The Best Way to Choose a Water Damage Franchise

  1. Understand the industry.
  2. Beware of franchises that make a water damage franchise sound easy.
  3. Recognize the talents and systems necessary to make your company stand out.

    UNDERSTAND THE INDUSTRY

    Here's the typical scenario: When a house breaks (water damage, fire damage, smoke, mold, etc), the owner usually calls their insurance agent to make sure it is covered by their policy. Then they ask (or are told) what to do next and who to call. You want to be the person that is recommended. With good marketing training and execution, a company can earn these referrals.

    Unless a victim of water or fire damage wants to be their own restoration contractor (and/or pocket the insurance money), they usually follow their agent's advice. Earning this "recommended" status can be easier with some agents than with others. Either way, water damage is a relationship referral business. This brings up another attraction to the restoration industry; no bidding wars with multiple companies.

    AVOID THE "IT'S EASY" SALES PITCH

    A restoration company will not be built on brand, color of trucks, technical know-how or on promised "house accounts." It's easy to find water damage franchises that dwell on "brand" and make their franchise sound like a shortcut to success that even a fool could follow. If it sounds too good to be true, ... you can finish this sentence.

    Brand DOES MATTER if you sell a retail item like fast food. A popular hamburger logo might represent friendly help, quality food and a clean restaurant. But the key here is that PEOPLE GET HUNGRY A LOT - (3 times per day, 1095 times per year). This creates an audience for hamburger logos. So lots of advertising and coupons for common, everyday items (like hamburgers) is smart marketing.

    But how many floods or fires does the average person experience? Maybe one per lifetime? So BRAND doesn't translate the same in the water damage franchise world. There is no audience, so advertising to the public is virtually a waste of time and money. Beware the water damage franchises that push BRAND and try to justify their advertising fee each month! SAVE YOUR MONEY!

    RECOGNIZE THE TALENTS NECESSARY TO WIN AT RESTORATION

    In truth, property restoration requires excellent marketing, management and production systems. Add another half ton of sincere, customer-based, service orientation. You and your staff must truly enjoy helping (and respecting) people.

    PEOPLE SKILLS and sound management systems... nothing shy of these talents can compete at a high level in the water damage industry. The prizes will go out to the one that brings these talents to your town. There is always an open market for DOING IT RIGHT.

    Meet Service Team of Professionals or "STOP." STOP is the quiet giant among water damage franchises. They don't advertise in Entrepreneur Magazine. They don't advertise on television. STOP stands out because their franchisees are happy. STOP has a much lower initial investment than other brands. They grant huge territories (3-6 times larger than others). Service Team of Professionals doesn't strive to sell the most franchises. They strive to build the biggest franchisees.

    STOP began as a management consulting firm in the restoration industry. STOP has built scores of incredibly successful restoration firm by training and working hand-in-hand with their owners. STOP became a water damage franchise as the logical way to serve more people with their knowledge and support.

    STOP continues to preach the truth about this industry because they have to tools to compete in this industry. They bring more franchisees over the million-in-sales mark each year with their systems in marketing, management and service delivery.

    Organizational leadership, resource control, personnel systems, and planning are areas of critical importance in most businesses, restoration NOT EXEMPT.

    Brian Clark can be reached at 800-452-STOP (8326).