Business Profiles

by Pit Stop

last updated 31/03/2022

A Reputation To Bank On

by Pit Stop

last updated 31/03/2022

New Pit Stop owners make the smart choice with NZ’s largest automotive service franchise

After 25 years travelling the world, Darryn and Elaine Sunnex wanted a working business they could walk straight into. ‘We were lucky,’ says Darryn. ‘The Pit Stop franchise in Paraparaumu was on the market and it was a case of right time, right place for us. We couldn’t be more pleased with the business and the brand – in fact, we’re now looking for a second outlet.’

Darryn has spent 40 years as a mechanic, latterly working in a management role. ‘On returning to New Zealand, we wanted to work for ourselves rather than other people,’ explains Darryn. ‘We did a lot of research in advance, and decided we really wanted something already well-established.

‘We’d certainly have considered a stand-alone business, but franchising appealed because of the assistance and back-up it provides – not to mention the big marketing benefits of a reputable brand. Pit Stop has been around a long time and has a great reputation, and the Paraparaumu centre has been a very well-run business for more than 30 years.’

Elaine adds, ‘We quickly established a great rapport with the vendors, and they have become friends and been a constant support ever since. It just shows the excellence of the system that so many franchisees have been with Pit Stop so long, and that the company attracted good people right from the start.’

A good track record

Darryn and Elaine didn’t have a house or large asset to finance their purchase, ‘But we had some money of our own, and after a bit of preparation the bank loaned us the rest – the track record of the Pit Stop franchise and the Paraparaumu centre meant they were prepared to lend against the business itself.’

Darryn jokes that, ‘I was born in Christchurch and I’d never been anywhere near Paraparaumu in my life! I knew nothing about the area, or the suppliers, or the customers, but the franchise was very supportive, the systems were great and now, nearly two-and-a-half years later, we are doing very nicely.’

‘Pit Stop provides so much in terms of support,’ says Elaine. ‘Issues like health and safety, compliance, and all the HR requirements of being an employer can be a legislative minefield, but the franchise has got it all covered, along with the systems and software you need.’

Darryn says that the systems also help with two other key elements of running a busy and successful Pit Stop centre – building relationships, and staying on top of scheduling repeat servicing and warrants to keep customers’ vehicles safe and efficient.

‘Your customers are your business, so you have to look after them and keep them coming back. After the lockdowns, customer numbers were higher than ever, so you have to have the systems to book the right amount of time for each job and ensure neither you nor your customers are wasting valuable time. Simple, if you have the right training and tools.’

All sorts of opportunities

Les Seiler, Franchise Manager of Pit Stop says, ‘Darryn and Elaine have demonstrated how good the Pit Stop opportunity is, and shown that by working well and using Pit Stop systems properly, even interruptions such as lockdowns have negligible impact.

‘Pit Stop has been New Zealand’s favourite one-stop-shop for all sorts of vehicle servicing since 1978. With more than two million cars on the road now, the company enjoys a big share of a growing market. This means we have opportunities in greenfield sites, existing outlets and additional outlets in established areas to satisfy demand, and the investment can be as low as $100,000 +gst.

‘We are looking for people like Darryn and Elaine who are highly motivated, have good management skills and some experience, and want to get into business with NZ’s leading automotive service. Wherever you want to be, give me a call – we have locations available near you!’   

See this advertorial on page 53 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 30 Issue 4 

Contact details for Pit Stop

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