“What caused me to fall in love with franchising was having the ability to help others achieve their dreams—the dream of owning their own business and being able to provide a great home and life for their families.”
Barbara Moran-Goodrich, CEO and co-founder of Moran Family of Brands, shares how her parents inspired her to have a tireless work ethic, and how EO has allowed her to reflect and share experiences with likeminded entrepreneurs.
Full Name: Barbara Moran-Goodrich
Company Name: Moran Family of Brands
Title: CEO, Co-Founder
Number of Years in Business: 26
What inspired you to start your current business?
My inspiration came from my parents. I grew up in an entrepreneurial family with my dad and mom owning various automotive businesses throughout my childhood. When I was in my early twenties, I joined the family business and learned how to run a business from the front end to the back. I was twenty-five when my dad asked what I thought about buying a franchise system. I responded that I thought it was a great idea. Now I just want to clarify that I had no idea what a franchise system was at that point in my life. However, that didn’t stop me from hopping on a plane and negotiating a deal to purchase a franchise system until 2:00 a.m. That decision changed my life and introduced me to the world of franchising, which I love.
What problems are you solving through your business?
As a franchisor, we have to be effective problem solvers for our franchisees. Franchising is made up of entrepreneurs running their business under your trademark and business model. Therefore, our days are filled with helping them to be successful and achieving their goals. With that in mind, we need to be quick and decisive in problem-solving not only for us, but also for them. The problems we encounter run from managing the back end to staying on top of new lead generation avenues for our franchisees and knowing how to take care of our customers’ vehicles in this rapidly changing environment.
What do you believe is the key ingredient to your business’s success?
In my opinion, there is not just one key ingredient to a business’s success, there are many. I believe that culture is one of those keys to success as well as surrounding yourself with team members and franchisees who bring knowledge and strength to build upon the company’s philosophy and culture.
How do you keep your business from getting stagnant?
Between being in the automotive aftermarket and franchising industries, there is no time for stagnation. For example, when I started in the automotive industry, there was no such thing as a vehicle with a computer assisting in the operation of it, nor were vehicles communicating with each other. In order to be able to keep up with the transition that has taken place we have to research, practice, and retrain over and over. The same goes for the franchising industry. How franchisees have been supported over the years has changed based on technology as well as how to market to potential customers. If anything, the factor that affects us more often than stagnation is burnout.
What area of your business are you hoping to grow and improve?
We are hoping to have further growth of our franchise system internationally. This coming year we will be opening our first Master in Lagos, Nigeria. We are very excited about the potential for continued growth in Nigeria and other countries.
What aspect of your company are you most excited about?
The aspect of my company that I am most excited about is helping franchisees achieve success in their business and personal lives. What caused me to fall in love with franchising was having the ability to help others achieve their dreams—the dream of owning their own business and being able to provide a great home and life for their families. My father grew up with nothing to speak of and in fact he never even finished high school. He along with my mom took chances and built not just one business, but several through hard work and dedication. He and my mom are a testament to the “American Dream” and he taught me how to help others achieve their “American Dream.” That is what excites me the most in our business.
What is one practice that has been key to your success (vacations, exercise, etc.) and why?
I wish I could say vacations or exercise has been one of the keys, but I haven’t been diligent with making enough time for either of these. I guess the one practice that I do is taking time to reflect on things. I make sure that I take a step back to reflect on what I am doing, what my challenges are, how I am responding to those challenges, and impacting others with my actions and/or words.
In a few sentences, please summarize your business philosophy.
My personal philosophy has always been to work hard to accomplish your objectives, never blame another for your lack of results, admit your mistakes, and take action to correct your mistakes. Always look for the solution/workarounds to challenges, and never accept defeat. Many years ago our leadership team worked together to develop our own company philosophy to help us each day in our decision making, relationships, and objectives.
Our Business Philosophy: to develop and maintain long-term relationships in all aspects of our work with our franchisees and customers.
Our Management Philosophy: we value initiative, creativity, and an independent minds. We want team members that will question the wisdom of some things they consider to be bad decisions.
Our Financial Philosophy: to maintain profitability in order to accomplish our goals and to be able to support our franchisees now and in the future. Our profit measurements need to include how effective we are in supporting our franchisees in a year and the difference we made for them.
Our Franchising Philosophy: we believe that when our franchisees are financially successful then we will be successful. We seek team members that believe in the philosophy of building relationships through sharing of knowledge, skills, systems, and the tools necessary to achieve common objectives.
What inspires you outside of work?
The things that inspire me outside of work are my family, the friendships I have developed over the years, meeting new people, sharing experiences in life, and being a part of helping others through volunteering.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I have been asked this question over the years and some of those years I had achieved work/life balance and some I had not. I believe that a work/life balance has variations through the years based on who is in your life, what is going on in your life, and what fills your “passion bucket,” as my friend calls it. For many years when my children were younger I had a strict code of turning work off when I pulled my car in the garage. Sometimes I drove around the neighborhood for a long time to finish a phone call because of this commitment. Today I think that my balance is off not because of work, but because of personal needs taking first position and precedent over many other things in my life. That is the way it goes, some years are in balance and others are not, and we have to adjust to what is most important.
What else do you hope to accomplish either personally or professionally in the next five years?
I hope to accomplish a work/life balance again! All kidding aside, we have been following Traction for several years and had developed a ten-year plan back in 2013. I hope we achieve the growth that we have laid out in our ten-year VTO plan.
How has EO contributed to your business’s growth and success?
EO has helped in many ways over the years from my forum meetings to opportunity with meeting other likeminded individuals. Reflecting back, there have been a few significant events that may not have happened if it weren’t for EO and my forum. The first being my decision to buy out the other shareholders, the second was the experiences that I had with several of our retreats, especially when we met with members of Patagonia who shared best practices. In fact, that experience helped in the development of our business philosophy. Finally, EO initially introduced me to Traction, which at first I didn’t think it would work in my business. Then I had a second encounter and decided to try it with an EOS implementer. That experience helped us to focus on the real issues in our business and how to develop a healthy culture.