The Many Pathways to Franchise Ownership
Updated: Jun 29
While many of our clients come to FranCoach from the corporate world, where they’re dissatisfied with their pay, working conditions, or the management above them, corporate America isn’t the only path to franchise ownership. We work with clients from many different educational, familial, and socioeconomic backgrounds.
Franchise ownership is a way to regain control of your life. If you’re interested in owning your own business, working with a team of people that you choose, and compensating yourself as you see fit, then owning a franchise might be an appealing path forward.
You don’t necessarily need a fancy degree or 20 years of wearing a tie in an office in order to get started. Plenty of our clients and existing franchise owners have pursued alternate educational paths or have gained relevant experience through management roles, leadership positions, and service work, including in the military.
In this article, we’ll be spotlighting one such individual. Albert Daniel, now an owner of a Milex Complete Auto Care franchise, didn’t attend college and does not hold a high school degree. But his time serving in the U.S. Navy and his subsequent career experience prepared him extremely well for success.
Editor’s Note: This article was provided to us by the Moran Family of Brands, a group of automotive franchise brands that includes Mr. Transmission, Milex Complete Auto Care, and Turbo Tint. We’re excited to spotlight one of their Milex franchise owners, Albert Daniel, to provide an inside look into the auto repair industry.
Albert Daniel’s childhood did not put him on track to become an award-winning business owner with two successful automotive repair franchises. Albert grew up in a rough neighborhood in suburban Washington, D.C. and did not graduate from high school. However, he believed he could find opportunities for his future in the military. Albert credits the United States Navy for giving him the tools to serve his country and prepare for his future.
“My military experience was extremely helpful and prepared me in so many ways,” said Daniel. “I was taught the importance of having a strong work ethic and doing whatever it takes to get the job done right. All those things I learned in the military.”
Albert earned his GED and enlisted in the U.S. Navy at age 17, spending six years in the service from 1989 to 1994. Since he had experience working on cars growing up, Albert tested high as a potential mechanic. He was trained to repair and maintain jets aboard the USS George Washington (CVN 73) stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, and was part of the crew that built the aircraft carrier. The technical skills Albert acquired in the Navy gave him an advantage for a career working on cars when he returned to civilian life.
“I was a good fit as an employee as soon as I got out. It helped me grow professionally and be the top lead mechanic in my job at a dealership,” said Albert. “I felt the next step up from there was to open my own business.”
The Path to Business Ownership
An accident on the job sidelined Albert with a knee injury, and he was unable to work while he recovered. It had always been his dream to become a business owner, so Albert spent that time recuperating and looking for a business to purchase. That’s when Albert discovered the Moran Family of Brands, one of the nation’s leading franchisors of general automotive repair, transmission repair, and automotive accessory centers.
Guided by the vast technical knowledge he acquired in the military and his interest in working on cars, Albert opened his Milex Complete Auto Care shop in Frederick, Maryland in 2007. In 2015, he added a Milex/Alta Mere co-branded store that specializes in automotive repair along with window tinting and driver safety technology in nearby Boonsboro, Maryland. Albert and his wife, Serina, operate the shops together.
Albert and Serina say that one of their secrets to success is keeping their employees happy. By offering competitive benefits and extras like lunch on Saturdays, the Daniels have assembled an experienced staff, who in turn, make their customers happy by providing quality service. Albert makes it a point to hire veterans for his businesses and currently has two fellow brothers-in-arms working in his auto shop.
Through his commitment to creating a positive company culture and providing a wide array of automotive services to residents of western Maryland, Albert has become one of the most successful franchise owners in the Moran Family of Brands’ system. He has been named Milex Franchisee of the Year four times and is an active member of Moran’s Franchise Advisory Alliance. He also serves as a mentor to new franchise owners, offering guidance and support as they enter the system.
Veterans Helping Veterans
Sometimes he provides advice to franchisees who are fellow veterans. The Moran Family of Brands currently has 15 franchise owners who are U.S. armed forces veterans, coming from every branch of the military, including the National Guard. Moran actively recruits veterans as franchise owners and is a member of VetFran, an initiative that provides a $5,000 franchise fee discount, mentorship, and training programs for honorably discharged U.S. Veterans in order to aid in their transition to civilian life.
“Veterans have so many valuable qualities that translate well into franchise ownership, whether it is discipline, leadership, or an outstanding work ethic,” said Pete Baldine, President of Moran Family of Brands. “Franchise owners such as Albert have been extremely successful in our system, and we are able to give veterans the opportunity to apply the skills and principles they acquired in the military toward a successful career.”
Small business ownership is widely recognized as a great option for veterans following their time in the military. According to the Department of Defense, nearly 200,000 servicemen and women separate from active duty in the United States military each year. They have a strong grasp of leadership fundamentals and have significant experience leading others. This helps make the transition from the military into franchise ownership smooth and successful.
Albert said the franchise system works well for veterans who are trained to follow a system. He also likes that the Moran Family of Brands has resources available. He always knows who to call if a problem arises – that way, franchisees don’t feel like they’re in business alone.
“Coming out of the military, you often have the hands-on training that prepares you for what you need to do,” said Daniel. “The franchise side gives you the whole package for your business so you can open with a greater chance of success.”
Interested in opening up a franchise of your own? Many people out there dream of owning their own businesses and regaining control of their life, their finances, and their happiness. If you’re reading this article, we have a hunch that you might have the same aspirations. FranCoach can help you find the brand that’s a perfect match for you.
We are a national search firm dedicated to working with individuals who are interested in owning a franchise. We've partnered with over 600 of the top franchisors in the country, spanning nearly 70 industries. One of our partners is Moran. For more information on the Moran Family of Brands, please visit https://moranfamilyofbrands.com/.
Reach out to FranCoach to learn more about potentially becoming a franchise owner. There’s never any fee for our service, so why not take the first step today toward your better tomorrow?