From Marine to Franchisee
Chris Cartisano – Precision Tune Auto Care
What started as a small tune up garage in 1976 in Beaumont, Texas has evolved into an international brand with more than 250 U.S. locations and another 80 centers operating in seven countries.
Over the years, the Precision Tune Auto Care brand has been an appealing brand for our men and women transitioning out of the military and as noted, the PTAC system is home to many franchisees who are veterans.
One of the most successful of those franchisees is Chris Cartisano, owner of Center 75-18 in Shelton, Connecticut. Military service has been a tradition in Chris’ family. Following in the footsteps of his father, uncle, cousin and grandfather, Chris served our country as a Marine from 1979 – 1985. When he first arrived at Paris Island as a young recruit, waking up every morning at 4 AM, he said that “Many mornings, I wondered what had I gotten myself into. But through perseverance, pride in my country and respect for the men and women who came before me, I survived.”
When Chris went into the Marines, he was not thinking about owning his own business when he got out. However, going through Basic Training and serving in the Marines, taught him that he could do much more than he ever realized or even considered. The confidence he gained while serving prepared him to do anything!
As Chris said, “After leaving the Marine Corp, I didn’t immediately jump into running my own business. I first entered drafting school while I was serving out my reserve duty. Later, I went back to school and pursued my engineering degree. However, it became clear to me that jobs like the ones I would be pursuing as an Engineer were being outsourced. I remember thinking to myself – if I’m not going to be outsourced, what industry should I get involved in?”
The short answer was “Cars.” Chris always had an interest in cars and figured that Americans would be driving cars for as long as he would be working and would need to have those cars maintained and repaired. Chris decided that if he was going to start his own business, exploring franchising would be a good start. He felt that anyone starting a new business should seek a proven and established franchise with the tools to help someone get a business up and running and help minimize costly mistakes.
This decision to get into the automotive aftermarket led him to Precision Tune Auto Care. Chris was only looking for franchises that had a strong historical track record and were not new to market brands. Precision Tune Auto Care had been in business since the late 70’s and seemed like the right fit. “While the reduced franchise fee for Veterans played a role in getting me to explore Precision Tune Auto Care, I quickly found out that with Precision as my franchise partner, I was going to be in business for myself but not by myself. I knew that I would have a team, the franchise, behind me to help support me or answer any of my questions when they come up. That type of team work is priceless to a small business in America today.”
When asked what the best part of owning his own business as a franchisee was, Chris replied, “Being my own boss and knowing that I’m responsible for how successful my company is going to be each and every day.” Chris knew that running his own business would not be easy. Even today, after nearly a decade in business, it is still challenging to make the time to study the numbers and make sure that cost of goods, payroll and other expenses are being managed so that he can meet his financial goals. Chris says “It’s my business. If I don’t look after it, who will?”
Chris told us you must persevere to succeed in business. “When things were bad in 2009 and 2010 I wanted to sell. I called the corporate office and asked them to buy me out, as I saw shops closing all round me. People were not spending money. The economy had really turned south. For a brief moment, I had forgotten how to persevere like they trained us to do in the military. It was not until I read an article in one of the PTAC communications written by the CEO about his boxing experience that rekindled the inspiration to persevere once again, you know the “never say die attitude.”
Chris knew he was in the proper industry and that he had the right ingredients for success and the right team behind him. He contacted the Precision Tune Auto Care corporate office for help. With assistance from corporate, within a short time the business was back on track and once again a leader for automotive maintenance and repair in Shelton, Connecticut. Not only that, Chris is a leader in the PTAC system.
His store has been in the Top Ten for sales for the past six years and the future has never looked brighter. We asked Chris why he thought Precision Tune Auto Care has 26 percent Veteran ownership. Chris said “Commitment to helping veterans is ground zero. A commitment to help veterans coming out of the armed sources is the main attraction.Support them and help them succeed.”
Precision Tune Auto Care is committed to helping all their franchisees not just Veterans. Chris Cartisano is a just one example. There are many others. Precision Tune Auto Care has not forgotten those who served.
If you would like to find out more about the Precision Tune Auto Care system visit our website,
www.PrecisionTune.com or call 703-777-9095 for more information.