Colors on Parade – Welcomes Veterans for Franchising Opportunities

The nature of colors on Parade’s work makes it an ideal fit for people who are exiting the military service and making a start in civilian life again.  Jeff Martin, Mid Atlantic Regional Office Area Developer for the company, said a successful franchisee with Colors on Parade will be someone who enjoys working outdoors.

“That’s why we think veterans are a good fit for us. Most of them are clearly used to working outside in the elements, whether it’s hot or cold and they’re good with their hands – technical type of work versus office work,” Martin said.  “Just the combination of the location where we work, which is outside, and the type of work that we do, which is hands on repairing of cars, makes it a good fit for many of the veterans that are coming out of the military service.”

Colors on Parade is the only national, franchised company that offers a mobile service doing minor paint, dent and interior repair, primarily for car dealerships and fleet operations. Each franchisee has their own van that they  work out of, making them completely  mobile. The company has been around for 26  years and started franchising in the early 1990s. Out of its approximately 275 franchisees, Martin has 10 in his territory, which  includes Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland. One of the franchisees in Martin’s territory is a veteran.

Veterans’ Discounts 

Martin said he has plenty of territories available for new franchisees in his territory and invites veterans to take advantage of Colors on Parade’s special discounts for ex-military members, which include:

• a 30 percent discount off franchise fees for Area Developers and Operator  Franchisees

• referral programs and growth incentives;

• corporate financing availability; and

• additional veteran-specific financing  programs with support from Veterans

Affairs and the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The company is an active member of VetFran, an initiative of the International Franchising Association, aimed at helping  veterans procure franchising opportunities.  A need for Service Martin said there is a need for Colors on Parade’s unique service because they can repair multiple cars in one day versus sending a vehicle to a body shop, which is  shop.” what most people assume has to happen to fix minor dings and dents. A car that’s in a body shop is off the road and not being of use to the owner and it may even necessitate the owner having to rack up more expenses like renting a car.  “Our technicians can repair multiple cars in one day rather than one car over multiple days,” Martin explained. The company’s mobile technicians can go to dealerships and do the work at the dealerships without having the cars leave their property, meaning they’re not taken out of commission. Plus, Colors on Parade often charges less than what a person would pay at a body shop. The company’s large volume of work allows them to keep their prices low.

Colors on Parade is active in over 25 states and provides service to thousands of automobile dealerships and retail customers per year, including national brands like: AutoNation, Enterprise, Hertz, CarMax.

Support and training Rather than a two-tier system where you have a corporate franchisor and an owner/ operator, Martin said, Colors on Parade has a three-tier system that involves a franchisor, owner/operator and an area developer, who is local and is in charge of training, support, recruiting and customer acquisition at a local level.  The area developers hold monthly business meetings with their franchisees to keep everybody current. On a corporate level, Colors on Parade offers support for billing and collecting, technical training, sales support, and national AdFund and marketing programs.

Franchise offerings An area developer with Colors on Parade develops a client base for a new territory and recruits operator franchisees. This requires a minimum investment between $62,000 and $444,000 and comes with an  Franchising USA average annual gross revenue after three years of $594,000. An area developer receives a seven percent royalty from all franchisees that they oversee. An operator franchisee owns their own
mobile paint and dent repair business and this requires a minimum investment of $26,000 – $56,000. An operator can expect an average annual gross revenue after three years of $122,000. The first step is to meet with a local area developer, talk about your expectations and what you are looking for.  Martin said it’s important for potential franchisees to understand that this is not an employment opportunity, but a business opportunity. If there is strong interest from a candidate, the area developer will refer them to the corporate level where someone will take them through the Colors on Parade system.

That involves going to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina to do two weeks of training, followed by another few days of training in their area with one of Colors on Parade’s Area Developers, like Martin.  Franchisees can be trained in one of three  areas: paint repair, paintless dent repair or interior repair.  Franchisees supply their own vehicle, which is usually a cargo van, but can be a truck and trailer in more rural settings.  The company has an arrangement with Ford Motor Credit Company for franchisees to buy the equipment and vehicles — which can be used as long as they look presentable — as a package. veterans and Franchising Colors on Parade is just one of many franchises across the country to offer veterans discounts on franchising fees to help them easily start a franchise.

One out of every seven franchise businesses are owned by veterans, according to the International Franchise Association and that includes over 66,000 veteran-owned franchises in the United States. These veteran- owned franchises provide over 815,000 jobs and generate$41 billion in Gross Domestic Product.

Veterans have certain advantages when it comes to franchising, which makes them sought after franchisees. Their military skills translate well in a franchised business, they have a strong ability to follow standards and  systems, they have a demonstrated aptitude for working in teams and they have leadership skills for business development. Colors on Parade offers one such opportunity for veterans, helping them make a smooth transition from military life to civilian life.

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