What Training and Support Does Big O Offer?
Up to 7 weeks of initial training are just the kickoff to years of consistent support
New Big O Tires franchise owners receive several weeks of training to help them understand the systems that have made Big O one of the leading tire franchises in North America. In addition to covering the nitty-gritty of the sales process, bookkeeping and tire changing, it also covers understanding Big O’s culture and the way that everything we do works together to create an outstanding customer experience.
“It’s about building a relationship with your customer who is going to keep coming back and is going to tell their friends and family about you — organic growth, the kind of word-of-mouth marketing that you can’t buy,” says National Training Manager Len Taylor.
Big O offers seven weeks of training to new franchisees: one week of online training followed by two weeks of classroom training, two weeks of on-site training inside a Big O Tires store, a week of training on how to use Big O’s point of sale and customer relationship management software, followed by a week of training on how to analyze and react to key performance indicators.
Franchisees also receive extensive documentation that they can consult with for detailed answers about the business, including manuals that include written, electronic, audio, video, and Internet instructions for how to run their business; detailed standards, policies and procedures. Franchisees also receive access to the Big O Tires Website Business Center, a repository of guidelines, tips and information about the latest initiatives.
Ongoing Support and Training
Big O’s division vice presidents, Rick O’Neil for the West and Jim Bull for the East, oversee a team of Franchise Business Consultants (FBC) who visit each franchisee and serve as a constant resource.
“From the top down, the guys that work with Big O corporate are fantastic,” says Josh McCullough, who owns a store in Jeffersonville, IN. “They’ll answer a cellphone on Saturday night at 9 o’clock. We have an FBC who I can reach at any time, Gary Skidmore, who can answer any questions I may have. He’s always looking out for me. For instance, yesterday he sent me a text telling me go online and take this test to be eligible to win a trip to Hawaii because I met the conditions for a contest Big O is holding. He stops by stores and answers questions and gets franchisees anything they may possibly need.”
The franchise support goes beyond phone calls and onsite visits. FBCs also serve as facilitators during monthly owners meetings — listening, advising and sharing company news to ensure that Big O’s corporate team understands the ground-level concerns of franchisees and can share best practices.
Another key area of support grows from those monthly meetings: Local franchise groups elect representatives to the Big O Franchise Advisory Council (“FAC”). FAC plays an integral role in guiding Big O by speaking directly to the executives at Big O’s corporate office in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. When the FAC meets, we listen. TBC President, Chairman and CEO Larry Day regularly attends the FAC meetings, and members of all key departments are also available so that if Big O franchisees have a question about any aspect of the business, they don’t have to wait for an answer.
Big O also holds an annual convention that gives all franchisees a chance to speak with corporate staff, learn the latest ways to grow their business, and get to know franchisees from other parts of the country and learn from what others may be doing differently.