A luxury Wisconsin golf course was the last place Dan Manwaring expected to discover an opportunity to become an entrepreneur. Nonetheless, on a crisp summer day, Manwaring and a fellow golf enthusiast were enjoying a friendly round of golf when his partner found himself marooned on the course due to an exhausted golf cart. Manwaring and his comrade soon discovered that the golf cart had the wrong kind of battery. Interestingly, the lifeless golf cart was the catalyst that prompted the 26-year partnership between Batteries Plus Bulbs and the Manwaring family.
At the time, Manwaring and his wife Susan were looking for an opportunity to fulfill their dream of owning and operating a business together. “Owning our own business was always a goal for Dan and me,” said Susan. As the couple explored Batteries Plus (as it was known at the time), they were intrigued by the untapped market and seized the opportunity to become the first franchisees to join the growing brand. “This was a highly fragmented business,” reflects Dan, “and this guy [co-founder, Ron Rezetko] was going to take that fragmented business and bring it all together.”
The couple became the first Batteries Plus franchisee and opened their first location in November 1992 in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and have since grown their portfolio to 16 more locations in Mishawaka, Indianapolis, Evansville, Carmel, Terre Haute, Lafayette, Noblesville, Avon and Clarksville, Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky. The Manwarings also have two locations in development in Fishers and Zionsville, Indiana.
“The business has been good to our family,” said Susan. “There have been challenges, but there’s never a day that goes by that we’re not grateful for our success and the many friends we’ve met along the way.”
The Manwarings enjoy being hands-on owners and attribute some of their continued success to their emphasis on hiring employees who have strengths and training that is complementary to their own. Dan and Susan take pride in hiring local talent for their store locations and are excited to watch the next generation of Manwarings join the team; currently the Manwarings’ three sons are heavily involved in the business and they “couldn’t be prouder to have them on board.”
Dan and Susan Manwaring are just one example of satisfied franchisees that have joined the Batteries Plus Bulbs system and grown to achieve financial success and personal satisfaction in becoming business owners. To learn more about the Batteries Plus Bulbs franchise opportunity, and to read other franchisee success stories, please click here.