Franchisee Andre Lian is proof you can unite passion with profession. Andre brought Detail Garage to his community in Midvale, UT and he shares exactly what you need to know about life as a franchisee and how running a Detail Garage has changed his life.
Can you tell us a little about your history with Detail Garage?
I have only ordered products online either through Amazon or through ChemicalGuys.com. I used Hybrid V7 Spray Sealant and Butter Wet Wax as my first products and have loved using Chemical Guys since then. I learned about franchising through the ChemicalGuys.com website.
Why did you choose the Detail Garage franchise? What initially attracted you to Detail Garage?
I chose the Detail Garage franchise to fill in the absence of premium car care products in Utah. I knew that I wanted to be a part of the car community here and share a connection with every person that walks into the store about certain products and not just a certain car brand. The amazing products speak for themselves. I thought about becoming a reseller for Chemical Guys instead, but thought that I wanted more of a family feel and this is what I got from the franchise. Being a part of Chemical Guys makes the experience so much better by being a family that can help each other out.
What has been the biggest challenge as a franchisee, how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge for me was learning about the products itself. Yes they have over 400 SKU’s to understand/learn from but from the career I was coming from, it was a bit easier as there are similarities. People come to the store for consultation to get that ultimate shine, and you are there to provide advice. As you take the time to learn what each individual product does, it becomes easier to teach others how to use it. I find that repetitive teaching of these products help you remember why that product is unique in the Chemical Guys lineup.
Describe the need Detail Garage fills in communities.
Detail Garage fills in the gap that big retailers do not provide to the car care communities. Many people want to know what products work best for their car but also want a variety. But what makes Detail Garage stand out in the car care community is that we have educators in this store that can provide the consultation people need when it comes to taking care of their car. This is big for many of my customers that can rely on us for product knowledge without having to spend 2 or more hours online reading about a certain product.
What advice would you share with an incoming franchisee?
My advice would be to do as much research as you can. Are there limitations to this franchise? Yes, but that’s with anything you go with. Does it cost a lot of money to open/run? Yes, every business needs funds to start. Contact other franchise owners and get their input on their experience. We all have experience road bumps during our opening phase, and we can give you pointers on what to look out for or to prepare for to make your experience better than ours.
Did you need a lot of working capital before you began to bring in profits?
To be honest, Chemical Guys helps you out when you start your own business. They are there to help you because when you’re successful they’re successful. Will it take some time before you make your first dollar? Yes, but when you become stable with your business you will become profitable.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Start the day with cleaning the shelves and floors. As customers come in, help them with what they are looking for and give them advice as needed. I post about 2-4 times daily on social media. Reach out to new businesses and meet new people to let them know we are here.
What is your favorite thing about being an Detail Garage franchisee?
My favorite thing about the franchise is seeing the passion that our customers have for the brand. We all love these products as much as our customers and meeting a first time customer that have been using Chemical Guys for years is an enjoyable experience. The excitement at seeing the products physically compared to an online catalog or even seeing new products makes all the headaches and road blocks worth it when opening the franchise.
Can you elaborate on the kind of support and training an incoming franchisee can expect from Detail Garage?
The support you get is great for being a part of the Chemical Guys family. Chad was introduced to us and has been nothing but amazing for supporting the Detail Garage franchises itself. He is there for franchises only and nothing else. Any issues you have or even product questions, he is there for you to answer. He is also great to help you market successfully as well. There are also several team members in the shipping department that help your transactions for your orders go smoothly. You also get to take the Smart Detailing University Master Class for 5 days that help you understand the cleaning process appropriately. You may not get any “product manuals” for you to read about, but there are a lot of people at your contacts to help you get to know the products. Paul is an excellent source to ask. He pretty much knows everything about the products from what the uses are and all the way down to the composition of the ingredients.
Whats your next move with Detail Garage? Where do you see yourself in 3-5 years?
My next move with Detail Garage is to make this the central location for all car care enthusiasts. As we grow, we will continue to reach out to the car communities to let them know our presence here and what we stand for. We hope to make this location the one stop location for all things cars. I hope to see myself move into a building I purchase in 3-5 years not only to reduce costs, but to have a single location for everyone to enjoy coming to get their car care supplies.
You can visit Andre's Detail Garage at: 38 W 7200 S, Midvale, UT 84047 and (801) 566-0796