Maaco Collision Repair and Auto Painting, a leader in the $43 billion automotive paint and collision industry, recognized outstanding performance by its franchisees at its recent virtual convention.
One of the top awards is the Maaco “Rookie of the Year." Two franchisees were honored with this award. Bobby Gery, franchise owner of the Maaco center in Suffolk, VA, was one of the recipients.
“Owning a Maaco franchise has been on my radar for a long time,” said Gery. “I have a relative who has been an independent collision shop owner for 40 years, and I saw how long it took for him to build up his business. I also have a friend who opened a Maaco shop, and I saw how quickly he became successful. The main difference was having the benefit of the Maaco brand, and the successful playbook Maaco offers.”
Gery was very specific about having the right location in a high-traffic, upscale business area, and once he found it, he built his ground-up facility, which opened in July 2019.
In his first 12 months of operation, he exceeded the $1 million milestone, despite the temporary disruption that the COVID-19 pandemic caused.
“There were enough unknowns in running a new business,” said Gery. “No one had a playbook for operating in a pandemic. But the Maaco operations team went above and beyond to provide support early on when the pandemic hit. They communicated daily and engaged with all franchisees to gather and share best practices to the entire group. Their support was really outstanding.”
When the pandemic began, Gery had a meeting with his team and assured them as long as he could keep the lights on, everyone had a job. That went a long way in developing loyalty among his team.
For a while, that meant his team would do building cleaning and maintenance when business was slow. His team also used that time to complete additional training on repair procedures.
“The training that Maaco offers is second to none,” said Gery. “From day one, it was important to me to provide my people with all the training and equipment to properly and safely repair any vehicle that came through the door. Raising their skill level also enables us to participate in the Maaco national fleet program.
"I’m proud to say that we are now...