Carlson needed plenty of support when his store opened in June 2020 during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It was not a smooth startup for me," he said.
From marketing to hiring employees and building a team, the Christian Brothers system came through for him. He worked with a coach at the company headquarters and called his mentor, Al Crawford, owner of a franchise in Texas, "almost every night," Carlson said.
He learned how to recruit staff, how to cast a vision and how to build a culture.
"The game plan was there, but I had to get my team to buy into the plan," he said.
Christian Brothers assigns each franchisee a performance coach who works with the franchisee throughout the life of the store.
Sterling Woody has worked with at least four different coaches during his 11 years with Christian Brothers. Woody and his wife, Leigh, have a store and an annex with additional repair bays near Waco, Texas.
He was initially drawn to the company because it was faith-based, said Woody, who previously owned or worked for small import businesses — including an importer of Mickey Mouse watches to the U.S. Both his sons work with him at his franchise.
Most Christian Brothers franchisees are in a peer group composed of about a dozen owners. Woody called the group an invaluable resource.
Franchisees were initially assigned to a peer group after a year in operation. That was recently shortened to almost immediately after becoming a franchisee. The peer groups meet throughout the year via Zoom and in person.
"In the very beginning, I lived and breathed with that peer group," Woody said.
His store has an employee lunch every Friday to reinforce the company culture. Woody describes it as "all about the customer."
Woody emphasizes to his staff that "the customer pays you."
"Anybody who walks in that door," he said, "let's take care of them."