Grease Monkey and SpeeDee Offer Franchisees a Classic $63 Billion Business Opportunity
The image is pure Americana—a man and his car, grease and tools, fixin’ and fine-tunin’. In the nation’s mythology, working on the car may be the favorite weekend activity. But in some ways that’s all it is: mythology.
In reality, the market for auto repairs is around $63 billion and growing! For resourceful entrepreneurs, seeking the right business opportunity, this is truly massive. And for enterprising franchisers in particular, it’s exactly why the Grease Monkey and SpeeDee Oil Change business model are so appealing.
The market for auto repairs is around $63 billion and growing.
Ralph Yarusso, CDO – Franchising at FullSpeed Automotive, which includes both Grease Monkey International & SpeeDee Oil Change brands, is uniquely qualified to make this case. This proud veteran originally served in the United States Air Force as a C141 Aircrew member of the 18th Military Airlift Squadron—the Blue Diamonds—where he logged over 3,000 hours of flight time and was combat air drop certified. After nearly nine years serving his country, he moved to the private sector, and ever since has built a stellar track record in the auto repair and franchising business.
The do-it-yourself market has given way to the do-it-for-me market, particularly amongst baby boomers not interested in doing repairs anymore and millennials.
He planned to be a weatherman, but the job’s climate led him to Meineke, where he started with only one franchise and rose to own 15 franchise outlets. With deep knowledge of what it’s like to be a franchisee after 23 years in that role, he switched to the corporate side and became Regional VP and Chief Operations Officer of Meineke Car Care Centers, Inc. After five years, he moved to Grease Monkey International.
Growing & Sustainable Market
So why is this market so appealing? “The do-it-yourself market has given way to the do-it-for-me market, particularly among baby boomers not interested in doing repairs anymore and millennials who choose to have others do it for them,” Mr. Yarusso notes. Meanwhile, gas prices have (mostly) held steady, people drive more than ever, and the average age of the car on the road is 11.6 years. In this market, Grease Monkey and SpeeDee Oil Change offer the perfect launch pad.
Grease Monkey International has a huge presence—it’s the country’s largest independent franchisor of automotive fast lube centers, serves more than 2 million customers a year, and provides a comprehensive review of each car’s maintenance needs with every full-service oil change.
There are currently 421 franchised outlets in the FullSpeed family, along with 93 additional that are company-owned. The brand family includes:
- SpeeDee Oil Change
- Grease Monkey
- Monkey Shine Car Wash
- Havoline Express Lube Centers Driven by Grease Monkey.
Together they perform a variety of services, and the company is growing rapidly around the world. There are already Grease Monkey locations outside the U.S. with facilities in China, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Mexico and several other countries on their radar.
But of course, the U.S. is an exciting market, and the growth potential is undeniable. So what does it take to acquire and lead a successful franchise?
What It Takes To Be Successful
Automotive experience is definitely not a requirement. “I owned 15 automotive repair locations and I’m not the guy you want working on your car,” Mr. Yarusso happily acknowledges, “we’re not looking for mechanics, we are looking for business people.” As with most franchises, what’s needed instead is a spirit of entrepreneurship, leadership and dedication. This includes the willingness to take on all relevant tasks, from payroll management and marketing to customer service and business networking. Additionally, franchisees are able to learn the nuances of the auto business with our training and operations departments assisting them to help them be successful.
We’re not looking for mechanics, we are looking for business people.
Thanks to the variety of brands, services and locations available, franchisees have considerable flexibility:
The average Grease Money location has three to four bays and many offer a car wash with the Monkey Shine bolt on franchise. They are incredibly quick and most customers are back on the road in 15-20 minutes.
SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service, meanwhile, does a deeper dive with most customers—diagnostics, tires, brake repair, etc.—and the average location has six to eight bays.
Here are the investment ranges needed to get a franchise started:
- Grease Monkey $157,000-$340,000
- SpeeDee $181,000-$523,000
This includes costs for:
- The franchise fee
- Initial inventory
- Information technologies
These fees do not include building or real estate costs, which can vary greatly by region.
For its part, Grease Monkey and SpeeDee Oil Change and Auto Service are deeply invested in the success of each franchisee.
Aspiring entrepreneurs must first make their case to the franchisee approval and real estate committees; after the deal is signed, the brands get heavily involved.
Franchise Site Selection – The real estate department staff helps find locations and helps negotiate real estate deals.
Franchise Financing – The development department helps franchisees identify the most appropriate financing options and connects them to financing resources.
Franchise Training – There’s classroom training at the support center in Colorado—there are no additional costs for attending training and then ongoing training with other franchisees and Franchise Support Directors in the field. An online university offers some 200 courses, of which 18 are required by the franchisee and all of their staff.
There’s a monthly live webinar, regional meetings two or three times a year, and a full convention every 18 months or so.
Franchise Marketing – Grease Monkey has developed a wide range of marketing materials and programs that franchisees can easily implement to promote their centers. The company’s field marketing specialists are also available to provide personalized support for local franchise marketing.
Purchasing – Grease Monkey has negotiated national account pricing for all in-center supplies and services giving its franchises significant savings.
Grease Monkey is not owned by an oil company. This means there is no obligation to buy a specified brand of products, allowing the company to negotiate the best possible pricing for its franchise owners.
The goal is to achieve breakeven in 12 to 15 weeks, and reach profitability in six to nine months.
Management Knows What It Takes To Succeed
None of this is accidental—every member of the management team previously worked as a franchisee in the automotive space, and knows what it takes to succeed. Most Grease Monkey and SpeeDee franchisees open for business within 9 to 18 months after signing the franchise agreement. The goal is to achieve breakeven in 12 to 15 weeks, and reach profitability in six to nine months.
Great Opportunity For Immigrant Entrepreneurs
And of course, just as many franchise programs have a rich source of immigrant talent, many of the best business owners in their cases come from distant lands as well. Current franchisees include entrepreneurs from Peru, Japan, Fiji, China, Afghanistan and India to list a few.
For more information about the Grease Monkey franchise opportunity contact Lori Schneider at 720-454-4412 or firstname.lastname@example.org