The man from MARS

I was going through some papers and found an old CD with some pictures that I thought were lost.


Lowell Lane – The man from M.A.R.S. ( Mobile Appearance Reconditioning Service)

In 2003 I decided it was time to go out on my own and start a business.  I had been working for a company for 10 years and that entrepreneurial spirit of mine was ready to GO FOR IT.

When I started looking into starting a business my wife and I prayed a lot, sought counsel, and did a lot of due diligence.  My first consideration was making a good living to support my family because I was sinking all our savings and everything we had was on the line.  Secondly, I wanted to have a business that my family could be involved in, learn from, and in the future take over if they wanted to. Thirdly, I looked at what I enjoyed doing and was passionate about.

The first opportunity I found was an existing restaurant in town that wanted to sell out.  I talked to the owner several times, went there during a lunch service and observed and talked to some of the customers, and thought it might be a good idea.  I then approached the owner about financial records…. RED FLAGS!!!!   We had a problem.  He was not willing to share the actual records and would only give me estimates of sales and expenses. Based on the sales, the price he was asking, and what I knew I would have to invest to get the place up to my standards, I walked away.

I couldn’t find any other opportunities at the time, so I decided to research some things online.  I found a website that talked about franchising opportunities and so I started looking into it.  I found this opportunity for Mobile Appearance Reconditioning Service (M.A.R.S) out of Texas.  I went through that whole process and it met all my criteria, so I dove in!!!

So what is M.A.R.S.? Mobile Appearance Reconditioning Service.

Mobile- I bought a 14 foot cargo trailer and traded in my car to purchase a 3/4 ton Chevy truck to pull it with.  A Mobile body shop.

What is reconditioning?  I was certified by the Franchiser in over 30 different services called reconditioning.  Think of this way.  All car dealers have a detail department.  They wash, vacuum, wash windows, and make the cars look good but they don’t usually fix things.  I fixed things to make used cars look as good as possible.  Here is a list of the things I did.

The model for this business was awesome.  Based in a metro area, the idea was to sign 5-7 major lots to do services and then have a day a week for each lot that I could spend all day at and work on 15-25 cars per day.  I quickly found this was not the case in the Pittsburg, Joplin, Carthage, Neosho, area.  I ended up driving within a 100 mile radius and there just wasn’t enough large dealers to support it.

After 2 years, it was time to stop.  I closed the business and sold all my assets.  This was a very tough time for us as a family, but we made it through and pressed forward only by the strength of the LORD and because my wife and my commitment to stick it out.

I made a lot of mistakes in starting this business and in another post soon, I will share this with you.




About Lowell Lane

Food is my passion; I love to grow it, cook it, eat it, and share it with others.
This entry was posted in Entrepreneurial, Lowell's Stories, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The man from MARS

  1. I love you forever Mr. Lane.
    From Mrs. Lane.

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