In the twenty-five years that I've been consulting restoration companies toward growth and profitability, I have spoken with hundreds of small, medium and large company owners in the cleaning, construction, restoration, and other related trades.
Some are trying to keep a truck busy, grabbing at random ideas and experiments that they label as "management." Some are wondering why their employees don't last. Some are looking toward technical competence as the ticket to stardom, while others do little more than collect equipment (just in case they stumble on a job that requires five times more than any job they've ever had). The common diagnosis is that too many business owners are focused on a combination of "trying things" and short term problems instead of long range plans. Among other (obvious) problems with this style of management, is that this creates a hot bed for emotional decision making, and lack of objectivity.
Without a clearly defined plan for each department, each day comes at a business owner and he/she has no choice but to play defense. Defense is not management; not if growth is on the wish list.
TWO TYPES OF COMPANIES
There are only two types of companies in the restoration industry: those that are looking for jobs and those that are building a company. Guess which one makes more money? Guess which one builds more wealth over the years? DOING A JOB in someone's home or office might put food on the table today, but cannot be called a business plan. And what will we eat tomorrow? Doing jobs is surely a piece of building a company but the creation of a stable, well-run company will never materialize simply by doing jobs.
A successful company in the restoration (and other service industries) must respect the skills and roles of ALL departments, including Marketing, Administrative, and Production. The novice or untrained small business owner often looks at everything outside of the hands-on work as "all that paperwork stuff." This is the kiss of death for most small businesses. It's the perfect recipe for spending a career with FLAT SALES and, at best, the mastery of mere survival.
Instead of hype and short term promises, STOP offers a foundation in business planning, honesty, happy franchisees, sound systems and industry relevance.
THE SEARCH FOR THE MAGIC DUST
The magic dust that will bring sales, the best employees, a great bottom line, not to mention turn the owner and staff into outstanding managers of time, money, labor, and space, DOES NOT EXIST. These skills require training and development. Consistent with long term thinking, the right training and coaching will hone your management skills, specific to the restoration industry, over time. You will increase profit margin with the use of systems and practice, not with tricks. Entrepreneurs that focus only on the short term gratification of some jobs to keep their van busy had better HOPE THE COMPETITION DOESN'T HAVE A REAL PLAN FOR MARKET SHARE EITHER!
TAKE THIS JOB AND...
The independent service company owner often evolves from a fall out with a former boss or career. Because the closest thing to a business plan in this case is, basically, "I can do this on my own" (instead of a well-thought-out idea and well-timed plan), the business' focus is drawn to the short term by default. One in a million of these becomes a story that is grandiose and worthy of a Hollywood movie. But for the other 999,999 attempts at self employment rooted in short term, survival mentality, the end of the story isn't so pretty. I think we can all agree on this. The stats are easy to find.
THE MULTI-BILLION DOLLAR RESTORATION INDUSTRY
If we're going to dive into the multi-billion dollar restoration industry, it might be fair and wise to invest in a plan and a team of consultants that have done this many times before. A tiny bit of a multi-billion dollar industry is probably enough money to make most people very happy. So I think it's realistic, given the upside potential, to go about this with a bit more than a garage full of equipment, a yellow page ad and "a friend that worked at State Farm."
Incidentally, restoration is an industry. Water damage is NOT an industry. If you are serious about working in the insurance casualty field of property repair, make sure you choose something more than a water damage franchise - for the reasons I've stated here. Insurance companies prefer full-service firms. The largest companies in any town, USA prove this. Leaders ALWAYS provide full service.
THE BUSINESS PLAN
When a company, even a start-up, one-man-show, operates with a written business plan with focus on the short AND long term, the results can be astounding for a full-service restoration franchise.
After filing for a business license, a company should take the time to lay out a plan for marketing, a plan for personnel, a plan for financial goals and controls, a system for production (much deeper than tossing two guys into a house that claim to know how to "fix houses"). The STOP systems fill this bill. Our systems are time tested and constantly updated... if our track record for building large restoration companies is any indication.
SET YOURSELF APART
Lots of companies can fix houses, but when we add the logical goals of impressing homeowners and insurance companies at every stage of the claim and restoration process, you will usually stand alone in a market. Why? Because most small business owners are short sighted. Prey on that!
Another benefit to long-term thinking is that it is an honest and realistic approach to success. It recognizes that Rome wasn't built in a day and that the best company always wins in the end. Short term focus is a great playground for fudging morality. Ethically challenged people see long term thinking as a nuisance. Your short-sighted competitors will design their own fate. It will be your job to offer something better. STOP does not fit for the slippery, ethically-challenged entrepreneur and we are not interested in them (Nor are insurance companies - who happen to control the billions of dollars that pay for covered property claims).
WE ARE HERE TO SERVE YOU (in the short AND the long term)
STOP's knowledge, practices and brand culture focuses on building large companies. We happily train and work with our franchisees. We provide more than our contract requires us to. Our franchisees help each other. We have brought the plan to restoration companies for over four decades. We celebrate right alongside our franchisees as they launch, ramp up and grow their companies... and they build great lifestyles, grow retained earnings, wealth, investments ... I could go on.
STOP is a serious business program for serious people that want to be competitive and effective in the restoration industry, providing not only water damage, but a full array of restoration services to serve and satisfy home and commercial property owners and insurance companies, alike.
We invite your inquiry at (844) 422-4425.
Service-based, locally owned franchises have competitive benefits that many other businesses simply do not have. As an owner, you’re able to be your own boss, ...Read More