How a general contractor/home builder diversified his business by investing in a restoration franchise
Prior to becoming a Restoration 1 Franchise owner, Lance Ray spent 20 years working as a general contractor and home builder. Nearly three years ago, Ray decided to challenge himself and diversify his business by investing in a restoration franchise. He sought an opportunity that offered a proven business model and key leadership that knew exactly where the business was headed.
Restoration 1, the fastest-growing restoration franchise in the nation, checked all of those boxes. With nearly 240 locations open or in development throughout 39 states, the rapidly expanding water restoration franchise provides 24/7 water damage, fire damage restoration and mold remediation services to communities throughout the United States.
Today, Ray’s thriving Restoration 1 franchise is based in Colorado Springs, Colorado,, and has grown to not only employ one of the largest restoration teams in the system, but also services three other territories, including Castle Rock, Pueblo and Teller County.
Here’s his story.
Did you look into any other brands prior to investing in Restoration 1 ?
Ray: Yes, I considered a couple of other restoration franchises. I also still have an active construction company, so I considered doing it on my own and not buying a water restoration franchise at all. Ultimately, I decided to invest in Restoration 1 because the brand’s leadership really made me feel comfortable. They had a plan of attack, articulated how they wanted to grow, as well as how they would support me in my business.
How does Restoration 1 support you in your business?
Ray: First, it has amazing brand equity. 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.
What skills would an entrepreneur need to successfully operate a Restoration 1 franchise?
Ray: Owning a Restoration 1 franchise requires someone who is going to give their all. Business isn’t just going to happen by itself, so you will have to work hard and put in the necessary work to see the results you want. I’ve owned about six businesses in my adulthood, so I know it takes some time to get steam going. This is why having patience is key, as well. Additionally, you have to be nimble and try different things to see what works.
You recently invested in a bluefrog Plumbing + Drain franchise. How did that decision come about?
Ray: I thought it would be a great complement to aid my fire and water damage restoration franchise. It made sense because as a general contractor I already had plumbers working for me in-house. I like the way bluefrog is branded and once I talked with some of the franchisees and key leadership, I was really impressed. They offer amazing support and their business model is phenomenal. Even better, our plumbing franchise has the same matching four territories as my Restoration 1 franchise.
Would you recommend a Restoration 1 franchise to entrepreneurs who are considering a business opportunity?
Ray: Absolutely. I have several times already. I think if you have a certain background, such as a general contractor or working as a trade in the homebuilding industry, you’ll be successful in this business. Even if you’re someone who wants to get satisfaction out of what you do, this is a great opportunity for that.
What are you most proud of?
Ray: I’m proud to provide a very good service and guidance in the process of emergencies. I’m still a homebuilder, so being able to build a house from scratch and then be able to utilize my Restoration 1 franchise, and now bluefrog Plumbing + Drain franchise, to help clients in emergency situations is very gratifying. Essentially, we become neighborhood heroes to people with the largest investment in their lifetime, which is their home. It’s a very rewarding process to help calm them down in a tragic situation and then put their home back together — often times better than before.
What are your hopes for the future?
Ray: For my Restoration 1 company, I think we’re better than the other water restoration franchises in our community, so we want to be the No. 1 water restoration franchise because that’s what they deserve. Additionally, I hope to really put a mark on our plumbing franchise in Colorado Springs. We want to be known as a true quality- and people-oriented business. With our fire and water damage restoration franchise, we provide an excellent service to the community and we want our plumbing franchise to be well-known in that regard as well. In the past four months, we’ve worked up to four vans. Ultimately, we’d like to eventually have six and see where the business goes from there.
Why is now a good time to invest in a Restoration 1 franchise?
Ray: The brand has a lot of steam right now and the market is very strong. The $210 billion restoration industry is recession-resistant. One of the main reasons I decided to invest in a water restoration franchise, as well as a plumbing company to diversify it, is because we would be able to weather any kind of market changes. There are always emergencies throughout the nation, like hurricanes, hail, fires, and flooding. These unfortunate natural disasters are going to create a long-lasting opportunity for people who don’t mind getting their hands dirty.
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