AAMCO Franchise Review: Q&A with Kash Gill
How a millennial entrepreneur became a multi-unit owner with the iconic auto repair franchise
If the long-term success of any franchise system is predicated on remaining relevant with young entrepreneurs, the future of the AAMCO franchise looks brighter than ever. For Kash Gill, barely 30 years old and in the process of opening his third AAMCO center in Southern New Jersey, the franchise represents an opportunity to realize his dreams of success on his own terms.
“I was attracted to AAMCO for the same reasons that so many entrepreneurs have been attracted to AAMCO for decades: this is a proven business model,” Kash says. “AAMCO has been a prestige brand for longer than I’ve been alive, and I’ve benefitted enormously from that. The most exciting aspect of AAMCO for me, though, is how forward-thinking the brand is in 2017.”
Millennials like Kash are now the largest demographic in the United States, according to The Washington Post. More importantly, millennials are the most entrepreneurial generation since the American military forces returned home from World War II. In an article published by Forbes, entitled, “Are Millennials More Or Less Likely To Start Their Own Businesses?,” the publication reports that “62% of millennials have considered starting their own business.”
“My father was an entrepreneur, so it’s in my blood,” Kash says. “I’ve been in the car business since I was 18. I saved up money for years with the goal of owning my own business. I knew I needed to franchise, because I needed the support that franchise brands supply in order to become successful. I looked into different brands, but it wasn’t until I discovered AAMCO, and met with the executive team, that I felt confident to proceed with the investment. AAMCO’s executive team have a lot of integrity: they’re honest, they answer your questions, and they walk you through the process of establishing your business. They want you to succeed.”
AAMCO points the way to success from the get-go
The reason that AAMCO has been so successful in attracting young, first-time entrepreneurs like Kash is the result of several years of significant investments to simplify the business model, increase profitability and help franchisees win more of the market share in the communities they serve. For first-time entrepreneurs, the process of opening a new AAMCO franchise begins with the state-of-the-art training platform called AAMCO University.
Established in 2014, AAMCO University leads the auto repair industry in training and ongoing education. Franchise owners have access to more than 300 courses with expert instructors, ranging from basic shop safety to master-level diagnostics and transmission rebuilding. These modules are offered in classroom, online and interactive settings. The training extends to employees, as well, helping with recruitment of the most-talented technicians. They also have access to courses that will help advance their skill sets and careers.
“There’s no question that AAMCO University gave me the tools to establish my business and ramp up quickly,” Kash says. “It gave me the confidence to hire the best technicians in my area, it showed me how to run and manage my business, and what I learned there gave me the skill set to scale up to multi-unit ownership rapidly. It’s invaluable for new entrepreneurs.”
A worthy brand with a bright future
AAMCO has leveraged its 50-year history of fixing the most complex part of the car, the transmission, into a full-service offering that includes brakes, oil changes, heat and A/C, and brakes. In 2018, the brand will add tires. This level of service and consumer trust — combined with an ongoing initiative to “win the internet” through a series of marketing efforts, a new financing program for consumers, and a new POS system — has delivered to the AAMCO franchisee multiple revenue streams and the ability to out-compete auto repair chains in their markets.
“I can’t say what the AAMCO franchise experience was like before the franchisees had all of these tools to help run and grow their businesses, but these new initiatives certainly make my life as a business owner easier,” Kash says. “I love that AAMCO is known for its expertise in transmissions. We’re still the only brand that has that reputation in the communities I serve. The consumer financing program helps me win sales, and it improves the customer’s overall experience. If they have to fix their transmission, they don’t have to feel the immediate burden of paying $3,000 immediately. They can do it at a pace that works for their budget.”
In less than two years, AAMCO has become a second family to Kash. He works with his fellow franchisees in his area on their regional advertising efforts, and many have provided insight and mentorship to help Kash scale his business effectively. Kash, who is planning a December wedding to the woman he’s been dating for four years, has a level of enthusiasm that promises a bright future.
“I want to have 10, 20, 30 AAMCO centers in the coming years,” Kash says. “I want to be the best at this. I want to provide a great life for my family. It’s already a great life — but I know it can be even better. I’m excited about what’s to come!”
Bring the iconic auto repair franchise to your community
With nearly 650 centers across North America, AAMCO is actively seeking single- and multi-unit operators who are passionate about the brand and committed to providing the highest-quality service. Interested candidates should have a minimum net worth of $250,000 and liquid assets of at least $65,000 per unit. Depending on the real estate site selected, franchisees can expect the total investment to be approximately $226,300 – $333,500, with an $39,500 initial franchise fee. Reduced franchise fees are available for honorably discharged veterans.