Midas, the flagship franchise of the family, is a retail store designed around the needs of any vehicle owner, focusing on various product ranges, from motor parts and accessories through to lifestyle equipment. There are over 300 franchised outlets in Southern Africa, including Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and South Africa. The mechanism of distribution to owner managed retail stores continues to be the most successful and efficient. the equity-building menu for the brand is a combination of print media, online presences, sponsorships, radio and TV campaigns with the return on investment being increased member sales.
In addition 25 million seasonal brochures are produced and distributed every year to drive consumer feet into the stores and increase franchise retail sales. A key differentiator for the Midas stores is a focus on quality product, from both the global brands and the Groups' own private label brands. This allows the Midas franchise network to offer countrywide guarantees against manufacturers' defects on all product it sells.
Using best practice to create a great business
In his 20 years as part of the management team at Midas, Gerhard Braun was able to learn from some of the best executives in the auto parts industry. But there came a time when, after a period of self-reflection, he decided to strike out on his own entrepreneurial path.
Given that he's steeped in the industry and knows the brand inside out, the logical step was to become a Midas franchisee. In March 2017, he took over Pretoria-based Midas Menlyn in Garsfontein Rd and is relishing the challenge of taking the already well-established and successful outlet to a new level.
"Going from being a franchisor to a franchisee has been a massive learning curve, but it's something I'm glad I went through," says Gerhard. "I was previously the Midas Franchise Director, so in my career I've visited many excellent Midas franchises and I took best practice from all those great people and implemented it here. I've also benefitted from the comprehensive support structure that the brand has in place to support its franchisees."
In his first year in charge, the store achieved third place in the 2018 Franchise of the Year awards, which are judged across the entire Midas group. "To get a podium place on our first attempt was an achievement. But we can always do better," Gerhard observes.
The Midas Menlyn philosophy is all about focusing on the customer. The people who phone us or come through the front door are 'number one' in Gerhard's eyes and, as a business person, he believes it's vital that you meet your commitments and do what you say you will.
Staff morale is also important. "A friendly smile makes all the difference," he says. "Our culture is that the team will say 'yes' or 'no' to a new employee following probation. So the team appoints the team. They must fit in. I agree with Richard Branson's philosophy that: 'Ifyou look after your people, they will look after your customers'."
He concludes: "We are blessed to have a great team and great customers. I always look forward to coming to work with them."