Members from the Mr. Rooter® team will be attending the 2014 Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo. The Pumper & Cleaner Expo will be hosted in Indianapolis, IN from February 24th-27th in the Indianapolis Convention Center. Mr. Rooter representatives will be in booth #1215 to visit with attendees about the tips and tricks of the plumbing business, and franchising opportunities.
Mr. Rooter is a nationally renowned plumbing franchise with both residential and commercial services. Mr. Rooter has a reputation for friendly, reliable service for customers and opportunities for plumbing businesses to grow their customer base and expand their credibility.
Mr. Rooter has been featured on the annual Franchise 500® list written by Entrepreneur Magazine for three years running, and has a spot on the Top 200 Franchise Chains compiled by Franchise Times. Along with being featured in Entrepreneur and Franchise Times, Mr. Rooter has been repeatedly ranked as one of the top Military Friendly Franchises® by G.I. Jobs magazine and has been featured on the the Best for Vets® list from Military Times.
Sam Thurman, Mr. Rooter franchise consultant, will be in the booth at the expo to answer attendees’ questions about the benefits of franchising and discuss new techniques in the trade.
Mr. Rooter at the 2014 Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo
2014 Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo
February 24-27, 2014
The Indianapolis Convention Center
More about the Pumper & Cleaner Expo
The Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo International is the world’s largest trade show for professionals in the environmental service industry. The expo will feature over 500 exhibits hosted by professionals from the industry. Along with exhibits, the expo features educational sessions Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as well as a complimentary concert from country singer Lee Brice.
Find out if a Mr. Rooter is available in your area by visiting www.MrRooterFranchise.com and speaking with one of our trained development specialists.
Entrepreneur magazine has ranked Mr. Rooter as No. 427 on the 2014 Franchise 500® list. The Mr. Rooter franchise is a leading plumbing service franchise opportunity in the United States specializing in business improvement and entrepreneurship.
Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500® is well-respected as the most comprehensive and prestigious ranking’s list of franchise opportunities for entrepreneurs. The Franchise 500® rankings are compiled by comparing almost 900 eligible franchise opportunities and comparing the ranking based on a brand’s financial strength, stability, growth rate and size.
“Mr. Rooter is honored to be named in the Franchise 500,” said Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter. “Our brand continues to grow and thrive thanks to the hard work of our franchisees and our corporate team working together in taking great care of our customers.”
Mr. Rooter provides franchise opportunities in the plumbing and drain industry for entrepreneurs and licensed plumbers interested in opening a business or expanding a current operation. Mr. Rooter is recognized as one of the top industry leaders for franchise management systems, networking and continuous corporate support. Select franchise territories are still available for Mr. Rooter in North Carolina, Texas, Indiana, New York, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Illinois, Tennessee, Utah, New Mexico and California.
Mr. Rooter is a part of The Dwyer Group® along with seven other home-service franchises, all of which were also included in this year’s Franchise 500®. For more information about one of the top plumbing franchise opportunities in the United States, visit www.MrRooterFranchise.com.
About Mr. Rooter:
Established in 1970, Mr. Rooter is an all-franchised, full-service plumbing and drain cleaning company with approximately 300 franchises worldwide. Recognized by Entrepreneur magazine among its “Franchise 500” and Franchise Times Top 200, Mr. Rooter franchisees provide services to both residential and commercial customers. Mr. Rooter began franchising in 1974 and is a subsidiary of The Dwyer Group®, Inc. For more information or to find the location nearest you, please visit our website at www.mrrooter.com.
By Jay Holland
Kelly Ramos and Victor Ramos started their business in May 2009 as a one-truck operation. As they grew, they knew they needed systems to make their business more efficient and to help reach their goals. Kelly knew systems were the key to operating any business having worked in her parents’ Mr. Rooter® business in Asheville, NC. In August 2011, the Ramos’ bought their franchise in Asheville, N.C. In 2012, with established marketing and presentation techniques, they were able to land key contracts in their market. Less than two years later, The Grounds Guys® of Asheville has grown considerably in 2013. We spent a few minutes with Kelly to understand her business and how they have been able to be able to succeed.
What was the biggest change after you purchased your franchise?
It was the confidence we had with the brand behind us. We believe we can go after any property and have the confidence that we are not just any other lawn company.
Tell me about your team members?
We started with three team members and are now up to six. It is really crucial that we now have the ability to keep three of our core team members on full-time throughout the winter.
How do you attract such quality team members?
It’s all about the Culture of CARE and our hiring process. The CARE questionnaire works every time. You can tell immediately who will be a good fit for our company and with the other team members. The key is to get a great core group of team members, and they will recruit for the company. Employees’ referrals are essential in finding other like-minded individuals. I really believe in providing a great place to work. The little things like coffee and donuts go a long way in boosting team morale. We really focus on a culture of learning in our company. If a team member is willing to learn, we will teach them everything we know. That’s how they move up within our organization. It sometimes is as simple as switching from a string trimmer to a mower or how to become licensed applicator. We believe in building the people we work with.
