For Holly Cummins, nothing illustrates the benefits of the franchise system better than the episode with the wine refrigerator.
Cummins runs a Mr. Appliance franchise. When she got a call to fix a wine cooler, her repairman, Gary Thomas, admitted he was unfamiliar with the device. Cummins put out a request for help through the Mr. Appliance network, and a fellow franchisee from Miami telephoned a couple of hours later.
“He does them all the time down there,” Cummins said. “He told us everything we needed to know to fix it.”
Cummins and her husband, Lane, started the Mr. Appliance franchise here in July. Mr. Appliance is part of Dwyer Group, based in Waco, Texas, which has 1,500 service-oriented franchises including Mr. Rooter, Mr. Electric and Glass Doctor.
Holly runs the business end of the franchise while her husband works full time for another company. She said she and her husband have always wanted to own their business but realized the potential pitfalls involved.
“Our concern was how would we get it started and have an efficient way of running it?” said Cummins, who has studied business at Butler Community College and Friends University before leaving to start a family. “To do it through a franchise made more sense than to start yourself.”
She said her business services all major appliances, including washers, dryers, dishwashers, ranges and hoods. Although primarily a residential service company, Mr. Appliance does some commercial refrigeration repairs.
Cummins said the basic charge for a service call is $69. Most appliances can be fixed, she said. The exceptions are usually older appliances for which parts are no longer available, she said.