In March, we were thrilled to announce our first five franchise partners. The road from exploring potential franchise opportunities to signing our first agreements was ripe with insights and excellent candidates. One of the individuals who stood out to us right off the bat was Rick Crook.
As our first franchise owner, Rick has already set a high standard for how he operates his Wilmington, Delaware business. He’s committed to the Spiffy brand and brings a family-oriented approach that fits right in with our management philosophy. It was enlightening to speak with Rick about his career, past franchising experience, and the path that brought him to our Spiffy team.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up actually in Maryland and Delaware. I'm an army brat, my father was in the army. I was born in Takoma Park, Maryland, which is right outside of Washington, DC, near Bethesda. My father was in the Army, so we moved around a lot when I was little. We actually did a stint in Germany for two years, which is where my brother was born. Then we came back to Cecil County, Maryland through about the fifth grade, which is where I live now. But throughout the years, through high school, I was in Delaware. And then I left when I went into the Air Force when I was 19.
"I saw a company that wants to do good, they want to help people, and they want to create a service that benefits people and that takes the friction out of it."
What about Spiffy stood out to you?
So I started looking again at different franchises. I came across Spiffy and at first, I was like, “I don't know if that's really what I'm looking for” and I kind of looked at some other things. I knew I was looking for a mobile business, and I wanted something that was also tech-savvy because I love technology. I eventually came back to it after looking at a few other opportunities; this was within a period of about a week. When I came back to it. I just figured why not fill out the franchise information form and see what they get back to me and what they had to say. And they got back to me within 24 hours, set up a Zoom call, and sent me another information packet, which is more in-depth information about where Spiffy came from.
I think it was after my meeting with Connor [Finnegan, VP of Strategy], which would have been the second meeting that he gave me links to Scot's [Wingo, CEO] videos. With Spiffy, I saw exactly what I see in myself. I saw a company that wants to do good, they want to help people, and they want to create a service that benefits people and that takes the friction out of it. I felt like I could do this kind of work, so here I am.
What aspect of launching your franchise do you find the most exciting?
The equipment and technology. Just getting in here and getting the warehouse set up has been fun. When the van showed up on Sunday, that was like the crown jewel. We took a video of the van driving into the warehouse for the first time. I even got my drone out for an overhead shot. I'm mechanically inclined, I was a mechanic for years and that’s one of my passions. I love projects, putting things together, and setting things up. Planning the warehouse out with my blueprint software, taking the layout of the warehouse, and figuring out where everything's going to go. Some of it was stressful, but for the most part, it was a good experience because I had help just to phone call away. I never had to worry about if somebody was going to answer.
When they showed up with the first van, they saw the warehouse and Brandon [Oxendine, Spiffy Labs] was like, “Man, you've pretty much done everything I normally do!” It felt great for him to say that because I take pride in making everything look nice and prepared for business. I was able to get most of it done so we could focus on more training and other preparations.
Is there anything else that you want to share?
What's kind of cool is that this is already selling itself. Here in our little industrial office park, we had the new van roll in and people are coming over to ask questions. That to me just says it all. It shows that you people trust and want to talk to you because you look professional. You're not just the beat-up white van in the parking lot, trying to detail cars. You’re a professional service company with an opinion they can trust.
We had a guy come over earlier. He's a tenant near our warehouse, a couple of doors down. He has a nice BMW and I saw Mike and Brandon, over there talking with this guy. My first thought was “Oh man, I'm going to get some business already.” And sure enough, the guy wanted Spiffy & Shine and was even interested in doing a Diamond Plate, which I didn’t even have the supplies to complete at the time. Mike helped me call up our supplier to get some overnighted so we could treat it as a training experience. So before we officially launched, we were able to complete a few services and start to build some local excitement. It’s just been an awesome experience.
Thank you so much to Rick for taking the time to talk with us about his experience getting our Delaware franchise up and running. It’s been a delight to see you launch our first ever Spiffy franchise and look forward to seeing how high you raise the bar for the rest to come!
If you’re interested in booking a car wash or detail with his crew, click here to get started with $20 off your first service.
If you’re looking to learn more about starting your own Spiffy Franchise, contact us today!
Posted in Franchising