Gary Findley explains why joining a franchise brand that provides an essential service is advantageous in good times and bad
Restoration 1, one of the nation’s fastest-growing restoration franchise, is in the business of helping people through times of crisis, and now that the nation is in the throes of a pandemic, the crisis seems to be everywhere.
While independently owned small businesses may not have a network to lean on for marketing, support and natioanl accounts , franchise brands have been martialling all of their resources, leadership, community and support platforms to ensure that their franchisees can survive. Franchise brands that offer essential services, such as Restoration 1, are in an even more advantageous position, as home and property owners rely on Restoration 1 when disaster strikes.
For Gary Findley, CEO of Restoration 1, and one of the franchise industry’s most forward-looking and seasoned thought leaders, this time of national emergency reflects the true value proposition of franchising: entrepreneurs will not be in business by themselves, and in good times and bad, they will receive the support they need to thrive and prosper in business.
This is what Findley has to say about why franchising is poised to do even better in the new normal, as well as what entrepreneurs should look for in an investment opportunity going forward, silver linings, and much, much more.
How will the franchise industry orient itself to the new normal, and do you think franchising will continue to do well after the crisis passes?
Findley: Whenever the economy is struggling and people are being laid off or let go or their prospects look grim, franchising thrives and business ownership increases because people want to take control of their own destiny. So the number of people that go into business for themselves will increase, the number of people going into franchising will increase, and the number of people that are employed by franchise brands will increase. We’re going to see a big spike across the board, and franchising will continue to thrive.
I see this as an opportunity and since this really isn’t a financial crisis, I think coming out of this will be a much quicker upturn than what I would consider, you know, a downturn in the economy like what we experienced in 2007 and 2008, and in the past, and other times before then.
For entrepreneurs looking towards the future, why is owning a business that provides an essential service advantageous?
Findley: From a candidate’s perspective, one of the things that they look for when evaluating a business opportunity is whether it has long-term growth potential. None of us can predict the future, and a lot of these questions are answered when there’s a downturn in the economy, or when an unprecedented crisis occurs.
For Restoration 1 franchise owners, they are still able to thrive and continue to work because pipes bursting happens in good times and bad, and natural disasters that cause property damage do not care about the economy. Even in a pandemic, there’s still work to be done, because home and property owners rely on us to solve problems when they occur. Every issue that we excel at providing, restoring properties that are damaged by mold, fire, smoke and water, are unrelated to any larger issue. This is a tremendous benefit to our franchise owners.
Another key advantage in franchising with Restoration 1 is the low costs of ownership. Can you explain why keeping the barriers to entry low are important to you as a franchisor?
Findley: Look, I’ve been in franchising for decades, and there are a few things that I know to be true: you need to keep costs low, not only the costs to franchise ownership, but also ongoing costs. In Restoration 1, there’s no rent expenses, there’s minimal overhead, and that’s why our franchisees can experience a quicker ramp up time. The second thing is profitability. You need to have a business model that can allow your franchisees to be profitable, period. This business doesn’t require a lot of employees, there’s no brick and mortar, no inventory. This is a business where you can get out of training and start going to work. That’s a big differentiator.
With cleanliness rightly being highlighted as one of the most important aspects of health & wellbeing, do you think you will see an increase in your disinfection services?
Findley: Definitely. There’s ample opportunity for us to capture a large share of the disinfected services, especially through our national accounts, and for our franchise owners who can expand their existing book of business. This virus is changing how we interact with each other, and how we interact with the spaces we live in and work. The level of cleanliness that people will expect after this will be extremely high, and we’re going to be able to meet that need. If you ask me what we do, I would say, fire, smoke water and mold restoration, but now there’s going to be a need to focus on disinfecting homes and businesses. We’re well positioned to help our customers with that, too.
In these times of uncertainty, what is your message for entrepreneurs who are sitting at home now and wondering if they should open a business?
Findley: First of all, we will recover from this. Life may change, such as after 9/11, the short term impact was that people stayed home, but it didn’t take long for people to go back to work. When we visit an airport now, the lasting impacts of 9/11 are felt everytime we go through security, and we’ve all accepted this as a part of everyday life. What the lasting impacts of this crisis may be are unknown, but one thing is certain, life will go back to normal.
So if someone is wondering whether they should open a business, my question is the same now as it is everytime I speak to a candidate: are you willing to bet on yourself? If you’re ready to leave a career that’s draining all of your time, and you’re wondering if there is something that you can be doing that’s more rewarding, business ownership may be the answer for you. When you join a franchise brand like Restoration 1, you’re not in business alone. We’ve invested significantly to provide you with all the resources you need to thrive, and we’re going to stick by in good times and bad. Helping entrepreneurs succeed is what I’ve always been the most passionate about, and that is the mission of Restoration 1.