The holidays are a great reason for your business to reach out to your customers. Whether you’re in the plumbing business, landscaping or perhaps electrical repair, no matter the service, here are four ideas to keep your business top of mind going into the New Year.
- Send a holiday e-card – Email is a cost effective and simple way to stay in touch with your customers. The holiday season is the perfect time to thank your customers for their business and also offer them something special—maybe a 20% discount on a maintenance plan heading into the New Year or a free service on your next visit. Offering a small service for free or at a significant discount gets your foot in the door with that customer. Play around with creating your email’s subject line, as it is the first thing your customer will read.
- Sponsor a charity – Create a campaign or event challenging your customers to help your business in a worthy cause. Not only are you doing a good thing for your community, but the “Halo Effect” casts a positive view of your business among customers. Nobody likes a Scrooge during the holidays, but for those running an HVAC or landscape business, those service calls may be down in the winter months. If you’re on a tight budget, a business can still contribute significantly by volunteering time to its favorite charity.
- Participate in an event as a company – The holidays are prime time for community events. Connect with your team and your community by participating in a parade, fun run, or Christmas tree lighting ceremony donning shirts with your company’s name. For simply the cost of the shirts, you can make hundreds to thousands of impressions just by being present at a local event.
- Add a little holiday cheer – In service it’s all about the details. If you’re looking to give a small gift to your customers, consider investing in promotional product with your logo and company contact info. A calendar with quick tips and reminders about your services throughout the year is practical for the customer and also gets your message across.
And remember: “The best way to kill a bad product is with great marketing.” Once you’ve implemented your plan, be sure to follow through on your promises and provide a great service. It’s important that your technicians understand the importance of going above and beyond this time of year. December can be a stressful time in the home without a backed-up toilet or malfunctioning microwave. Innovative marketing combined with expert, professional service is what makes a “Cheerleader Customer” who will sing your praises.
As part of The Dwyer Group® network of franchises, business owners receive professional marketing services. They also gain insight from connections with more than 1,600 franchisees world-wide. Learn more about The Dwyer Group’s seven service brands—Aire Serv®, Glass Doctor®, Mr. Appliance®, Mr. Electric®, Mr. Rooter®, The Grounds Guys® and Rainbow International®—by calling 1 (866) 696-1504 or at www.LeadingTheServiceIndustry.com.
WACO, Texas (Oct. 3, 2013) – Rainbow International ranked No. 204 on the Franchise Times’ List of top global franchises.
The Top 200 and Next 300 franchise lists consists of the top performing franchise brands based on the rankings of their worldwide sales. This year’s results place Rainbow International among globally recognized franchises including Burger King®, Keller Williams Realty®, Jimmy Johns® and 7-Eleven®.
Rainbow International, one of the seven service-based brands overseen by The Dwyer Group® with more than 400 locations worldwide, ranks among the top fire and water restoration franchise around the world. Rainbow International, a leader in the restoration industry, offers tested systems that can assist small business owners to save both time and money, help them find a unique niche in the restoration market and provides full certification classes at discounted prices to franchise owners for both initial and renewal certifications.
“Rainbow International is a company that is dedicated to the growth of our franchisees’ businesses and the accomplishment of their personal goals,” said Rob White, President of Rainbow International. “It is always a pleasure to know that our franchisees are among the top performers in our industry and among global franchise chains.”
All six of Rainbow International’s affiliate companies were named on the Top 200 and Next 300 lists by Franchise Times. Aire Serv® ranked No. 315, Mr. Rooter® at 196, Mr. Electric® at No. 335, Glass Doctor® at No. 280, Mr. Appliance® at No. 383 and The Grounds Guys® at No. 468.
For more information about franchise opportunities with Rainbow International www.rainbowintlfranchise.com. The complete Top 200 and Next 300 lists can be found at www.franchisetimes.com or in the October issue of Franchise Times magazine.
About Rainbow International:
Established in 1980, Rainbow International is a global franchise organization providing residential and commercial restoration and cleaning services. Recognized by Entrepreneur magazine among its “Franchise 500,” Rainbow International franchisees offer a broad range of damage restoration services (ranging from water, smoke and fire damage to carpet and upholstery cleaning and deodorization) to more than 400 locations worldwide. The new Rapid Structural Drying Network of Rainbow International has established a network of elite water loss mitigation franchises across the United States. Rainbow International is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group, Inc. For further information or to find the location nearest you, visit www.rainbowinternational.com.
Thank you to everyone who attended this year’s Annual Reunion in San Antonio, Texas. We look forward to seeing you next year at Reunion 2014 in Orlando, Florida! Watch the video to see just a bit of the fun our Dwyer Family had at Reunion 2013.
“If I change my name, I’ll lose all of my customers. I’ll have to start my business all over again from scratch.”
