the company. That was way back in the 1960s, and there was a lot he didn’t know. I think understanding a retail business is a more important skill to have. I also think understanding customer service is key. There are some Midas guys who are really into car culture, and there are others who just want to run good businesses and serve their customers well.
How many customers do you serve a day? Our busiest locations can have up to 30 a day. The less busy ones are closer to nine or 10 a day. The average shop has 13-14 customers a day.
How many employees do you have? Not including myself, we have about 54 employees. We have really low unemployment in our market, so we are constantly running ads. When you find good people you have to hang onto them.
Do you have any favorite customer stories? We have a lot of stories! I think my favorite ones center around the Christmas holidays. When I go to the different shops during the holidays, they are always full of gifts from customers. Every shop has Christmas cards, thank-you cards, cookies and snacks from customers. It’s a cool thing to see when customers come in bearing plates of cookies, treats and snacks. That’s when you know that your guys are doing a good job.
Does your grandfather still participate in the business? Yes, and he just turned 86. He retired some years ago, but he still comes in every once in a while. He definitely comes by and checks on us.
What do you like about being a franchisee? There are definitely some huge benefits to having a franchise. It’s really nice to be an entrepreneur and still have back-up support from the franchise. We get a lot of benefits from having national buying power and a national name, not to mention the national TV advertising.
What sets Midas apart from competitors? I think a lot of it is probably reputation and brand name. A lot of it is image, too. If you have a clean store, a nice parking lot and amenities in your waiting room, it’s going to make a big difference. I think we do these kinds of things better than our competitors. Our emphasis on total car care is very important, and I think it’s going to continue to be a big part of Midas’ future.
Does being a part of a franchise give you more flexibility than you had working a corporate job? Yes, and the flexibility is a nice benefit. There can be an interesting rhythm to it. Sometimes you work really hard. You may work all day and into the night, but there are other times when you have flexibility, and you can take a day off in the middle of the week if you want to. My wife and I and my son are going to pick up a Golden Retriever puppy next week. It will take us a couple of hours to drive out of town to pick him up. If I worked at a corporate job, it would be hard to grab my boss and say: “Hey, can I take the day off? I’m going to go pick up a puppy.” He’d be like, “What are you, nuts?” I also have time to brew beer, play the guitar, read and spend time with my family.
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