Mike Stringer from CAR CARE
Mike spent the majority of his early career in the corporate marketplace. The most influential part of that was the 12 years he spent with Canon in Europe where he had a number of senior management roles in sales and marketing.
In 1994, Mike saw the potential of the emerging Internet, so he left Canon to set up one of the UK’s first Web Agencies –Soft Options. Over the next three years Mike worked with many blue chip companies including Shell, the BBC and Apple in developing their web strategy. The business was quickly expanded to include a digital graphics company – Print 2 Go – and a telephone technical support business that handled all the support for Apple Europe. The web business was sold to the MCA Group and then listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) as E-xentric plc.
Mike returned to Australia in 2004 and purchased Housework Heroes before also purchasing Car Care and later (2010) United Home Services. Operating under the Mpower Franchising Group the three brands have around 250 mobile franchisees.
Mike is the current WA State President and Board Director of the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA).
What’s the story behind Car Care?
Car Care began in WA in 1987 and once established the system was rolled out nationally from 1990.
What made you decide to franchise?
The original founder was responsible for taking Pizza Hut to WA so he had a very good appreciation of the benefits of franchising.
Tell us a little about the Car Care market?
What have some of the challenges been in growing your franchise?
The biggest challenge is getting consistency across states which is why we operate through state based Master Franchisees. This provides the local Franchise Owners with the best possible support especially in those first few months of their new business.
Who has been your greatest inspiration?
Wow, that’s a difficult question. I would have to say that no one person has inspired me but I’m inspired by those people that achieve things against all odds and do it in a gracious, honest way.
What are some of the advantages in being a Car Care franchisee?
The number one benefit that our Franchise Owners consistently put at the top of their list is flexibility, followed closely by control of their own destiny. If you looking at specifically car detailing over some other service it’s probably the sense of satisfaction you get when the customer sees their pride and joy looking fantastic.
What “Gadgets” (Blackberry, Iphone, Ipod, etc) can’t you live without?
Laptop & iPhone. I travel a lot and these enable me to take my office with me.
What do you do in your spare time?
Perth is a beautiful place to live so I get out on my bike as often as I can and enjoy the scenery and the weather.
What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
Ask lots of questions, definitely talk to existing franchisees and then go with your gut. Once you make up your mind just go for it.
In your opinion, why do you think that Car Care would be a great opportunity for someone?
Because it’s a proven system that has stood the test of time. Our longest serving Franchise Owner is approaching 20 years in the business which is the greatest testament to the system.