Mark Leifer had just graduated from college in 1976 when disco was big and bell bottoms were bigger. Armed with a background in accounting and business, he was unsure of what he wanted to do for a career when he and a friend saw a newspaper advertisement from Maaco. They filled out the ad and submitted it to Maaco headquarters. A few weeks later, they received a call and the rest, as they say, is history.
Maaco is celebrating its 50-year anniversary. As one of their early franchisees, Leifer recalls starting his Pleasantville Maaco franchise in Pleasantville, N.J.
“My partner, Peter Reese, and I borrowed the money for the franchisee fee,” said Leifer. “We had no background in the automotive industry. We relied on Maaco for the education we needed to be successful in the auto painting business. We attended a thorough month-long training program where they shared their expertise and formula for success. After that, support was always just a phone call away.”
Leifer and Reese opened their Maaco facility in 1978. Located near Atlantic City, the partners saw business increase dramatically in 1980 as Atlantic City was beginning to grow.
“At that time, the business was focused on overall paint jobs, as that was the Maaco model, and we were painting eight to 10 cars per day,” said Leifer. “We were dedicated to delivering quality and satisfying customers. If those customers whose cars we painted ended up having an accident, they brought their cars back to us to make the repairs. That’s how we evolved from strictly auto painting to collision repair. We now have an even mix between retail paint jobs, collision repair and fleet repair.”
Leifer said that he has enjoyed being part of the Maaco network for the last 44 years and encourages others who want to own their own business to consider becoming a member of the Maaco family.
“It has really been one big family with Maaco,” said Leifer. “I used to take my children to the annual conventions, and we have so many friends among the other Maaco franchisees. There is a huge benefit to having both the support from headquarters, as well as a network of other owners that you can always talk with and learn from.”
For more information about joining the Maaco family, visit MaacoFranchise.com.