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IN BRIEF

Description: Ziebart is committed to providing its franchisees with all the tools necessary for long-term success. Through partnership with a globally recognized brand that has been in business for over 55 years, your business will be trusted by the consumer market. Opportunities: Franchise opportunities available worldwide. Master licenses available in Australia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, South Africa and Thailand. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Cash Required: $100,000. Financing Assistance: Yes, through a third party. Training Provided: Yes. SBA-Approved: Yes.

VIDEOS

2013 IFA Convention Interview: Thomas Wolfe Talks Ziebart & Auto Industry Trends

2013 IFA Convention Interview: Thomas Wolfe Talks Ziebart & Auto Industry Trends

Watch this video

VETERANS

Ziebart International will waive 100% of the $30,000 license fee for veterans who qualify.


Interview with Michael Riley: Senior Vice President of Ziebart

Ziebart Micheal Riley.jpgFor more than five decades, Ziebart International Corporation has served the automotive enthusiast with valuable product and service offerings. The Ziebart brand has been recognized and celebrated for partnering with its customers to support that emotional connection and ensure that vehicles have a safe, healthy and quality life. Ziebart is the worldwide leader in automotive services that protect, preserve and enhance the appearance of cars and trucks, with 400 locations in 33 countries and over 800 processing centers worldwide.

In this Success Stories Interview, Senior Vice President Michael Riley tells how Ziebart is dedicated to helping out local communities, what sets the brand apart from the competition, and what qualifies a Ziebart franchisee. Mike came to Ziebart in 1985 as Sales and Service Manager in a company owned store. Mike is in charge of Ziebart's franchise growth in the U.S. and Latin Americas. The company has 100 U.S. franchise locations and continues to grow domestically under Mike's leadership. 

Can you tell us the history of Ziebart International?

Ziebart International Corporation was founded in 1959 based on an innovative process developed by Kurt Ziebart to prevent automobiles from rusting. He opened his first location in Detroit. The company quickly began expanding into U.S. Eastern, Central and Midwest markets. By 1963, the first international location was opened in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Since that time, Ziebart has grown into a worldwide network of approximately 400 franchised locations in 33 countries. The Ziebart of today is providing detailing, films and protection products and services to meet the needs of today's vehicles. The consumer demands a quality brand offering quality products and great service along with the ease of shopping at one location. Ziebart offers exactly that!

What are you doing to differentiate your franchise from the competition?

Over the past 57 years, Ziebart has continued to hone and perfect the core business model. Working through corporate store locations and select franchisees, we are constantly testing new products, services and technical applications to meet the automotive aftermarket needs of consumers. We have progressed as a business in our services for all of your vehicle appearance and protection needs. Our Ziebart franchisees offer proprietary products and services that cannot be purchased, installed, or duplicated by anyone else. Such iconic Ziebart protection products include our Diamond Gloss® Paint Protection, Z-Shield® Paint Protection Film and Ziebart Germ Defender® which is designed to keep the consumer' vehicle interior bacteria free for up to 90 days. We never forget our roots though. We are constantly working on our ever evolving formula for rust protection. That's how we differentiate ourselves from other franchises.

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Describe a person who would do well as a Ziebart franchisee.

A good franchisee is a person that wants to be an owner, understands team leadership, and is enthusiastic about executing a proven business model. This person desires to be a successful entrepreneur and understands that they need key people to help them achieve their goals. Successful franchisees understand the business environment and the competitive market they wish to own. They are driven, passionate, eager and constantly working to improve themselves, they treat people with courtesy, are empathetic and understanding, always wanting to lead and encourage. The successful franchisee is responsible and understands their financial position and the investment level needed to sustain the business to achieve the R.O.I they desire.

What's the process for becoming a Ziebart franchisee?

