How A Former Carpet Cleaning Professional Became the Owner Of A Thriving Restoration 1 Franchise
Restoration 1 Franchise Review: Q&A With Scott Whitaker
Prior to becoming a Restoration 1 franchise owner, Scott Whitaker owned and operated a successful carpet cleaning business and served as Captain of his local fire department in Spokane, Washington. With a passion for helping his community, Whitaker decided to invest in a business that would allow him to provide his community with peace of mind in times of crisis.
With nearly 230 locations open or in development throughout 39 states, Restoration 1 provides water damage repair, fire damage restoration and mold remediation services to communities throughout the United States. Scott felt that there was a need in his community and owning a local restoration business would help him put his neighbor’s lives back together in moments of crisis.
Restoration 1 is committed to helping its franchisees thrive in business. Franchising with our water damage repair company means that you are never alone in business. From the moment you sign a franchise agreement, we provide you with everything you need to quickly ramp up your businesses and become established in your communities over the long term. Scott Whitaker is no exception.
Nearly three years after opening his first Restoration 1 franchise, the business has boomed and Whitaker expanded his footprint and also opened a third location in 2019 in Central Washington.
Here’s his story:
How did you become interested in Restoration 1?
Whitaker: When I had my carpet cleaning business and worked as a fireman, we would come across water damage and didn’t have the training or capability to provide restoration services. I started looking for water damage businesses to invest in and came across Restoration 1, which was exactly what I was looking for. I liked the fact that they did not do program work and weren’t relying on insurance companies for work either. There are a lot of smaller restoration jobs – and some large ones – where insurance isn’t involved.
How was your initial training?
Whitaker: It was good. Not only are we an award-winning franchise, but we are also a top 10 franchise in the nation. Restoration 1 is absolutely committed to the success of its franchise owners, providing us with everything we need to quickly ramp up our businesses and become established in our communities over the long-term. This includes everything from initial training to a 12-day on-the-job training which teaches us how to perform a job correctly, financial awareness, ongoing training and more.
Does Restoration 1 provide you with ongoing support?
Whitaker: Yes, 100 percent. No matter what stage of growth you are in, Restoration 1 is there to help you — all you have to do is ask. As the franchise owner, it is your responsibility to ask for help. For instance, we are provided a field consultant. I speak with my field consultant two to three times a week and have established a really good relationship with that person. So although the support is there from Restoration 1, they can only provide you with the necessary tools you need to succeed if you ask.
What skills do you need to succeed in this business?
Whitaker: First, you have to be willing to do whatever it takes to survive. Second, understand that you are not who you think you are. What I mean by that is you are not the best salesperson, technician, general manager, etc. You might fit one of those roles, but you have to relinquish the roles you are not good at to people who are. So you have to know where you fit because a lot of people don’t know themselves well enough to know where their best expertise lies.
What are you most proud of?
Whitaker: My strong suit is hiring the right people and listening to what they need. So I’m most proud of the 25 people we employ because I feel like we’re giving families a good opportunity. Additionally, we pay well and have a very good benefits package. I love being able to provide people with jobs and I always put my employees first and my customers second. When I do that, I know that I will have very happy customers because my employees are great.
What are your hopes for the future?
Whitaker: I’m always looking for opportunities, so the goal for 2020 is to get into content storage and diversify my portfolio. By 2021, I’d like to have added a content cleaning division to my businesses and I plan to keep expanding. This business lets you do that!
Why is now a good time to invest?
Whitaker: The restoration industry is very strong at $210 billion and it is recession-resistant. With a water restoration franchise, you can weather any kind of market change. There will always be hurricanes, hail, fires, flooding and more. These unfortunate natural disasters are going to create a long-lasting opportunity for people who don’t mind getting their hands dirty. Restoration is an essential business and when things break and get damaged, the repair work is needed, no matter what is going on in the world. It’s a great business to be in.