Maaco Honors its Family-Owned Businesses on “National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day”
March 26, 2021 // Franchising.com // CHARLOTTE - Maaco, America’s Body Shop, is an ideal environment where many spousal teams flourish as independent business owners among its more than 400 store network. Many couples have become independent business owners with no previous experience in the automotive industry, but with business skills from other jobs, and the personal drive to succeed, flourish together as a team.
For “National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day” on March 29, a day that honors small business owners, several Maaco families shared their stories.
Rob and Shirley Shriver started their Maaco in Akron, OH, in 1989 with advice from Shirley’s father, who had a friend that was a successful Maaco franchisee. “With your work ethic, you two need to be working for yourselves,” was the advice her father provided. Rob was in retail management at the time and Shirley worked for an advertising firm.
“The people at Maaco told us that we didn’t need automotive experience, that it was our sales and marketing backgrounds that will help us be successful,” said Shirley. “So, we relied on their experience and proven playbook, and we applied our skills and determination, and we set off on this adventure together.”
More than 30 years later, Rob says, “It is hard to imagine not being in business together, sharing the planning, the strategies, and ultimately the successes together. When you work together you rely on each other and support one another. You both understand the business, so you can discuss the challenges and opportunities together, and the time that you put into the business is not time away from your spouse. Business ownership with your spouse can be extremely rewarding.”
Rob noted that there are numerous husband and wife teams within the Maaco family, and they network with them annually at the national conventions. The Shivers were recognized in 2020 as regional Maaco Cup winners for their steady and consistent growth.
Jeff and Sally Besgrove have owned their Maaco franchise in Waukesha, WI, for nearly three years. As a husband-and-wife team, they both stepped outside their comfort zone to begin this adventure of business ownership together.
“Jeff was a home inspector, and I spent 20 years in the corporate world, becoming division vice president of an industrial fittings and valve manufacturer, before deciding it was time to pursue business ownership,” said Sally Besgrove. “We enlisted the help of a franchise consultant and based on our list of what was important to us, she found Maaco for us.”
Neither of them had automotive background but the opportunity looked attractive, so they relied heavily on the Maaco team for the in-depth training and valuable experience that comes with an almost 50-year playbook of successful franchise operations. And they relied on each other to make it work.
“It was fun and scary, but it has been a great experience working side by side,” said Sally. “We wanted a business where we would be hands-on and present, and this worked out great for us. We each have our skillset, and we put that to work. I manage the team, purchasing, and run the daily operations and Jeff manages the business relationships with local dealers and fleet customers.
“It has been a great adventure. Doing something new with someone you know, love and trust make the rewards that much sweeter,” Jeff added.
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