Eden Exchange recently interviewed Charlie Carter, the founder and director of Battery Zone. With over 30 years of industry experience, Battery Zone is now looking to expand as a franchise across the nation. In this Director Briefing, Charlie discusses his journey creating Battery Zone, his vision for the company and what makes an ideal candidate for a Battery Zone franchisee.
Eden Exchange: Hello Charlie, thank you for taking the time to speak to us today. Can we start with your current role in the business and what sparked the creation of Battery Zone?
Charlie Carter: My current role in the business is director and head of retail sales. I also produce all our marketing and promotions, as well as grow the business.
Around 15 years ago I worked for a large battery wholesaler, and at that time I was also semi-involved with the Battery World network. I looked into a Battery World franchise at the time but the former management thought I was more of an asset to them by building Battery Worlds rather than becoming a franchisee. So that’s why Battery Zone was born. My former business partner and I grew the business from $0 sales to a current $1.3 million annual turnover. Our partnership ended in August 2017, as I wanted to continue to grow the business and our vision for the company no longer aligned. It has always been my passion to franchise Battery Zone!
Eden Exchange: Aside from in-store products, what are the services that Battery Zone offer?
Charlie Carter: We offer free battery testing, free roadside replacement (within 10kms from the store), specialty battery pack rebuilds and free watch battery replacement.
Eden Exchange: What is the Australian market like for battery repairs, suppliers and their distribution? Is it mostly a brand-independent service and supply?
Charlie Carter: I think the majority of people don’t particularly care about the brand, but look for reliability, warranty and price. Brand names can be important for some customers though, and that’s why we stock most brands of batteries at different price points.
Eden Exchange: You’ve mentioned on your website that you are looking for people who want to work in the business, that is, be owner-operators. Can you delve into that a bit more?
Charlie Carter: Yes that is correct. I personally feel that if the owner works in the business there is more passion and a drive to succeed. Also when the owner is around things tend to go smoother.
Eden Exchange: What’s the best part of your job? What drives you to do what you do?
Charlie Carter: I love batteries! People think I have acid running through my veins! I love fixing people’s problems and talking to people. It’s my brand that drives me; I want to be better than my competitors.
Eden Exchange: Where is the future of batteries going? Are you seeing technological advancements? Is there a future in solar power or renewable energy designs?
Charlie Carter: People will always need batteries! Whether it’s for your car, truck, boats or caravan. Renewable energy and electric vehicles is certainly where we are heading.
When we think about it, battery design is still the same as it was 100 years ago! Only the chemistry and demand on batteries has changed with technology. I think that really speaks to their staying power and reliability.
Eden Exchange: Why is it a good time to be servicing the battery supply and repair industry?
Charlie Carter: As I’ve said, people will always need batteries! There is only one major competitor in the industry at the moment, which is Battery World. So this is the best time to get in on the ground floor.
Eden Exchange: What are your key goals for Battery Zone and where do you see the franchise going in the future?
Charlie Carter: My key goals for the franchise is to expand my brand nationally and be the best at what we do. Also, Battery World needs some competition, so I want to be their no. 1 competitor in Australia!
Eden Exchange: What personalities and experiences best suit the Battery Zone franchise?
Charlie Carter: A Battery Zone franchisee needs to be good with people, have plenty of patience with the retail side of things, and have plenty of drive and determination.
Eden Exchange: Do you have any advice for anyone considering enquiring about a Battery Zone franchise?
Charlie Carter: If you are serious about your future and being your own boss, there is no time like better to enter the industry. Be yourself and be the best you can be. Also before you enter a franchise, please do your homework!
Eden Exchange: Thank you Charlie, it has been a pleasure.
About Battery Zone
We are committed to serving the local and greater community with good old fashioned customer service and values.
With 30 years experience in the battery industry, we recognise the need for a “specialist” battery retailer from which you can source the widest range of all domestic, commercial and industrial type batteries and caravan, camping, 4WD, Solar and 12V accessories.
Our product range and services have grown over the past 12 years as has our customer base which reflects on the core values of our business, “we strive to improve everyday”. We welcome all enquiries and love to be challenged with the unusual and unique type fitments as we have proven ourselves to be “your local battery specialists”.