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For This Former FullSpeed Automotive® Corporate Director, Changing Lanes to the Franchisee Side Has Put Him on the Winning Track

With plans to expand to additional locations in the Gulf Coast market, Chris Beckham has started off strong at his first location, already setting new sales records.

By Cassidy McAloonSenior Writer
Updated 8:08AM 11/19/21

When Chris Beckham was a Franchise Support Director for multi-brand automotive franchisor FullSpeed Automotive®, he worked to ensure the success of SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service® franchisees across six states. “I performed everything from technical training to marketing efforts, customer service interfacing to sales strategies,” he said. “Basically, I helped everyone make more money.

Now, Beckham has changed lanes to become a SpeeDee owner himself. “I have about 10 years until retirement,” Beckham said. “My fiancé said, ‘You’re making all this money for franchisees, why don’t we make it for ourselves?’ So that’s what got the ball rolling."

After relocating to New Orleans, where he purchased an existing SpeeDee franchise from an owner who was retiring, Beckham spent some time upgrading the store and officially took over the store on June 1. 

“We set a sales record the first month,” Beckham said. “That’s the exciting part that gets me up every day. If I don’t know how to run this franchise, nobody does.”

Wes Stephenson, President and COO of SpeeDee Oil Change & Auto Service’s parent company, FullSpeed Automotive, couldn’t agree more. “I can’t think of a more qualified or knowledgeable franchisee than Chris,” he said. “While we miss having him on our corporate team, he’s a huge asset to us as a franchise partner.”

Growing up with a father who had his own tire and auto parts business for 45 years, Beckham has both industry and brand expertise. With a strategy to grow more SpeeDee locations in the Gulf Coast later this fall, he’s confident the knowledge he used to share with franchisees will serve him well. “It’s people and processes — it’s really that simple. It comes down to following the tried-and-true SpeeDee process,” stated Beckham.

Currently focused on increasing the number of employees to deliver faster, better service, Beckham is offering up to $1,000 signing bonuses to experienced technicians as well as a generous bonus program that rewards team members when sales goals are reached. He’s also offering his workers medical, dental, life insurance and a 401K program. 

“Your people are your business, so you have to take care of them,” Beckham said. “Even little things like stocking the refrigerator with Gatorade makes a difference. It’s so hot here — you must keep people happy. If they’re happy, they’re going to transfer that to the customers.”

Beckham also plans to sell tires, a strategy that represents a huge opportunity for SpeeDee owners, giving them an additional income stream. “I’ve ordered $10,000 worth of tires, and I have a storage facility so I can keep them in stock because people don’t want to wait,” he said. “We’re going to offer the Holy Trinity of services for car owners: oil changes, brakes and tires.”

“When I worked in corporate, I was lucky to work with some of the top franchisees in FullSpeed Automotive,” he added. “These guys and gals were top level, and we were able to share ideas. Now I’m implementing all of their fantastic ideas, so things have come full circle for me.”