How have you been able to increase your sales volume and land quality contracts?
It all starts with the marketing activities and getting an opportunity to provide a proposal. Once you get the opportunity, the key is finding exactly what they are looking for. Make sure you make notes. As you prepare your quotes, make sure the adjustments meet their specifications, and meet exactly what they are wanting. The way GroundsNet allows us to detail each specification and line item really separates
The Grounds Guys from the competition in our market. The customer knows what each service costs and really helps them understand what they are paying for.
What makes your company so good at getting them to sign on the dotted line?
Well, you still have to market, estimate and provide proposals, but once they have it in their hand, it is FOLLOW UP, FOLLOW UP FOLLOW UP! Sometimes we follow up with potential contracts for six months or more. It might be an email, a phone call or just stopping by. It is all in the follow up. Our customers are really busy, so you have to remind them that you still are out there and still want to work with them.
Why do you make it a point to meet with your franchise consultant once a month?
The main reason is because it holds me accountable in getting my financial reports it a timely manner. You also learn things that you thought you knew. The biggest one for me is understanding the cash flow in my business. My franchise consultant and I sat down and put together a budget for the year for my business. I was concerned with operating cash throughout the growing season. In this business, pricing correctly and managing Cost of Goods (COGS) is crucial. I was able to understand that pricing and management of my teams was not far off where it should be, but that my COGS (labor, fuel, etc.) was not in line with cash because of my 12-month contract structure with my customers. This showed me I needed to save cash this winter (2012-13) when our COGS are at their lowest. The ability to save cash will allow me to cover our fixed cost and debt during this upcoming season when we produce 90 percent of our work and our COGS are again at their highest.
What are your long-term goals with the business?
Our goal purchasing a franchise was to sell our business or have a general manager to take over the day-to-day operations of the business within seven years. We are still a long way away, but I am confident we can get there.
If you had one suggestion for a new or existing franchisee, what would it be?
Remember why you started! Take time to regroup, and push toward your goals.
Whether you are looking to start a business from the ground up or looking for ways to enhance your current lawn and landscape business, The Grounds Guys franchise offers training, consultation and a professional marketing team that could assist you. To find out more visit www.GroundsGuysFranchise.com or call 1 (866) 696-1504.
Did you enjoy this article? You might also like:
Tim Roth knew the ins-and-outs of the commercial construction industry and was part-owner in his parents’ successful construction company. However, after nearly 20 years in the commercial construction business, Tim and his wife, Robyn, decided to diversify into the plumbing business. In 2009, the couple opened the Mr. Rooter® Plumbing of Yavapai and Coconino Counties in Arizona. Within four years, they have seen fantastic results, growing their business from one truck and a technician to a fleet of eight vans and a staff of 14 employees.
Mr. Rooter sat down with the Roths to learn more about why they chose Mr. Rooter and how they became successful serving residential customers.
How did you hear about Mr. Rooter?
Tim: Mr. Rooter called us. It took about a month and a half of researching and talking with the franchise developer before we bought the franchise. The main concern was the cost of the franchise. However, the Orientation session is what convinced us. We saw how the Mr. Rooter systems would be beneficial.
Why did you decide to diversify your current construction business?
Tim: I think that the commercial industry was changing we needed to diversify a little bit to figure out where we were going to build a future. Mr. Rooter was about the Code of Values® and it had a family atmosphere. It was no fun to do construction anymore because of the bad economy. Contractors wanted more for less. We are no longer in the constructions business as of a year ago. The economy and a lot of competition in the construction business made us take a closer look at residential service. Since opening in 2009, we have more than doubled our operation.
Do you think you could have opened a residential plumbing business as an independent?
Tim: I think we could have started one on our own, but we would not have the success we have today with the Mr. Rooter franchise.
Robyn: We would definitely not be where we are at now if we had started our own. The systems and the help are a big value. We are able to talk to other franchisees for advice and we can call our franchise consultant anytime for assistance. For me, it’s the day-in-and-day-out office stuff that I would not have been able to do.
Tim: Mr. Rooter is on the cutting-edge of the business. Sometimes they tell us to try something that I would think is unheard of, being a plumber for 20 years. But it does work. There’s hundreds of other business like yours where it does work, so why not try it.
What aspirations do you have for your Mr. Rooter business? Can you describe how your business has changed?
Tim: We’re on track to meet our goals for this year. We’ve started planning for next year looking at how many trucks we will need and technicians. Before we had a Mr. Rooter we would have just been flying by the seat of our pants. It’s about planning and setting goals and meeting those goals. Our first year, I was running two businesses and had to learn from example. We invested in this system and we were going to make it work. Now, the business is self-run but it does take a lot of work to get to that point. It takes about 2-3 years.
Robyn: I think following the systems is the most important thing. We kept talking to the other franchisees and they kept saying three years, three years, three years. We didn’t give up. We attended regional meetings. We constantly surrounded ourselves with other franchisees that offered support, encouragement and help.