To buy a franchise with us, there are a few key steps to follow. The most important step is to get in touch with our offices. Begin by filling out an online profile and a Ziebart franchise representative will contact you to start the process and send you an informational packet for your review. Ziebart will work with you to ensure you have everything you need to buy a franchise in your desired market. This includes a Uniform Franchise Offering Circular and an invitation to attend a Ziebart Discovery Day, two very important parts of the franchise process. The Uniform Franchise Offering Circular walks you through some of the important elements involved in being a franchisee, including business experience, financing, trademarks and more. The Ziebart Discovery Day involves flying you out to our corporate headquarters in Troy, Michigan, spending the day discussing your opportunities and visiting company owned locations to witness the operational aspects of your new business firsthand. Approval to buy a franchise can then be granted as early as 24 hours after this visit. From start to finish, it takes approximately four months to open a Ziebart store. Starting a franchise begins with finding the best, most effective site within the market you've chosen, as well as the time required to secure a lease, acquire financing, set up equipment and complete our training program.

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What kinds of things does Ziebart do to help local communities?

On April 12, 2016 Ziebart International Corporation announced a national partnership with Journey 4 A Cure (J4AC), a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding ways to fund childhood cancer research, increase awareness about the realities of childhood cancer, and enhance the lives of children battling cancer. As a leading sponsor, our company will work with our U.S. franchised and company-owned locations, as well as the headquarters employees, to promote the nonprofit's mission of increasing funding for childhood cancer research and enhancing the lives of children and their families currently battling cancer.

Thomas E. Wolfe, President/ Chief Executive Officer, Ziebart International Corporation said, "As we continue to reintroduce our brand to new franchise owners, new markets and new customers, we want to make sure they all understand the culture of our company. In all of our local communities, we look toward ensuring that all children live a healthy, quality, happy life. We are proud to be partnering with J4AC to help in the fight to end childhood cancer."

Ziebart will support the partnership through in-store donations at point-of-sale, ongoing awareness campaigns via the website and social media to promote online giving and a variety of events during Childhood Cancer Awareness month in September. "As the largest organized company of detailing, films and protection products, we are incredibly honored to share our stage with J4AC. Through in-store donations and online giving support, we look to help grow the awareness of this organization, that has positioned itself to help change the lives of many," says Larisa Walega, Director of Marketing, Ziebart International Corporation.

What's the biggest mistake you see from incoming franchisees? How can it be avoided?

One of the biggest mistakes incoming franchisees can make is not giving enough time to think through one of the main principals of franchise ownership, being able to follow a structured business model. We believe our franchisees are in business for themselves, but not by themselves. They can decide their level of involvement and commitment, but they must follow the business model to ensure their breakeven and ultimate profit opportunity as soon as possible.

What the #1 piece of advice you would give a first-time franchisee?

The best advice for first time franchisee is to follow the Ziebart Strategic Business Plan and utilize your assigned Sales, Product, Technical Support and Marketing Managers. They are an extension of your business.

What kind of support should an incoming franchisee expect from Ziebart during the start-up period?

We constantly support new or existing franchisees with Site Development, Location Selection, Production Layout and Installation of Equipment, On-Site Training, Technical Staffing, Retail Sales Training, Outside Account Acquisitions, Local Store Marketing Plans, Individual Store Website Deployment, and Financial Loans for new and existing franchisees. We are here to help them throughout their ownership by expanding and diversifying, with focus on being profitable to meet their financial goals and more.

Ziebart

What is the outlook for the vehicle services industry as a whole for the next year?

The service industry has grown dramatically over the past 20 years. The U.S. market is forecasting 17 million new vehicles to be sold in 2016 and the used vehicle market is expecting to see 31 million vehicles exchange hands during 2016. These numbers are staggering and represent the potential size of the market for Ziebart franchisees. We continue to add new services and products within the profit drivers of our industry. With detailing, film and protection services all designed to attract these consumers, the forecast for vehicle sales leads to continued opportunities for growth for a franchisee. We are confident that we have a proven business model and we have demonstrated its adaptability to meet new market changes rapidly and still provide high gross margin products and services for our franchisees.

What's next for Ziebart in terms of expansion? What are your goals for the upcoming year?

Our franchise expansion goals for 2016 are focused primarily on U.S. markets. We are seeking eager entrepreneurs who are looking to own a Ziebart franchise in Illinois, Ohio, Texas, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. We are also working with our existing franchisees on expansion plans to bring them into multi-store ownership programs. We are currently working with the U.S. Commerce Department for international expansion on key targeted countries such as India, South Africa, and the Latin Americas.

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