Choosing to franchise can be a tough decision for a small business owner who has a well established name in his or her community. The owner fears that once the business adopts a new name and a new look, this could alienate or confuse a client base that has taken years to build.
Naturally, the business owner wouldn’t want his efforts to be all for not should he take on a franchise, and neither is that in the interest of the franchisor. The franchisor should provide the training and expertise necessary in assisting the business owner in rebranding.
“When a new franchisee comes into the system, we emphasize that maintaining communication with the business’ existing client base is critically important. Also, when an existing business transitions to the franchise brand, we encourage the business owner to play up the positives to their clients, such as being part of a national network, advanced training and more efficient systems,” said Rainbow International® Sure Start Coordinator Craig Gjelsten.
4 Areas of Change
The time it takes to make the complete transformation will depend on the agreement between the franchisor and the franchisee, the size and structure of the existing business, and the training process. The Dwyer Group® recommends new franchisees allow about three months to transition to one of their brands. Below are five basic categories where business owners may expect to make the most changes in their existing business and how those changes could affect the customer.
1. Marketing Rebranding – Rebranding is the first step in the transition process and it occurs rather quickly. The franchisor is prepared with all the needed marketing materials such as van wraps, brochures, ads and templates for your location’s website. Technology allows the business’ existing phone number, email address and website to be redirected to new ones under the franchisee’s name.
2. Equipment/Technology – Depending on the existing business, it may need additional equipment and training. Often times, a new franchisee will expand its repertoire of services under the brand. Existing customers can take advantage of additional services from the people they’ve come to know and trust.
3. Financial Restructuring – Many franchisors have software and reporting methods that relate specifically the franchise business system. These tools provide more detailed financial information for the owner to build a successful business. Additionally, part of the financial restructuring could also entail a change in the business’ pricing scheme. If so, it’s important that the business owner take time to explain the enhanced quality of service and value associated with this change.
4. Organizational Restructuring – Under a franchise brand, the systems are put in place to help the owner be more efficient and effective. This leaves the business owner time to strategically build his business.
Communication Is Key
Successful new franchisees communicate with their customers and set the customer’s expectations.
“One thing we are big on is communication. We find that most of our new franchisees have a close relationship with their customers. They are excited about the transformation taking place in their business and that gets their customers excited. Ultimately, we want to assist them in providing the best service they possibly can,” said The Grounds Guys® Sure Start Coordinator Steven West.
Before making the decision to purchase a franchise, the business owner should research the franchisor’s support mechanisms in place that help new franchisees convert their business. Although the business owners will make changes to their businesses when adopting a brand name, they aren’t starting over. A business owner brings to the table knowledge of his local market, business contacts, technicians and staff, experience working in the trade and a customer base. All of the areas of a business that the owner has worked hard to cultivate fit into a franchise model and are a valuable asset to the new franchisee.
Be sure to read about the #1 franchising myth and franchising myth#2. We’ll be continuing the Myths of Franchising series over the next few weeks, subscribe to the Morning Huddle blog to catch the next update.
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David Ondieki is a veteran in the carpet cleaning industry. More than 25 years ago, he started a cleaning business in Ft. Worth, Texas and has been in the service industry ever since. However, 10 years ago David’s business made a shift, and he became part of a network of Rainbow International franchisees.
How did you get into the carpet cleaning business?
I had my cleaning business for several years, and we were doing pretty well. We had two trucks on the road. However, I got to the point where we were tapped out, so to speak. We were doing every service call we could on the cleaning side, which is why I decided to make a switch to restoration as well.
How did you find out about Rainbow International? What sparked your interest in the company?
I was actually looking at several different business concepts and different services. I had a client that I had worked for who referred me to the company. He gave my name to The Dwyer Group®, and I received a phone call.
What about Rainbow International stood out to you?
One of the things I looked at was the relationship. What is the philosophy? I am a Christian. When I visited The Dwyer Group headquarters, I was interested in the values of the company. When you marry somebody, you want to have something to build on. The same is true with a franchise. From what I saw, the Code of Values® to the attitudes of the people there really attracted me to Rainbow International. Other franchisors didn’t look to me to care about their franchisees as much as The Dwyer Group and Rainbow International did. I just felt comfortable when I visited.
Since you started your business, what has been your greatest challenge, and how has Rainbow helped you through that?
The greatest challenge that many people in this business face is in the growth stage. One of the things that Rainbow International was able to help me with was the growth process. For instance, the national accounts that the restoration franchise provided as part of their system really helped my business.
Networking is one of the benefits of a franchise. Has Rainbow International’s network helped your company get through some of those growing pains?
As a franchisee, it’s your responsibility to ask for help. When I do have questions, when I do need support, the Franchise Consultant helps me. I bounce ideas off of corporate and other franchisees. I think that is one of the greatest assets of franchising, having other people you can reach out to for assistance when you need it. That’s why I looked into franchising because of the network of support that comes along with the business. If you want help with your business, you can get it.
