Pruning for Profit: Growing Healthier Franchises
The disaster restoration industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last ten years. And while there are rip-off artists in every type of business, I think it's safe to assume that many of these contractors are doing a good job and have a good reputation.
For franchise contractors, it can be a little harder to keep a good name because all it takes is one or two clowns that work under the same banner as you to give you a black eye - even though you may personally be the best in the business. Many nationwide cleaning and restoration contractor companies like to boast about how many franchises they have.They’re always looking to increase that number, as they should be. But for the sake of the company’s reputation and profitability, would it not be worthwhile to take a serious look at all of their players and regularly do a little pruning?
A good garden may have some weeds.
Most of these companies will tell you that that’s what they do. Yet the corporate pressure to show growth can be a huge deterrent to doing the right thing. A good reputation is more important now then at anytime in the past due to the internet. It is the new word of mouth. The difference is that instead of opinions being passed over the backyard fence or at the barber shop, they’re now passed globally. For instance, Joe in Cincinnati will Tweet, Facebook, Yelp, etc. his review of the service he received from the local franchise. Whether it was good or bad, his opinion has now influenced the thinking of thousands of others around the country and beyond, and they will associate that opinion with their own local franchise.
Usually when the subject of pruning is brought up, it’s about bushes and trees. But notice how the benefits of pruning plants closely mirror the advantages of trimming a franchise business:
Plants: Irregular growing habits can be corrected.
Franchises: By cutting out the dead wood, growth is more likely to be a steady climb,
rather than ups and downs.
Plants: Pruning can bring in an earlier bloom period.
Franchises: With a healthier reputation, franchises can blossom and become profitable sooner rather than later.
Plants: Flower and fruit size can skyrocket.
Franchises: Without the bad franchises dragging down the good ones, a good reputation can help all of them grow larger.
Plants: It can aid in controlling disease and pests.
Franchises: Sometimes bad franchises beget bad franchises because they like to bring their buddies into the system who are oftentimes just like they are. More stringent vetting on the part of the franchise company can help keep these pests at bay.
The saying “No pain, no gain” really applies here. Profits follow reputation, and that’s a fundamental fact that all restoration and cleaning franchise companies should take to heart. Cutting the “dead wood” is the first step towards a vibrant and healthy franchise system.