FRANCHISOR IN DEPTH – POP – A – LOCK – AIMS FOR TOTAL CONTINENTAL COVERAGE
North America’s largest security and locksmith organization is looking to fill in the rest of its vacancies across the continent and then expand overseas.
Pop-A-Lock has been in operation for 21 years and is in 8,500 communities across North America, president Don Marks said during a recent interview from the company’s headquarters in Lafayette, LA. and the company is looking to fill in the remaining gaps it has.
Pop-A-Lock does vehicle road services, including vehicle lock outs, changing tires and providing jumps to vehicles. It also performs any service related to locksmithing, from remotes and chip keys to fleet services. The company also does residential and commercial locksmithing and security, with services like rekeying, installing cameras and CCTVs, performing business proximity control and installing sophisticated security systems in homes or businesses.
Who They Need
Right now, the company is looking for two different types of franchisees: owner operators and empire builders. Owner operators are located in the smaller markets. They are often locksmiths who perform the actual service and run a lot of the day-to-day business themselves. Empire builders are managers, presidents or CEOs of larger organizations with many service and administrative employees under them.
Many smaller markets are still available for owner operators, Marks said, and many times, it’s veterans that will fill these roles. Also, there are about 30 medium to large markets left for an empire builder to occupy. Los Angeles is one of the largest markets that Marks identified as still being available.
Except for these last few markets to fill, Pop-A-Lock has a presence in about 70 percent of North America.
The Pop-A-Lock Advantage
It’s this ubiquity that helps to set Pop-ALock apart from its competition. Marks shared an anecdote about a major company that wanted to upgrade the security to 1,500 of its locations. At first, the company tried to use independent locksmiths, but found that many of them were either difficult to reach, had retired, or just didn’t seem trustworthy enough to perform the service. After that major company called Pop-A-Lock, though, Marks said, all 1,500 of their locations had been upgraded within three weeks.
Another competitive advantage Marks identified is that they’re technology leaders. They use the latest technology, which allows them to be the most cost effective and provide the most modern and innovative security.
The company also has 55-60 strategic partnerships with national groups that they work with and provide service work for them.
Plus, Pop-A-Lock is uniquely oriented to give back to the communities they are in. For example, Pop-A-Lock has its PAL Saves Kids’ programs. “We rescue kids for free who are locked in homes or in cars,” Marks explained.
Pop-A-Lock also works with animal shelters, provides downloadable, free security audits for home and businesses on their website and has veterans’ programs where they train veterans and give them unique franchise opportunities.
Marks said he believes Pop-A-Lock is in one of the most important businesses around because they protect what matters most to people: their families, their homes and their business.
“Especially in today’s environment, there are increasing security needs for your home and your business and that’s what we do,” he said.
Getting Franchisees Ready
Pop-A-Lock provides new owner training to new franchisees, as well as ongoing technical training and weekly business building calls. Monthly, the company has system wide calls, as well as monthly training calls. They have a whole internet and resource center, support group, plus a 24/7 call center to help franchisees.
Between frequent field visits, system alerts on franchisee accounts, email communication and teams of franchisees that work with the company on advertising and testing new programs, franchisees are well taken care of.
“We virtually help them A to Z,” Marks noted.
The company aims to keep on doing exactly what it has been doing, the president said, eventually covering all of North America. Once it’s in every community on this continent, the next step will be overseas expansion, and wherever it expands to, Pop-A-Lock will continue to give back to those communities, as it is uniquely poised to do.