- Our business is more about fixing people’s problems than just fixing cars.
We try hard to treat customers like individuals, not transactions. Because we know when we make our customers happy, they come back again and again and also tell their friends, family, and neighbors about their experience.
Our business has a lot to do with growing and developing our franchisees and employees – knowing that when we give them our best, we get the best in return. It has to do with training and supporting our shop teams in any way we can so that they can take care of the customer.
Merlin offers special Motivation and Achievement Programs (M.A.P. s) that are mutually beneficial and designed to help grow and develop employees while also helping to strengthen the Merlin brand. The M.A.P.s helps franchisees recruit, keep, and grow employees which ultimately help us serve customers better.
In the end, our business has more to do with people than just money.
Merlin’s average annual sales per franchise location are much higher than many of the larger competitors.
¦ Do you have a passion for respecting and serving both customers and employees?
¦ Are you willing to work hard and exert your best efforts each week?
¦ Can you lead others?
¦ Will you follow and implement our system?
If your answer is yes to all those questions, let’s talk!
- Working Together as a Team
Merlin franchisees and employees have a deep passion for being the best and a strong appreciation for what it means to be a professional. Merlin is so serious that you and your team can achieve and sustain success in your business that we provide the following:
¦ The Merlin Training Center – A stand-alone state of the art center that offers both technical and management classes all year long free of charge to you and your employees.
¦ Six-Week Management Training – An intense study of essential management and technical facets of Merlin shop operations that you will complete before you take possession of your shop.
¦ Grand Opening Marketing Plan – A specialized marketing plan implemented especially for your shop opening to create public awareness and to establish a customer base to generate retail traffic.
¦ Field Support – A team of dedicated professionals to counsel and support you with operational, management, and marketing issues.
¦ Quality Inspections – Conducted by an independent third party, three times per year to measure critical primary marketing and operational components of your business.
¦ Marketing Support – Chain-wide brand awareness and promotional marketing campaigns planned and executed, as well as, customized local call to action marketing assistance managed by a team of committed experts.
- What will the franchise cost?
The initial franchise fee for a single shop is $30,000. The Merlin equipment package costs approximately$150,000, and opening inventory amounts to $30,000. Start-up expenses and working capital will typically bring the initial investment to about $252,000. Up to 80%, or sometimes more, of the initial investment can usually be financed.
How much up-front cash is required to secure an individual franchise?
In most cases, a qualified candidate will need a minimum of $50,000 in cash. However, the exact amount will depend on the background of the individual, his or her financial resources, and overall business plan.
- What services and products are standard at Merlin 200,000 Mile Shops?
Merlin shops offer all the products and services of the traditional automotive repair shop or tire store plus a proprietary maintenance program known as THE DRIVE FOR 200,000™ that not only covers vehicles through the manufacturer's warranty period, but to200,000 miles and beyond. Merlin services include (but are not limited to) the repair, service, or replacement of components relative to brake, exhaust, steering & suspension, lubrication, wheel alignment, air conditioning, tires, cooling, starting/charging, ignition, fuel, and other automotive systems.
What's the difference between Merlin and the other undercar service chains?
There may be several answers to this question. One might be that our trademarks allow us to “own” the vehicle longevity service category. Or because we concentrate much of our efforts on individual shop success as evidenced by the fact that the average annual sales per Merlin shop statistic continues to grow each year, and that it is much higher than several much larger national competitors.
Perhaps it is the way we go to market and our overall business philosophy. (We focus on building long-term customer relationships instead of maximizing one-time sales transactions). We lead in developing innovative customer retention and relationship building strategies such as our exclusive DRIVE FOR 200,000 and 200,000 Mile Transferable Warranty, and Merlin's Exclusive 200,000 Mile Tire Warranty. Or that we provide “new thinking” programs to attract, keep, and reward employees. Or because we are not the biggest. Or, maybe, the answer is that we do not approve everybody as a franchisee, nor are we a good fit for every applicant’s life strategy.
The best answer, however, is the one you determine on your own as a result of your observations during our initial meeting, as a consequence of your independent research, and as a conclusion from your discussions with Merlin franchisees (and, perhaps, competitors). Your answers to this question are far more important than any of ours.
- Where would my Merlin shop be located?
Merlin shops are generally located in high growth areas that are being “under served” by the competition. We currently have a limited number of approved locations from which you may make a selection. If you have a location of your own or one available to you, we will be glad to evaluate it. Selection of a site is always subject to mutual approval.
How soon can I be in operation once I have been accepted as a franchisee?
Location is the determining factor. On a new and “contract-controlled” location, construction usually can be completed in 120 to 150 days, subject to building permits and zoning requirements. In the case of an existing operation, this time period could be as little as 75 days.
- About Merlin
Helping Customers Go Farther
Since 1975, Merlin has never forgotten that we have to be both better and different to compete and succeed. We set our sights on developing long term customer relationships while providing car repair and maintenance solutions that allows our customers to focus on their everyday life priorities instead of car maintenance and repair.
The Drive For 200,000
We stand alone in the automotive aftermarket. No one else has anything as encompassing or economical. THEDRIVE FOR 200,000 is Merlin’s comprehensive program of regular inspections, scheduled maintenance, and preemptive replacement that facilitates longer vehicle life. Unlike high ticket scheduled maintenance programs offered by many car dealers and some competitors, THE DRIVE is specifically designed to help customers achieve high mileage goals and get dependable vehicle use while saving substantial amounts of money in both the short and long term.
The 200,000 Mile Proposition
Currently, the vast majority of cars, vans, and light truck are designed to last much longer than the traditional 100,000 mile mark. Just look at the seven digit odometers that have been standard since the early1980’s. Cars are made to last much longer, but finance companies, car manufacturers, and the media act as if it should be best kept a secret.
Our mission is to inform the motoring public that their vehicle can last longer and to help them GO FARTHER. We want our customers to have a better lifestyle and spend their money on more important things, rather than an endless cycle of car payments.
Vehicle Longevity Specialists
Our shops help motorists enjoy the full life of their vehicle and avoid taking on another round of car payments before it is time. Merlin shops provide all the maintenance and repair services necessary for the average vehicle to go farther. Plus, Merlin shops have the unique DRIVE FOR 200,000, an easy to follow and understand maintenance program that’s much more affordable than any dealer program.
We focus on long term “regular repeater” customer relationships and succeed because we truly care and offer the right combination of products and services. No other undercar service chain has anything like THE DRIVE FOR200,000. It’s one reason our customer’s come back to us again and again.
- Financing Information: SBA, Conventional, Cash, Financing Available, Muli-Unit
- This business is a franchise
- This business can be relocated