Third-generation Midas Franchise Owner Explains Why He’s Expanding As Quickly As He Can
Posted on: June 10, 2014
Midas franchise owner Jeff Genuario, who has partnered with another franchisee to expand to 50 locations, explains why he’s excited.
Jeff Genuario is a third-generation Midas franchise owner whose family has been operating Midas stores in Colorado since 1975. After growing the largest Midas operation in Colorado, he recently partnered with a new franchisee to embark on a nationwide expansion. Since Fall 2013, Jeff has gone from overseeing 11 Midas stores in Colorado to 50 stores nationwide — and he plans to keep expanding.
This is his story.
You’re a third-generation Midas owner. Tell us about your family and why you decided to join the business.
Midas is a family business. My grandfather started our business by buying two Midas shops in Colorado Springs in 1975. He brought on my father, Ron Genuario, as a partner; they soon expanded to four locations. Soon after that, they bought three more in the Denver area. In the 1980s, my dad bought out my grandfather and worked the business for about 20 years before he brought me in as the third generation.
Growing up in the business was quite interesting. I started when I was 15. My dad came to me when I got my learner’s permit and said, “Jeff, you need to learn how to drive stick — but I’m not going to be the one to do it.” So I spent time driving parts around with our parts driver. That poor guy had horrible whiplash by the time I was done! As time progressed, I went from sweeping floors to parking lots to re-organizing furniture to whatever I could do to help make the business more presentable. I then started learning more about cars — changing oil, doing basic brake jobs and alignments. I soon learned that my calling in this world was not to be an automotive technician, so I went a different direction.
What did you do, and why did you decide to return to Midas?
My original idea was to become a dot-com zillionaire. I graduated from Washington State University and took sales and marketing jobs in high tech. Then I became a pharmaceuticals representative. When my wife, Elizabeth, and I had the first of our three kids, we decided that if we didn’t give back to the family business, we would go to our graves regretting it. It’s been over 10 years since I made that decision with my wife and kids, and it’s probably the best decision I’ve made from a professional and personal perspective. The Midas business has treated our family well. There is money to be made in Midas, and I’m proud to stand in front of the Midas oval and to stand behind the brand.
You and Judd Shader have formed a partnership to open more stores nationwide. Tell us about it.
I recently partnered with Judd, another large dealer, to expand our footprint and duplicate the success that we’ve had here locally across the country. We are now in 10 states, including Colorado. We’re bullish about the brand, and we’d like to continue to grow to other geographies.
What would you tell someone who is thinking about becoming a Midas franchisee?
I would tell anybody who is opening up their first one or two shops to think big. Success can be there as long as you don’t lose sight of the little things as you grow. You need to take care of your people and make sure they are executing at a high level. People and processes are a huge part of it. You need to be active in the business. If a new franchisee is looking to just put money in and sit on the couch at home watching a security camera all day, they are not going to make it. But if they are willing to work the business, they definitely have an opportunity to succeed and grow.
How does Midas help?
They have Franchise Business Managers and Shop Operations Managers that help us grow our business. We have the ability to work with store managers to help make sure the customer experience meets what we expect and what Midas expects. When we go into new markets, they send in regional resources to help us get them open and up to speed. They are an invaluable part of how we go to market. Now, they aren’t going to run the whole thing for the franchisee, but they are a great resource.
What makes you bullish?
It’s one of the most recognizable brands in the world. The new marketing is targeting younger demographics, which is setting the table for the next 20 years of growth that Judd and I plan to be a part of. What gets me excited is we’re going on four years of double-digit sales increases.
What has helped you grow?
We set goals and then figure out how to achieve them. I think anyone who is competitive, likes to set goals and is willing to work hard to achieve them can succeed. I don’t care if it’s a single shop owner or someone with a lot of shops. As you grow, you can enhance your objectives.
We focus on the simple things, like how you greet a customer and how you present the courtesy inspection. We are very training-focused and goal-oriented, and we will train our people to do four things at a time. When they get really good at those four things, we give them another set of four to learn.
When we set a revenue goal for a store, we don’t watch a scoreboard. Instead, we focus on serving our customers as a team, knowing that if all the players do their jobs the right way on every play, you win in the end. Our motto is “every customer, every time.” If you provide great service, results will follow.
What makes Midas a good choice versus other franchises?
There aren’t big highs and lows. The hours are favorable — it’s not like being in a restaurant with 24/7 schedules or late nights. You can be off holidays, whereas other retailers are very active. I think it’s one of the more favorable lifestyles for a retail owner. We are home with our families at night.
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