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Automotive Detailing is a $36b Market - How Ziebart International is Capturing Its Share

Ziebart International Corporation is the worldwide leader in vehicle appearance and protection services. Ziebart offers superior products and services to enhance and protect the appearance of vehicles and offers a diverse business model in growing industries. Specializing in professional automotive detailing,window tinting, paint, fabric and rust protection, sprayed-on bed liners, glass repair, scratch repair and accessories, Ziebart is recognized as the No. 1 franchise in the automotive appearance services category by Entrepreneur magazine. Ziebart’s global franchise network has grown to approximately 400 licensed locations in 30 countries with 800 processing centers worldwide.

Kira Kusky,
Internet Marketing Manager for Ziebart
Kira Kusky, Internet Marketing Manager for Ziebart

Kira Kusky is Ziebart's Internet Marketing Manager. Since 2010, Kira has worked in all aspects of marketing programs at Ziebart International Corporation. Kira’s current marketing focus is in franchise development for both the United States and internationally. She is responsible for managing advertising campaigns, trade shows, web content, and supporting the sales follow up process. Kira has received awards and recognition from the Direct Marketing Association of Detroit for franchise lead generation, a campaign launched for 2012’s Franchise Expo South.

Franchise Help (FH): What sets Ziebart apart from other car detailing franchises?

Kira Kusky (KK): Ziebart offers an array of proprietary products and service offerings that no one else has, therefore setting us apart from any automotive franchise out there. We’ve developed our own products and the processes by which they are performed, and have a product team dedicated to innovation. Diversifying our offerings based on consumer demand brings a wide selection of profit drivers for our franchise owners.

FH: Why should someone interested in starting a car detailing business go with a franchise like Ziebart, versus opening a mom-and-pop operation?

KK: Brand recognition is everything in today’s consumer market. Trusted brand names have been cultivated over a number of years and present a greater opportunity for growth. Ziebart’s dedication to the automotive enthusiast for over 53 years has generated lifetime valued customers who are loyal to our brand and know what it stands for.

In addition to a trusted name, when considering options for starting your own business, keep in mind that investing in a franchise provides you with a working business model, a strong support system, and a network of entrepreneurs just like yourself that you can learn and grow from.

FH: How competitive is the market for car detailing services? What are you doing to compete with other franchised and independent service providers?

KK: Today, professional detailing is a $36 billion market. Ziebart’s focus is on high-end automotive detailing,which is a $7.5 billion industry. There are several opportunities to earn a share of this market as a Ziebart owner. Transforming an existing detailing business presents an opportunity for current independent service providers to join our network and benefit from a recognized detailing provider and strong support system.

With regard to local competition for our stores, we offer much more than detailing. We are the all-in-one stop for automotive aftermarket products and services. Vehicle protection is a $400 million industry. Each year, Ziebart is capturing that market by providing our own privately-labeled window tint and paint protection film products and processes. These types of services are typically combined with consumer detailing services, which set us apart from local competition.

FH: What kind of work background or skills set are you looking for in a franchisee?

KK: Ziebart International Corporation is seeking driven individuals with strong people skills and a good work ethic,who are committed to reaching their full potential by following a proven business model. The right fit would have inside and outside selling experience, excellent management skills, and prior experience in an automotive related field.

FH: How do you determine whether a given geographic territory is a good market for a Ziebart franchise?

KK: Ziebart’s diversified business model will fit into most markets in both the United States and internationally.Our franchise development staff has done extensive market research in targeted areas to determine feasibility of most geographic markets. Ziebart provides each qualified prospect with information on his or her desired location for business. In addition, we provide a business development plan for franchisees that contains details relating to market choice, site selection, and operational setup that go into launching a successful Ziebart store.

FH: What kind of training and support can your franchisees expect to receive?

KK: Having over 53 years committed to the success of our franchise owners, Ziebart International Corporation has refined an exceptional business format, complete with sophisticated and technologically advanced support system services. From business and location development to local marketing and advertising support, Ziebart provides the resources necessary for long term success.

Our training and support programs cover technical,professional sales and marketing, and business operations management. Ziebart’s Regional, North American,and International dealer seminars are designed to educate franchisees on current sales tactics, marketing topics,and management techniques. These programs are a direct benefit to Ziebart dealers, as these meetings include promotional programs and new product introductions, and are a valuable source of networking.

Examples of marketing and advertising support include consumer web lead generation, e-mail marketing, direct mail advertising, corporate promotions, local event planning, public relations, and more. Ziebart also provides onsite account acquisition and development to build relationships with local car dealerships and businesses that require the services that we provide.

FH: How many franchise units do you have currently? Where do you have the greatest concentration of units?

KK: Ziebart’s global franchise network has grown to approximately 400 licensed locations in 30 countries with 800 processing centers worldwide. The greatest concentration of units in the United States is located in the Midwest.There are several locations throughout Canada and the Middle East.

FH: What are some common characteristics of your top performing franchisees?

KK: Common characteristics of top performing Ziebart franchisees are as follows: they advertise consistently in their local markets, they provide a menu of diversified service offerings to their consumers, they demonstrate the proper in-store selling effort as taught through sales training courses, they employ proficient technical staff, and are properly located with an attractive facility.

FH: What can you tell us about the estimated initial investment, royalty fee, and profit potential fora Ziebart franchise?

KK: The franchise fee for a single point location in the United States is $25,000. The initial investment necessary to secure a full service Ziebart store is between $167,000 and $326,000. The royalty based on the product mix offering of the franchisee is, on average, 7.1% of sales.

FH: What are your growth plans for Ziebart? Which geographic markets are you targeting for expansion?

KK: Ziebart has established an impressive global footprint spanning 30 countries while continuing to aggressively expand into the European and South American markets. The targeted areas for expansion in the United States include Florida, Georgia, and Texas.

For Ziebart franchising information, visit www.ZiebartFranchising.com. To inquire how you can get started today, contact Michael W. Riley, Senior Vice President at mriley@ziebart.com or by phone at 800-877-1312.

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