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Christian Brothers Automotive

GEORGIA

Brian and Nola Klaubert left promising tech jobs in 2000 to bet on this auto repair and service franchise.
Source: Christian Brothers Automotive
Brian and Nola Klaubert left promising tech jobs in 2000 to bet on this auto repair and service franchise.
Description: Automotive repair and service franchise
Owners: Brian and Nola Klaubert
Years in business: 16
No. of franchises owned: 3
Start-up costs: $75,000
Franchisor fees: Franchise $125,000; advertising $3,500
2015 revenue, 2016 projection: $4.25 million; $4.65 million
2016 projected annual growth rate: 10%

Brian and Nola Klaubert left promising tech jobs — he was an engineer with Kimberly-Clark, and she was an accountant — to open their first Christian Brothers Automotive franchise in 2000. The auto-repair business operates on the Christian belief that all people should treat others in the way they want to be treated. Said Brian: "It comes down to being respectful and honest with customers and running the business with integrity. That appealed to us." From a business perspective, the couple was looking for a franchise with staying power. "We were leaving jobs with great security, so we didn't want a boom-and-bust type of industry," Brian said.

Additional franchisee resources

At the time, the couple lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where a brand-new Christian Brothers Automotive had opened, and they saw that it was booming. When the chance came to open one in a suburb of Atlanta, they took it.

Now, 16 years later, Brian said he's still impressed with the commitment and support he gets from the parent company. "If I have a car come in and we're having trouble diagnosing the problem, I have technical experts at the home office I can call who will troubleshoot with me that same day and help me come up with a solution," he said. He also gets guidance with back-office functions such as accounting, IT and purchasing. Of course, finding quality employees with automotive skills is an ongoing challenge, but with 28 employees among his three locations in suburban Atlanta, the couple is still bullish on their prospects for growth.

His advice for others interested in franchising is to learn the business as well as possible before branching out into multiple locations. "By the time we bought our second franchise, we felt good about how much we knew about the business and what it took to run it," he said.

"It comes down to being respectful and honest with customers and running the business with integrity." -Brian Klaubert

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