He Says the Franchise Allows Him the Freedom to Live How He Likes.
Before becoming a SpeeDee owner, Mark Freeman managed properties for an oil company in the Gulf of Mexico. He was tired of the ups and downs of the oil fields, but he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do next – he’d been working in the industry since he was 15 years old.
“I’m mechanically inclined,” he says, so he started exploring automotive franchises. While researching the industry, Mark learned that a SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service® location near him was for sale. That’s when Mark knew he’d found his next venture.
“I grew up with SpeeDee. It started in Metairie, Louisiana. I’m originally from New Orleans, so I have been going to SpeeDee since the ‘80s. They are always busy,” he says.
Building the business
Mark became a SpeeDee owner on June 1, 2021 – his birthday – in Hammond, Louisiana.
“It was a pretty quick and painless process for me. It was already up and running,” he says. “The previous owner started the business about 11 years ago, so it was well-established, which was great.
“The guy who owned it previously didn’t spend a lot of time there because he had two other locations, and this was furthest out. That’s why he sold it. His wife had a baby, and he wanted to not work so much.”
This is the first business that Mark has owned, though he says his wife Lorena has had her own businesses. Lorena, who is from Colombia, works at SpeeDee three to four days a week and is available to work with Spanish-speaking members of the community.
The business was underperforming when Mark bought it because of the previous owner’s inability to spend much time at that location. Mark sees it as a chance to build the business by getting involved in the community.
“When I went through orientation, they told me – and I know – that I have a location with a ton of potential,” he says. “I love getting up, going to my shop, opening it up. And I like talking to people. Building rapport with my folks.”
They “made it painless”
Mark is very complimentary of the support he has received from SpeeDee.
He says, “SpeeDee made it painless. If I had any questions about anything, I could call, and they were on top of it. The guy I bought it from stayed with me for a week to help me with the point-of-sale Sage system.”
Rob Cooper, the franchise support director, also spent time on-site to help.
“I’ve managed people for the past 12 years. I could just tell that with a little bit of management and elbow grease, this thing could rock and roll, you know? This will give me an opportunity to live my life the way I want for the rest of it.”