Mark Liston is the President of Glass Doctor, one of the 13 Dwyer Group companies. Established in 1962 with one shop in Seattle, Wash., today Glass Doctor offers complete glass repair, replacement and services to the residential, automotive and commercial markets at more than 250 locations in the United States and Canada. Glass Doctor began franchising in 1977 and in 1998 joined The Dwyer Group, Inc., family of service franchises. The Dwyer Group is well-known in the franchise arena for its Code of Values and their “Live R.I.C.H” culture.
Mark joined Glass Doctor in April of 2010 as VP of Operations and was promoted to President in December of 2011. Previously he was the VP of Sales and Marketing for Clockwork Home Services after spending a many years at Valpak’s corporate headquarters, in a variety of roles. He has been involved with dealer or Franchise companies for the past 36 years. Mark also worked in Franchise Development for Batteries Plus and Midas.
Today Mark, and his wife Mary Kay, reside in Waco, TX. Mary Kay is the President of Five Start Painting and ProTect Painters, another Dwyer Group concept. They stay active by doing extensive travel for their respective companies, being active in the IFA (International Franchise Association). Liston serves the IFA on the Board of Trustees for the Educational Foundation and on the Board of Governors for the ICFE (Institute of Certified Franchise Executives ) Board. He is also on the Board for NextGen – which encourages young people to explore opportunities to WORK, BUY or BUILD; essentially, pursue employment in the franchising industry, consider ownership of a franchise business or use the franchise model to start a business or expand an existing one. He is also past chair of the ICFE Board. Mark has three children and nine grandchildren.
What is GLASS DOCTOR’s franchise opportunity all about?
Glass Doctor – A Dwyer Group company that was started in 1962. Glass Doctor is the only national glass company specializing in home, auto and business glass. We offer installation, repair and replacement services.
Who is your ideal candidate for a GLASS DOCTOR’s franchise?
Great question. I’ve seen very successful Glass Doctor franchisees who were never in the glass business whatsoever as well as franchisees who spent years in the industry. I don’t believe there is an “ideal” candidate besides someone who is willing to follow a 54 year developed system.
What type of training and support do you offer GLASS DOCTOR’s franchisees?
This is where we shine! We initially have two weeks of training – week one on the technical side and week two on the business side. Our technical director has 35 years of experience in every phase of the glass industry. On the business side it is lead by our VP of Operations, who was a Glass Doctor franchisee for 7 years and was the fastest growing franchisee in the history of the company!
Every franchise has a Franchise Consultant assigned to them. Their goal is to help each franchisee become as successful as they want to be. We do this by providing monthly KPIs (key performance indicators) with them, reviewing the monthly P & Ls, and by providing phone support. We also visit each franchisee at their location every 18-24 months. In addition, there are additional training opportunities throughout the year at Glass Doctor University in Waco.
What are some of the advantages in being a GLASS DOCTOR’s franchisee?
First, we are part of the Dwyer Group – who I consider the finest franchise organization on the planet! Secondly, our support team averages over 20 years in the glass industry. I’ve been in the franchising industry over 35 years. We work very closely with a Leadership Council who represents our franchisees well. Frankly, I wouldn’t want to be a franchisee for ANY other company!
Are you a member of any Associations?
Yes, the International Franchise Association (IFA), the National Glass Association (NGA), and the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA). We are also part of the Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS®) Council Inc
Tell us a little about the GLASS Market?
The glass market is divided into two areas – Auto Glass and Flat Glass. Auto Glass is everything associated with the automobile (all windows). For what it is worth it is important to know that a windshield is an essential part of your car’s overall structural integrity and safety.
Flat glass is all of the glass in your home which includes windows, patio doors, mirrors, table tops and even showers. This part of the market continues to grow at a faster pace than auto glass.
How successful is your company today and what are your future growth plans?
Glass Doctor continues to grow because of our franchisees. They work closely together with us and are growth is on target.
What are your franchisees saying about the business?
This is best evidenced by the success of our franchisees. We have many who have been Glass Doctor franchisees for over 20 years! We also have several examples of Mastermind groups working together to grow their businesses.
What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
Don’t choose a franchise based on what you like to do. There is more to it than meets the eye. For instance, I like to golf and think it would be very cool to own a golf course. What I don’t realize is that it takes to own a golf course . . . . cutting the lawns a 5 a.m., worrying about the fertilizer used and what happens if the wrong fertilizer is appied and turns a green brown, thinking about the costs of golf carts, etc.
Secondly, make sure you do your due diligence. The only way to do this is by talking to several franchisees. Ask long term franchisees why they have remained franchisees. Ask new franchisees about the support they are given. Look at the corporate staff to evaluated how long they have been in the industry and with the franchisor. Remember, if contracts are 10 year contracts you are entering a 10 year marriage. You wouldn’t do that by dating someone for just an hour
In your opinion, why do you think that GLASS DOCTOR’s would be a great opportunity for someone?
We offer a 54 year history, tremendous support by people who have great experience and a very bright future. What more could anyone want?