Rank no. 118 – Pop-A-Lock Franchise System – US
Products & Services: Mobile security, biometrics, locksmithing & related services
Number of Locations: 380
Total Investment: $100.19K – 133.6K
Began Franchising: 1994
About Pop-A-Lock Franchise System
Pop-A-Lock was started in 1991 by law enforcement agents in Lafayette, Louisiana, who saw a need for a local car locksmith. The original Lafayette location is now the company’s corporate headquarters and national training facility. In addition to auto locksmithing, Pop-A-Lock franchisees offer lock picking, key cutting, lock installation and repair, and emergency roadside assistance services.
Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing
Franchise Fee: $15,500
Ongoing Royalty Fee: 6%
Term of Franchise Agreement: 10 years, renewable
Net Worth: $250,000
Liquid Cash Available: $45,000
Franchise can be run from home. 75% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 3 – 10. Absentee ownership of franchise is allowed. (60% of current franchisees are owner/operators).
|FINANCING TYPE||IN-HOUSE||THIRD PARTY|
How This Franchise Supports Franchisees
Franchise Ranking History
Pop-A-Lock was founded in Lafayette, Louisiana by former law enforcement officers, Carl Vincent and Steve Gremillion. The company began granting franchises in 1994. Since that time they have grown to over 85 franchise areas providing service to more than 3,500 communities nationwide.
The current CEO of Pop-A-Lock is Donald Marks
Director of Marketing – Melanie Miller-Cobb
Director of Operations – Robert Reynolds CPL,CPS
Director of Franchise Development – Michael Kleimeyer.
In 2005 Pop-A-Lock adopted the use of the Pulsar Call Management Software platform to assist in performing its dispatch functions. Pulsar is utilized to receive initial information from customers concerning their issues, regulates pricing of service based on standard pricing practices and local franchisee SOP and perform back office functions for payroll and billing.
Pop-A-Lock utilizes T-Mobile as a corporate sustaining partner to provide phone, Blackberry(r) and Internet services in many franchise markets. The franchise does use other phone providers based on specific coverage needs and the desires of the local franchisee.
The T.I.M.E.S (Technical Information Management and Exchange System) was developed specifically for Pop-A-Lock in 2007 in order to provide a computer based reference system for Locksmith information including Key Generation procedures, Installation Instructions and other technical information. The TIMES program utilizes an interactive system which allows users to submit data for consideration immediately in order to maintain the most current collection of data possible.
Pop-A-Lock has deployed GPS tracking in various areas of the country that work in conjunction with Pulsar, their call management system. GPS data is relayed to specific customers who are able to track the progress of technicians and locksmiths assigned to assist them.
The TIMES system was upgraded to the Locksmith Connect platform, that not only provides technical reference but provides users with the ability to interact with each other through questions, chat features and image uploads. Additionally, the Locksmith Connect allows users to interact with the material through both Android and Apple devices rather than just PC platform.
The Wall Street Journal reports that franchisees can be on call 24 hours per day, with the telephone ringing “as often at 3 a.m. as [it would] at three in the afternoon” according to one franchisee, who explains that “People work night shifts, or have to leave their suburbs at 5 a.m. for jobs that start at 7 a.m., and need their cars opened then.”
The Wall Street Journal also reports the franchisor and franchisees negotiating a new franchise agreement out of court in 2004, with the company promising to train interns to become master locksmiths, then to turn them over to franchisees, at no cost, to help them expand the services they can offer.
In 2012, Pop-A-Lock was named by G.I. Jobs Magazine to be the 2012 Military Friendly Franchise®, for Pop-A-Lock’s recognition of military service. It is part of Pop-A-Lock’s franchising policy to give 10% discounts on franchising fees to active and veteran military persons.
Also in 2004, Garan Wilson, Chief Master Instructor for Pop-A-Lock, had to unlock between 20 and 30 stores in Lafayette, Louisiana at 05:00am, when a vandal had filled them with glue overnight.