Family Doesn’t Always Mean You’re Related
DUNDAS, Ontario – The president of Pro Fleet Care Franchising counts his business partners and franchisees as his extended family. Even though the company is continually growing, Greg Lawrie says their franchisees and customers are as close as family members. “I’m just as likely to call a franchisee to ask how their family is as I am to talk about business,” he says. “With us, it’s not ‘here’s your contract, you’d better adhere to it.’ There’s a sense of family and commitment with the support we provide.”
Pro Fleet Care, formerly known as Rust Oil Canada, dates back to 1984 when Bob Lawrie, Greg’s father, opened his first rust control shop. At the time, the general industry consensus was that a tar or wax product was the best way to protect vehicles against rust. Bob was not convinced that this was the solution. Instead he used a light chemical that could migrate into seams and crevices. Over the next 10 years, the marketplace also began to shift towards this chemical.
As business grew so did the demand for servicing fleet customers. To better accommodate this growing segment, Bob developed a mobile service that went to them. Customers saved time and money as they no longer had to have one of their employees drive equipment from their workplace to Bob’s shop. This also minimized their equipment downtime. The mobile system was very successful and Bob decided to wholly focus his attention on developing this market.
In 2001, Greg took on a more active role in the business. It has been some 24 years since the Pro Fleet Care story began and Pro Fleet Care has now developed a sound franchise organization that provides its customers with an effective customer-focused distribution system.
The mobile rust control model has given Pro Fleet Care an edge over competitors as well has won over many customers. Greg explains, “Fleet owners understand that by our being able to service their equipment on their site, they are saving equipment and employee downtime. Customers also recognize that by protecting their equipment annually, they are increasing the life of their equipment and reducing operating and repair costs.”
Justin Weaver, the Chatham/Kent, Ontario franchisee since June 2007, says he is settling in nicely thanks to the support of his Pro Fleet Care ‘family’. “I didn’t want to start a business from scratch,” he says. “I’ve bought into a proven system and I don’t have the risks typically associated with starting a new business.”
As a first-time franchisee, Justin says the toughest challenges he’s faced to date have to do with letting area fleet managers and owners know there’s a new mobile rust control service in town. With Pro Fleet Care guiding him in the right direction, Justin has had the kind of help that he says isn’t usually available to new independent business owners. Offering everything from setting up the mobile unit to assistance in sales calls with local fleet owners and managers, as well as training on the rust control process, Pro Fleet Care has been behind him every step of the way. “It’s like having a big brother,” Justin says. “They give me guidance. I can ask questions and if I stumble into any road blocks they’re just a phone call away. They also check with me on a regular basis. There’s a lot of interest on the company’s part in seeing their franchisees succeed.”
Greg Lawrie believes that “to build a strong and effective business, you need to invest your efforts in others, just like you would a family”.
About Pro Fleet Care
Pro Fleet Care is a unique and comparatively low start-up cost franchise, in the growing rust protection industry. We offer the only leading edge mobile concept in the industry, providing exceptional rust control service, on site, on time and as promised.
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