Franchisee Success Story – Miami
Mike & Claudia Underwood and Ana Husk – Metal Supermarkets Miami
Metal Supermarkets Miami opened in April 2016 and immediately achieved incredible success, recently setting a record for first year sales in their 11th full month.
Mike’s path to owning a Metal Supermarkets franchise was unique. He had spent years as an investment advisor and over that time turned his metalworking hobby into a second business. Here, Mike experienced first hand how frustrating it can be to find small quantities of metal, and after stumbling across Metal Supermarkets online, fell in love with the business model and eventually purchased a franchise together with his wife and sister-in-law. “I was extremely frustrated with the metal buying experience here in Miami. There were often lines to get to the sales counter and the service was horrible,” Mike explained. Not surprisingly, he now takes customer service very seriously at his store, making it one of the key focuses in the early months of operation.
“It all starts with the CSRs. Mine don’t say ‘No.’ ” Mike’s wife Claudia and her sister Ana have excellent phone skills and make an effort to quote on every request. Despite having a relatively limited inventory as a new store, the Miami team is always willing to track down unique materials to help customers and establish themselves as a reliable option for metal. “Chances are my competitors aren’t even quoting these people. So, we quote it,” Mike said. “We are helping them find a solution to their problem.”
“The customer service has to be top-notch or your business development efforts are wasted.” – Mike Underwood
Mike’s other key focus is business development. He makes an effort to meet with many of the new customers, helping to build a strong relationship with them while also inquiring about other potential customers they may know of. In addition, Mike takes time to look around their neighborhood for other businesses that could benefit from Metal Supermarkets’ services. He understands that being a new business in Miami means he must place extra emphasis on simply letting people know they exist and highlighting what makes Metal Supermarkets different. He is also very active on social media, sharing content regularly through the store’s Facebook page. “If we plasma cut a part for a customer, I take a picture and post it.” explained Mike. This helps to remind followers of the services they offer, while helping to stay top-of-mind. While the team in Miami still has their work cut out for them, they are working hard to reach more prospects as quickly as possible.
What would Mike recommend to fellow new franchisees looking to ramp-up their sales? Not surprisingly, it would be to focus on business development and building relationships with customers. “Try to meet as many people as you can, even if only to let them know that you are there.”