Former Employee Steps Into Role as Franchisee for Pirtek

Mike McArdle had just about the perfect working background to prepare him for buying a PIRTEK
franchise in 2008: He already worked for the company.

After spending four years working as a technician in a PIRTEK franchise in Charlotte, NC, McArdle then moved up the ladder and worked as the operations manager for three years in the franchise he would eventually purchase for himself.

“Rather than continue to grow the business for the previous owner, I wanted to continue to grow it and prosper and own it,” McArdle said during a recent interview from his Charlotte headquarters.

A business to business franchise, PIRTEK services, maintains, installs and replaces hydraulic hoses and fittings on various equipment. All PIRTEK franchises consist of a storefront, and a fleet of vans to perform on-site service.

It was this servicing of larger vehicles and machinery that drew McArdle to PIRTEK. Armed with a science degree and 15 years of experience in the automotive industry as a technician, McArdle easily found a home inside a PIRTEK van.

“I loved being in the mechanical field,” he said, “but I wanted to grow and get outside the realm of servicing vehicles and to service larger equipment.”

Top Notch Support

Once he bought his franchise, PIRTEK provided him with training to become a franchisee. McArdle was now President and General Manager of the Charlotte store with the help of PIRTEK’s training and their willingness to send him help when he needed it.

The company provides an excellent training package and support for franchisees, McArdle noted. Representatives will help with all aspects of franchising, including billing, growing the business, attracting new customers, and training technicians for the vans that provide the mobile service.

PIRTEK provides him with ongoing customer support, the Charlotte franchisee said, and has representatives that help with support for new technicians. PIRTEK also provides hands on support and continuing education to franchisees.

Other forms of support the company offers include finding a suitable location, determining the right certified training program, help with exhibiting at trade shows, plus the company holds an annual owners’ conference.

It has been a recipe for success. McArdle’s PIRTEK locations have experienced higher call volumes, which have led to increased revenue. As a result, McArdle has hired additional employees, purchased new vans and opened a second location.

No Need for Hydraulic Experience

While McArdle had relevant work experience and background from working in the automotive industry, PIRTEK franchise owners do not need hydraulic or mechanical backgrounds. Prior to joining the company, many of its franchisees were sales people, managers, finance professionals, contractors, marketers, computer engineers, franchisees in other industries, manufactures or veterans, the PIRTEK website says. Ideal PIRTEK franchise owners need only have a love for building a winning team that can provide solutions for businesses within their community.

Looking to Expand

For McArdle, the work life balance since becoming a franchisee has been good. He estimates that he puts in about 50 hours per week, which is less physical work than he used to do, but more mental and administrative work with the increased financial responsibilities.

However, the long hours don’t take away from the fact that it’s great to be an entrepreneur and great to work for himself and see his own business grow. Growth has been so prolific, in fact, that in January of 2014 he purchased another PIRTEK franchise in Gastonia, a suburb of Charlotte, and he hopes to purchase a third one in the near future.

For anyone interested in joining PIRTEK, McArdle said, they should realize that it sometimes starts off slow, but if you follow the PIRTEK system that’s in place, you will be set up for success. Once you stabilize the business and get everything in place and the system starts to pay off, it’s an extremely rewarding experience.

“It’s great to own your own business and be the captain of your own ship,” he said. While he did consider other franchises, PIRTEK seemed to fit his needs best, McArdle said, and if someone is looking for a mechanical or engineering type of franchise, PIRTEK is a good one to get into.

With its US headquarters stationed in Rockledge, FL, PIRTEK now has three corporate locations, 48 franchises in the U.S. The company started in Sydney, NSW in Australia back in 1980 and is currently active in 23 countries with about 400 locations worldwide.

And if it’s up to McArdle, there will be another location added to that total soon.

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