Northside Autosports Franchise Opportunity - President, Graham R Ovenden

Date: NOV 19th, 2014

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Graham R Ovenden started the first Northside Autosports® location in his hometown of Georgetown, Ontario, Canada in 2002.

He managed that location and his second location in Vaughan for 8 years before deciding to Franchise the concept. Since that time the company has expanded across Canada. Graham has also sat on the board of several corporations, built dealer networks across multiple countries for his clients & consulted with Vehicle Manufacturing Firms on growth plans/operating protocol guidelines.

Graham also writes fiction & maintains his lifelong passion for modifying vehicles. Tell us about the Northside Autosports® franchise concept.

Graham R Ovenden: Northside Autosports® was founded in 2002 in Georgetown, Ontario. Northside Autosports® is a three part concept;

  • Store Sales (performance parts, tires, wheels, accessories, racing equipment, audio/12v, chemicals, commercial vehicle outfitting products, fluids, etc)
  • Service (installations, tires, wheels, performance upgrades, contractor equipment, audio installations, alarms, etc)
  • Car Care (detailing, washes, polishing, paint protection, window tinting, graphics, etc).

BTB: How and when did you become involved with Northside Autosports® franchise?

GRO:The company was incorporated and operating on a part time basis while I was still in high school from 2000 until 2002 when we opened our first 3,000 square foot branch in Georgetown. Before that I was still working on cars with my friends, father & grandfather just without the corporate label.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining Northside Autosports® franchise?

GRO: Education wise I have taken courses in: paralegal studies, ethics, writing (fiction and sales copy), vehicle sales, vehicle manufacturing standards, dealer development, etc. But Northside Autosports® for me really has been a life long gig, something I have always done. I have always enjoyed matching customers up with the right type of vehicle and helping them (consumers or fleet owners) to come up with efficient preventative maintenance programs that save them money.

BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a Northside Autosports® franchisee?

GRO:With Northside Autosports® you benefit from 13+ years of experience, the largest supplier network in the country, lead generation/networking programs and an aggressive and constantly growing business model.

BTB:Who is your ideal franchisee?

GRO: We can train anyone but what truly puts the “great” operators apart from the average is Networking Abilities, Organization & Integrity. With both concepts it’s fairly easy to run a “good” facility but the “great” ones are the Operators who really go out there in their localized market and shake hands/meet people. I’m a firm believer that this skill set makes all the difference in the world in our industry.

BTB: Tell us a little about the Automotive Market?

GRO:With Northside Autosports® your dealing with a fast paced, innovative and passion driven industry that is evergreen. It is always growing, expanding and becoming more and more interesting.

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

GRO:Quality people make all the difference. The most thought out business model, strategic placement of branches, innovative marketing programs, robust training & resource sharing programs, etc all will NOT cement you as a market leader, only aligning yourself with great people and uniting them under one brand family can you possibly hope to be a market leader.

BTB: Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?

GRO:I have had a large numbers of mentors. I try to learn something from everyone I meet. I’m a firm believer if you aren’t constantly seeking knowledge too fuel growth your decaying which ultimately leads the other way to ones end. Mentors would include; my partners at the corporate office, father, grandfather, friends, wife, sister and many of our partners at our various franchise/branches that are my active mentors that I learn from them as much as they learn from me. Outside of that I draw inspiration from many philosophical principles & works.

BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a franchise?

GRO:No matter what you do, follow your passions. Whether your goals are entirely material or not, when you love what you are doing you will inevitably be much better at that then something you have no interest in. Pick a franchise in a field you truly love with people you would love working with & a brand you believe in then you will never work another day in your life. The money will then chase you versus you wasting your life chasing it.

BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that Northside Autosports® franchise would be a great opportunity for someone?

GRO:With Northside Autosports®franchise opportunity if you love cars/trucks/jeeps there really is no alternative. We know our market so well and get along with our partners & supply partners so much because we are the same as you, modifying cars is our way of life. Fitting into a concept and becoming a part of something so passion driven is truly a special thing.