Most people don’t know that water damage, fire damage, mold and biohazard remediation is an industry. What connects these various services? Two things connect them; the first being specialized drying and cleaning knowledge. Disasters don’t clean themselves, nor can a run-of-the-mill janitor or maintenance technician solve these problems efficiently. The second connection is that most, sometimes all, of these property damage situations are covered by insurance.
Franchises have discovered the restoration industry over the last couple decades and now there are a number of franchised restoration brands to choose from. STOP Restoration prides itself on being a tight-knit, high-support franchise known for building scores of large companies over the last few decades.
If you’re looking for a new career or looking to move into the ownership position in a restoration business (where you’ve spent some time as an employee), restoration offers a few uniquely awesome characteristics.
Backing up just a couple steps, let’s speak in terms of what self-employment avails to you. I think it’s fair to say that “making a living” is possible but I haven’t found a lot of self-employed people in my 30 years as a small business consultant (in the restoration field) looking to just make a living. Becoming an owner and taking on the risk and responsibility leads most to seek real success, some to “get rich.”
It is amazing how many ways exist to make a living. But if we narrow the question to ask how many ways are there to get rich, the answer becomes fairly simple. There are two ways. The first is through money working for you; the second, through people working for you. Putting money into an investment is scary, as is hiring people and being responsible for bringing in work and making payroll. But, for most of us, we don’t have enough money to invest to expect growth beyond a living... not enough to “get rich.”
Franchising makes no guarantees of each franchisee’s success. This can be anyone’s fault in each situation. The simple truth is that some franchises sell a script of “all you need is this sign on your truck” (this approach usually accompanies vague descriptions of the brand’s skill set, like “we’ll take you to the next level” or the worse farce of all, “we’re the fastest growing,” This claim implies that you shouldn’t waste your time researching the brand but, instead, trust the others that have chosen it before you. But if they choose it on the same “fast-growing” scam you’re being fed… well, you get it.
As the author of this article and a franchisor of a restoration brand, I recognize I am not surrounded by a pure set of honest individuals. I would also, regretfully, extend this disappointment to the entire franchising industry. But there are some great franchises in every industry. The key in choosing comes down to doing your homework, calling franchisees of each brand you find interest, and reading the contract; no matter how boring.
Let’s get back to the topic of getting rich. A service business such as water damage and restoration is a fairly low cost start-up (even when you add in a franchise fee). You will learn the business and train others to help you do the work and fill administrative and marketing positions as you gain market share. Remember, this is “getting rich through other people working for you.”
Most service businesses require a lower entry cost than most retail or supply industries. This enables step-by-step ramp up. This stretches out the investment and eases the stress along the way, especially if a knowledgeable, high-support franchised restoration company has your back.
Restoration is a labor and rental business all in one. You sell two things: labor and the use of certain machines. In a water intrusion project, you are paid to remove contents from the wet area, prep the area for proper drying and to place air movers and dehumidifiers that will dry out surfaces and the air in the affected area. After machines are placed, your crews clock out, but you are being paid for the rental of the drying equipment 24 hours a day. And most water damage jobs require 2-4 days of drying. The equipment isn’t cheap but it brings ROI like no other line item in virtually any other service industry, boldly including remodeling, handyman services, lawn care, junk hauling, pest control, etc., where someone must lift a finger for every dime requested on your invoices. This is a simple concept in which I encourage you to give some real thought.
STOP Restoration, known as “STOP Restoration,” would love to speak with you – NOT about STOP but first about your career path, goals, and work style. Our culture is big-thinking, hard-driving, team-playing (we hold three conventions each year so friendships and trust are built) and your franchisor staff comes to work everyday to help guide you in growth and profitability. Systems will play into your daily routine. If you are serious about learning (forever) and fitting into a rabid mob of ethical friends, STOP might be just what you’re looking for. We invite a conversation.