Meet the Franchisee. Owners of PIRTEK Avon located in Avon, Massachusetts. Mark Rudnik and Michael Dello Russo have been franchisees for 15 years.
How did you first become aware of PIRTEK and its franchise system?
It all started with Mike and I having a drink after playing a softball game. We were both unhappy with our current employers, so we started to do some research of possible businesses to start together. After a few months of searching for an existing business to buy and researching other franchise models, I came across PIRTEK on the internet.
What attracted you to becoming a PIRTEK franchisee over other businesses that you investigated?
Both Mike and I had some hydraulic experience, so PIRTEK seemed to be a nice fit with our backgrounds. After doing our due diligence, we found that PIRTEK had a proven model that was not only growing in the U.S., but around the world. Because of that model and proven track record, we knew it would help us to limit our risk.
PIRTEK is often described as a family – as a franchisee – can you elaborate on some of the elements that makes PIRTEK feel like a family?
The network of other franchisees is excellent. You go through a lot of the same problems and issues, so you lean on each other for support and guidance like a family would. We keep in touch with many of the owners throughout the year and look forward to seeing them at the annual conference. We have gained many friendships, not only with the franchisees, but also with the employees at PIRTEK USA.
What are some of the major positives of being a PIRTEK franchisee?
The biggest thing is reducing your risk. A proven model, breadth and depth of product line, and the ability to learn from others in the network so that you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
Before getting into the PIRTEK way of life, what industry(s) were you involved in?
Mike had a background in truck parts and accessories, including hydraulic hoses. He also managed a carpet cleaning and restoration business. I owned a company that remanufactured aluminum wheels. After selling that business, I worked in the software industry as a sales manager for business intelligence solutions.
What are some of the major benefits – whether financial or lifestyle – that you’ve found from being a PIRTEK franchisee?
My family is very important to me and I have three daughters who were very active in sports. Over the years, I had the flexibility to participate in these activities with them by coaching them on many of their teams. My lifestyle also allowed me to graduate one of my daughters from college this year, with two closely following. Finally, a couple years ago I was able to chase a childhood dream by getting my private pilot license.
If anyone reading was thinking about buying a PIRTEK franchise, what would you say to them?
Do your homework and see if this business fits your personality. PIRTEK has many programs to help newer centers with initial sales, such as regional sales manager support and national accounts. However, you need to roll up your sleeves and hit the road. I believe that face to face is the best way to grow this business. You can’t turn the sign in the front door to “OPEN” and expect business to come your way. The model works, but you need to educate your customers on how you can solve their problems.
Can you identify some of the best things about owning a business under the PIRTEK banner?
The best thing about owning a PIRTEK business is that you are not alone. You not only have support from PIRTEK USA, but the other owners are a great resource as well. I have gained many friendships and mentors from other owners in the PIRTEK system.
What are some of the biggest things you’ve learned about either yourself or your business since becoming a PIRTEK franchisee?
I have learned to wear many hats over the years, which allows me to have my pulse on all areas of the business. As our business grew, I have learned to delegate and trust my employees.
PIRTEK – through being on call 24/7 – is known for how dynamic and adaptable its product range is – surely you’ve got some stories about unique uses of product or sticky situations you or your staff have found themselves in?
We have seen many interesting job sites over the years. From job sites on many movie sets, including “The Departed,” where our MSST got a chance to see Leonardo DiCaprio on set, to a man-made snow mountain created by all the excess snow that was removed from Boston. Or climbing aboard the Boston Red Sox owner’s fancy yacht to replace a fuel line in an engine room that was cleaner than most hospital rooms. The best story is when a customer told us we had a better chance of walking on water than doing business with them. Guess who they called when they had a public relations nightmare from leaking power steering hoses that were causing fires on their buses?
PIRTEK USA provides the fastest hydraulic hose replacement and industrial hose repair service with onsite mobile and service centers throughout the United States. Our ETA 1-hour on-site hose service, available 24/7, is a simple solution that minimizes equipment downtime and eliminates the need for our customers to leave their job site or facility to locate new hydraulic hoses and hydraulic fittings. We’ll Keep You Operating! www.pirtekfranchise.com