What are some of the goals and aspirations that you have for your business today?
One of the things I’ve done to grow my business is to add more services. I am at the point now where I am moving into restoration and reconstruction.We’ve been providing these services to some extent for the last three or four years, but now I’ve been more focused in that direction. Right now I have nine full-time employees and four working part-time.
David Ondieki owns and operates the Rainbow International of South Tarrant County and Grand Prairie. If you are a carpet cleaner looking to expand and grow your business, visit www.RainbowInternalFranchise.com.
If you’re looking for new ways to achieve your personal goals through a business in the restoration industry, visit Rainbow International at the 2013 Experience Conference and Exposition. Stop by booth #725 to meet Franchise Developers Aaron Thompson and Lewis Burch who can offer cutting edge information regarding new industry trends, business tips, and opportunities for business growth.
Rainbow International offers tested systems that can assist small business owners to save both time and money, help find a unique niche in the restoration market, and provide opportunities for continuing professional education. Working with Rainbow International could be what you need as a business owner to move forward in your career and reach greater success.
“I joined the Rainbow International team in ’06 and have attended The Experience conference every year,” said Burch. “We are excited for another great conference and to see what is in store for this upcoming year.”
Rainbow International at The Experience 2013
- 2013 The Experience Convention and Trade Show
- September 4th-7th
- Booth #725
- Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
- Las Vegas, Nevada
More about The Experience Expo 2013
The Experience 2013 offers a variety of events for all experts in the cleaning and restoration service industry. The conference will allow business owners to attend marketing and social media classes as well as live demonstrations that cover a diverse array of industry topics. The conference offers a $10,000 slot tournament opportunity and many hands-on educational programs.
As you look forward to attending this year’s conference, you can learn more about how Rainbow International could help your business achieve its potential at www.rainbowintlfranchise.com. We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas! Remember to stop by our booth at any time during the conference to meet our team and learn more about what Rainbow International can do for you.
By: Darlene Vise Sure Start Franchise Consultant, Glass Doctor®
Think about professional sporting teams. They go back to the basics once a year for pre-season training. Why? Coaches know that old adage “practice makes perfect” is incorrect. The correct statement is “perfect practice makes perfect”. That happens by continually going back to the basics.
Whenever a new Glass Doctor franchise gets started it seems there is so much to do. There is. We find, though, that the basics of getting started are often lost with experienced franchisees–as with experienced, independent business owners as well. When this happens, as a Franchise Consultant, I encourage these experienced business owners to assess the foundations of their businesses.
Remember when you started your business?
There are so many things that must be done to get a new business started. At the top of the task list is preparing a budget and a business plan. For Glass Doctor Franchisees, it is the focus of one of the very first meetings with a franchise consultant. Identifying current assets, projecting anticipated sales revenue, listing staffing requirements and, of course, itemizing the expenses necessary to produce that revenue are the future predictions that draw the picture of the business we envision. These are tangible things: the people, the paychecks we will write, the money we will deposit in the bank, the vans, the signs, the furniture, the equipment and supplies. We set goals to acquire these things and achieve the benchmarks that measure them.
Are you still making time to plan?
This planning process is a vital step toward the success of any endeavor, at the beginning and moving forward. Time to plan must be scheduled and given a place of primary importance. Planning, evaluating, making necessary changes and taking action are primary responsibilities for any business owner . . . it’s what leadership is all about. Have you scheduled your “planning” time for this week?
Taking the time to assess your business and plan might also include an evaluation of the intangible, internal things needed to achieve what is envisioned. Often the intangible costs are overlooked, assumed or just plain taken for granted. Improved lifestyle, financial security, a flexible schedule and opportunity to control our own future are usually included in the reasons why to start a business. Taking assessment of things like: the number of hours to be spent at the office or shop (and away from family), the physical stamina needed—changes in lifestyle, health habits, sleep schedule—new skills to be acquired and personal weaknesses to overcome, will broadens one’s perspective to realize that it’s not just a business we are building . . . it’s a life.
Along with the things you want to accomplish and the items you wish to possess, also set goals that describe the person you want to become in the process. Envisioning the results will be the confirmation we need that the investment in our business and ourselves is worth it. Counting the cost ahead of time will prepare us for the commitment it will take to actually do it. Then just do it! After all, “Leadership is defined by action, not position.”
Glass Doctor provides business systems that assists franchisees in obtaining their personal and financial goals and a better quality of life. For more information on Glass Doctor or one of the company’s sister brands–Aire Serv®, The Grounds Guys®, Mr. Appliance®, Mr. Electric®, Mr. Rooter®, or Rainbow International®–visit www.LeadingTheServiceIndustry.com.