Interview with - Pete Crouse - Canadian Master Franchisee for Pop-A-Lock

Date: MAR 16th, 2011

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Pete has proven track record of success in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry with 24 years of extensive experiences in the areas of Sales, Sales Management, Business Development, Strategic Planning, Sales Training and Research.

Pete has lived in several provinces in Canada while conducting business in all of them during different stages of his career.

He also has worked in the United States for PepsiCo in their Chicago office. Pete has worked on well known brands; Pepsi, Gatorade, Frito Lay, Quaker & Tropicana.

He is currently an active coach in Minor Hockey in Mississauga and enjoys time with family, playing golf and keeping fit.

BeTheBoss - Tell us about the Pop-a-Lock concept.

Pete Crouse - The Popalock concept is compelling. As you look at the concept you soon can see that this is a unique franchise and business opportunity. We offer an on-demand services business – Locksmithing in multiple sectors; Automotive, Commercial and Residential. We have 2 operations; Roadside Assistance/Car Door Unlocking 24/7 mobile service and highly trained, uniformed service professionals providing professional locksmith services for the highest quality of security solutions for you and your customers.

BTB - How did you become involved with Pop-a-Lock?

PC – I was actually introduced to the concept through a franchise consultant.

BTB - What was your background prior to joining Pop-a-Lock?

PC - I spent 25 years in the Consumer Packaged Goods industry working for Quaker Oats Company and PepsiCo. I lived in Ontario, Alberta and BC and have worked in every province in the country in various roles; Sales, Business Development, Trade Marketing, Strategy and Market Research. My experience in customer acquisition and market share dominance will be an asset.

BTB - What are some of the advantages in being a Pop-a-Lock franchisee?

PC – Some of the advantages are:

  • Nationally advertised trade name with brand recognition
  • Low entry, start up costs
  • A proven, successful business model – since 1991.
  • Initial, and ongoing franchise support at all levels that are important to the business; Sales, Marketing, Advertising, Operations, Training and Administration.
  • EDU program (Emergency Door Unlocking) is welcomed by the community
  • Strategic partnerships with key brands; McDonalds, Hertz, UPS, ADT promotes Pop-A-Lock as a first choice provider

BTB - Who is your ideal franchisee?

PC - In mid to large markets, entrepreneur, former corporate executive looking to start their own business with operations, marketing, selling & financial competencies. In smaller markets owner/operator works well.

BTB - Tell us a little about the Consumer Services Market?

PC - Consumer services market is extremely wide ranging and can be dominated by fragmented, independent companies or owner/operator units. The key to success in this industry is establishing a recognized brand, a professional service, with a high expectation of accountability and consistency and using market dominance to drive value and strategic advantages and partnerships.

BTB - What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?

PC - I started this business in late January 2011. My first impressions are that the business model itself has an element of simplicity. We provide services to consumers and businesses everyday with trained and competent employees. It requires a commitment to selling and marketing to everyone…each customer most likely has a place of residence, a car and works in a business…all requiring some type of security/access. There is no limit to this business model.

BTB - Do you have a mentor and is their someone you use for inspiration?

PC - I have several former colleagues from my CPG experiences that I continually reach out to, to ensure I am staying on the right track and being efficient in my work plan each day; Franchise Development, Selling and Marketing and personal training.

BTB - What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

PC – I have the following advice for someone looking to get into a franchise:

  • Ensure you work through the process of the due diligence. Contact existing franchisees and get a real sense of the business on a day to day level.
  • Ensure you have the financial capacity to support this business.
  • Get a feel for the franchisor and your relationship with them. You are going to be working with them for a long time. Working relationships are so important.

BTB - In your opinion, why do you think that Pop-a-Lock would be a great opportunity for someone?

PC - The business relatively a simple model to execute. Hire good employees and enjoy the opportunity drive the selling and marketing agenda. This business has multiple sectors to drive revenue from; Roadside assistance, Residential, Commercial and Automotive. Although there are existing locksmiths, this is a great opportunity to be the “first to market” with the only branded, Nationwide organization.