The first thing a person will notice after walking into Batteries Plus, located at 6400 S. Dixie Hwy., is how welcoming it is. The shelves are well stocked with batteries and light bulbs, but everything is conveniently within reach. Interactive displays comparing the cost benefits and energy efficiency of their light bulbs are all over the store and there is every imaginable kind of battery available, from cell phone and laptop batteries to ones for motor vehicles and cordless tools.
This is all part of the design that has allowed the company, which presently has 517 stores nationwide, to grow in such a difficult economy. It is one of the many things which attracted Carlos Quinones, a vital and friendly husband and father of two, to purchase a franchise two years ago. One doesn’t just buy a Batteries Plus franchise, order inventory and set up shop, however. There is a considerable amount of preliminary work to be done before the doors ever open.
“Part of the reason we’ve been so successful is that we go through an intensive training program which includes three weeks of battery and bulb ‘boot camp’ and 53 hours of online work,” says Quinones.
All five of the people employed have gone through the process, making for a very well educated and informative staff. With the advancement of both battery and light bulb technology, purchases may be more costly, but are fewer and further in between. It is natural to assume that a business such as Batteries Plus would consider every sale to be important – and they do – but they also are very much interested in creating a lasting relationship with their clientele
“Before we sell someone a battery, we try to do a full analysis of the device to make sure the purchase is necessary and that the problem doesn’t exist elsewhere,” Quinones says. “We try to educate the customer by asking important questions and give them the bulb or battery that best suits their needs.”
This particular Batteries Plus franchise is also involved with the community in other ways apart from commercial retail. In addition to participating in a national battery recycling program that is free to local residents, the store is also taking part in an ambitious program – assisted by government grants and incentives – to re-lamp local businesses with CFL (compact florescent light) bulbs.
“Companies used to have to pursue these deals,” Quinones says. “Now we and the government are proactive about it.”
The company is very aware of the immediate needs of the surrounding area as well. This was exemplified in the days leading up to what fortunately wound up being much-ado-about-nothing in Hurricane Isaac. When many businesses were burying their heads in the sand, Batteries Plus was not only open, but was receiving an emergency delivery full of hurricane necessities.
With such positive community relations and an equally honest and straightforward approach to their business practices, Batteries Plus appears to be headed in the right direction for success. Though it took them 13 months to find the right location for their first store, Carlos Quinones is eager to begin branching out.
“As the business takes off, hopefully within the year we’ll start looking for more locations and grow at that rate,” he says. Batteries Plus is open seven days a week.