Veteran Nick Lambie had a vision for post-military life: He wanted to open his own business, add value to the community and carry over skills he learned during his years as a Weapons Director for the U.S. Air Force.
When nothing immediately presented itself, Nick found himself going back to a product and service experience he trusted to pursue his goals.
On a Mission to Find the Ideal Franchise Opportunity
To protect his wife’s new car from the harsh Upstate New York weather, Nick discovered Ziebart’s protection services and was immediately impressed. The superior, personalized care he received from the Ziebart team led him to believe it was a small local company. But about a year later, Nick discovered Ziebart International was a franchise opportunity and knew the services the brand provides would benefit his hometown in West Virginia.
As soon as Ziebart became a viable option for his post-military career, Nick ran the idea by his right-hand – his wife Courtney. Still living in New York, the Lambies needed boots on the ground at their selected location before they could move there full-time. That’s where Mark, Nick’s twin brother, entered the picture. The trio held meetings, carefully weighing the options, costs and risks they were about to take together.
The staff at Ziebart’s home office in Troy, MI, were there every step of the way to answer questions and provide all the information they could. While the Lambies were deeply engaged with the corporate team, they did not share their plans with any other friends or family. Like a top-secret mission, they wanted to make an objective, logical decision with the information they gathered and avoid being influenced by the emotions of others in their lives.
Already fans of the brand as customers, the positive interaction the Lambies had with the Ziebart home office during the franchise opportunity research process sealed the deal for them to decide to open a Ziebart franchise. They officially opened the doors to their own Ziebart location in Morgantown, WV in the summer of 2019. Watch their fun, grand-opening day in action, complete with a bounce house, live radio coverage, and a family ribbon cutting!
Leading the Team from the ‘Front Lines’
Today, the Lambies’ business runs on great service from an outstanding team. As his years as a commander showed Nick, leaders are most impactful when they are engaged and doing the work alongside their teams. “Leading from the front” is a daily training mantra for the Lambies. On any given day, Nick or Mark, who runs day-to-day operations, are waist-deep in a car vacuuming out stubborn dirt or wiping down a tire. If the brothers expect their team to complete the task, it’s because they have both done it and have shown it can be done right and efficiently.
The passionate team behind the Lambies are shown daily how to put the customers’ needs first, respond with empathy and find the best solution to every problem – all they have to do is look to their leaders.
“There are no single points of failure, and comprehensive training and excellent leadership prevent failure altogether,” Nick said.
Communicating Proactively, not Only as a Reaction
Whether he’s interacting with team members or customers, Nick makes sure to overly communicate to establish a personal connection.
If a team member is having a great week, if they are working hard and getting everything, they need to get done and done well, they are acknowledged and rewarded. Nick knows the importance of connection within a team, and that bond does not come solely from proximity.
With customers, the Lambies make sure to keep the lines of communication open. For example, they send out any hourly changes, post all safety measures and are able to give a fair and accurate estimate of the time and money services will take. This honest and upfront approach keeps customers coming back and safe.
Laying the Groundwork for a Legacy
One of the things Nick looks forward to most is raising his kids along with the business. If his daughter and son are interested in becoming involved in the business, Nick and Courtney are excited to integrate them. With a two-year-old obsessed with the movie Cars and a five-month-old who loves spending time with his parents, the future is looking bright for the Lambies’ franchise investment.
To learn more about how to apply your personal leadership skills into owning your own business, visit https://www.ziebart.com/franchise-opportunities/get-started