Tom Perez dedicated 10 years to the United States Navy serving as a police officer and worked his way up the ranks to supervisor. During his service, Perez completed four tours of Iraq, earned numerous medals of achievement and honor and received a college degree in business. In late 2011, Perez was honorably discharged due to downsizing.
Following his departure from the Navy, Perez applied for nearly 100 police and government positions across the country, only to receive rejection after rejection. Finally, Perez chose to take matter into his own hands in order to support himself and his family and took the leap into entrepreneurism.
He chose franchising because it offered the ability to own a business with a proven system in place, along with support from a team of experts. Perez conducted research on the hundreds of opportunities available in the franchising industry and decided Meineke Car Care was the right place for him.
“After completing a franchise application form, I heard back within a few days and the process was underway,” said Perez. “Meineke was able to offer a military Veteran discount on the franchising license and help finding the best financing available for a small business. Most importantly, I chose to franchise with Meineke because it is a military friendly community and I knew I would be able to keep my promise to help employ other military Veterans.”
In May 2012, Perez took over Meineke of Pensacola, FL. At age 31, within the first six months of operating his franchise location, Perez boosted sales by 60 percent and hired five military Veterans to work at his shop. He continues to use the skills he learned in the military to sustain the success of his Meineke location and hopes to grow into a multi-unit owner within the system.
Formerly known as the muffler repair experts, Meineke has evolved its menu of product offerings to meet the demands of the ever-changing marketplace. Today, the Charlotte-based franchise has emerged as the one-stop shop for tires, brake repairs, tune-ups, alignments, shocks and struts, routine maintenance and more.
The average age of cars on the road has climbed from 8.2 years in 2000 to 11.2 years in 2013, and general, non-warranty automotive repairs and maintenance is projected to cost consumers $1.6 billion in 2014. As the consumer demand for trust-worthy automotive repair accelerates, Meineke is setting its sights on an aggressive, strategic growth strategy throughout the U.S. by recruiting qualified single and multi-unit franchise partners.
Military Veterans with an honorable discharge qualify for a 25 percent discount on the franchise license fee with the car care company. Since 2003, Meineke has offered nearly two million dollars in military discounts and remains one of the top VetFran companies in the franchising industry.
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