As a business consultant since 1990 working only in the property disaster, water damage, smoke, fire and mold industry, I can offer a few bits of insight that may guide you in the right direction as you decide to start a water damage restoration business.
Let me start by telling you one thing you won't need... and one you will.
- You won't need a bunch of equipment.
- You will need to make some sales. Nobody else can build your sales.
If I had to add one more in each category, they would be:
- You won't need a fancy logo or "well-known" brand.
- You will need to offer more than water damage services if you want to build a premier company.
People get confused when I, a restoration franchisor (very interested in selling water damage/restoration franchises) begin the conversation about how to start a water damage restoration business by scoffing the value of name and logo. It is only the truth. We have built many city leaders long before becoming a franchise. This business relies on relationship building and sound management systems in operations.
Likewise, I won’t expect a bunch of shiny brochures and color pictures to excite you. If you are going to make it in this industry, you will have to realize, first, that this business isn't retail. It is not about brand, fluffy brochures or advertisements. You aren't going to find the one house in a thousand that has a flood or fire later today with advertising. This is actually good news. Save your money!
So- add to your list of WON'T NEEDS: Expensive advertising.
Add to your list of WILL NEEDS: The fun of building relationships in your town, following our systems.
Understanding that you will need sales first, not tons of water damage equipment (yet), nor advertising (ever), means you're on the right track to building a fine restoration company... and saving money already.
Watch (as we do) as all your competitors make terrible decisions with spending. They waste untold amounts on equipment and advertising to a deaf audience (happily living their lives in dry houses). When a person has a flood or fire, they call their insurance agent to make sure it is covered, and to ask what to do next. "You call Service Team of Professionals" is what good marketing relationships will bring to you.
Water damage franchises use many techniques to woo a guy. We simply tell the truth about this industry. No sugar coating. No lies. We have enjoyed a fantastic reputation in the water damage restoration industry since the early '70's, with many million and multi-million dollar companies grown under our direction and watch. We have happy franchisees.
To win a decent percentage of work in your town, you will need to offer full service restoration. Period. Insurance reps want companies that can fix houses (no matter what caused the damage) and help them close claim files. Water damage is the most profitable piece, so you will appear greedy by limiting your services to water.
But don't be scared by words like fire damage or reconstruction.
Let us show you how management systems will be the key to your success beyond water damage.
STOP is changing the script and challenging easy-to-find promises like "contracts with Insurance companies" and the lie that you need $60,000 in equipment to get started in the restoration business.
Talent in managing your company will make you. Expenses will break you. This is Business 101. The goal is to KEEP THE MONEY, not to spend it all.
This is why STOP is the lowest cost up front (by far) and we charge the lowest royalty, without hidden charges. Read those FDD's carefully!
We've worked deeply with restoration companies for decades.
We began as a go-to company for those in restoration that needed systems and business planning direction. STOP's founder, Mack Clark, earned a national reputation as the premier restoration industry speaker and consultant to retain if you wanted your restoration company to grow and be more profitable.
Mack's system has evolved with the times and is available in the Service Team of Professionals franchise brand.
Your town will not be our first water damage/restoration business rodeo, but it will be a lot of fun to start and build one there.
If you're ready to open a restoration franchise, contact us to find out your next steps.
Written by: Brian Clark, STOP Restoration Franchisor
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