You’ve passed that three year mark. How are things going for you today?
Tim: We can take vacation. We’ve actually taken quite a few vacations. We pay all our bills on time. I am not in a van anymore and haven’t been for over a year now. I have time to work on the business instead of in the business.
Robyn: There are some things I have to do and I have to be at the office. But many of these tasks can be done remotely, too. I had the privilege when my daughter graduated high school to take a trip with her to Hawaii. I was able to get work done online. I’ve never been able to do that with any other business.
To learn more about diversifying and adding an additional revenue stream to your business with a Mr. Rooter franchise, visit www.LeadingTheServiceIndustry.com or call 1 (866) 696-1504.
By Dianna Worthington
Piping up when you should be piping down is hard to do when you have the answer! The plain truth is, most customers need to be led to the answer rather than have it handed to them the moment you walk in the door. Step 8 of the 14 steps in the Mr. Rooter® plumbing system is “Take Control.” This step is critical in getting the customer talking. Taking control does not mean monopolizing the conversation. It simply means take control of where the conversation is going by asking the right questions.
Knowing the answer doesn’t mean you should give it right away, and having all the answers doesn’t mean you should give them all away.
Yes, you have the answers to fix their plumbing problem, but asking the right questions and allowing the customer to come to the right conclusion, as you expertly guide them, will help you close the deal. Bottom line: Don’t forget to stop talking!
The key to using this strategy is knowing when to be quiet and just listen. Ask the question, make the recommendation and then stop talking. Be quiet, and give the customer a chance to answer. They may need time to think. Maintain comfortable eye contact, adopt a relaxed posture and wait. One of the keys to being liked and gaining trust is to listen more than you talk. Listening is often one of the hardest things to do when you are trying to close a deal — especially if the silence stretches for more than a few seconds. Learn to embrace the silence, and use it as an opportunity to think about what you should do or say next. If you need to make a statement, always follow it with a question in order to keep the conversation moving in the right direction. (Examples: “Do you agree?” “Does that make sense?” or “Would you like me to get started right away?”)
Asking the customer the right questions to lead them to the answer will help them make a decision.
If you want to get back to the basics in our industry, you must remember we offer a service and offering a service involves a transaction. If you can’t understand the basic, simple process of selling the job, your closing average is going to suffer. For Mr. Rooter, back to the basics means expertly using our 14 Steps and the “tech-knowledge” our front line has in order to interact with the customer successfully. Remember, taking control is not just about having the right questions and the right answers. It’s also about knowing when to stop talking. A technician may have the knowledge and experience, but must acquire the wisdom and skills to understand the art of controlling the conversation and allowing the customer the opportunity to help close the deal.
To learn more about Mr. Rooter business systems and how a franchise may be able to take your business to the next level through established business practices, visit www.MrRooterFranchise.com or call 1 (866) 696-1504.
On February 20, Mr. Rooter® President Mary Kennedy Thompson accepted the Bonny LeVine Award, the highest award for women in franchising, from the International Franchise Association at its 53rd Annual Convention in Las Vegas, Nev. Click here to watch a video of Mary accepting the Bonny LeVine Award.
I am humbled, honored, and grateful to be here today. It’s an honor to be in the company of such amazing franchise leaders like Joanne Shaw, the first Bonny Levine recipient, Melanie Bergeron, who leads with grace, Catherine Monson, who leads with a lion’s heart and Dina Dwyer-Owens, who leads with values first.
There are really only two kinds of people in the world. There are those who walk in a room and say “Taa-Daa, here I am!” and then there are those rare few who look right at you and say “There you are!” Dina is that person who makes everyone she meets feel truly special. Dina, your friendship and mentoring through the years has meant the world to me. Read more
Peter and Tina McGrath had owned and operated an independent plumbing company for six years when the opportunity arose to buy an existing Mr. Rooter® plumbing franchise. In the 12 years since then, the McGraths have moved from being a one-truck operation with six employees to having 11 trucks on the road, and were recently honored with Mr. Rooter’s “Franchisee of the Year” award.
“When we first started, we operated out of our home,” recalls Tina. “It was pretty neat to see [the business] grow.” The couple’s plumbing franchise is located in Ottawa, Canada. Read more
by Khyla Fellingham
Do you know someone who is interested in becoming an owner but feels maybe their age is a factor? Kalen Gaetz, 26, and Brandy Newbery, 22, figured being relatively young was actually on their side when opening up the new Mr. Rooter® plumbing shop in Kamloops, British Columbia, in Canada.
“We feel it is easier to take the risks associated with plumbing, and business in general, when you are younger and don’t have a family competing for your attention,” Kalen says. Read more
By Laura Shaheen
Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Mary Thompson, the president of Mr. Rooter and the chair for VetFran, about the VetFran program. It was an eye opening chat, and one that I believe deserves to be advertised as much as possible.
VetFran was founded after Desert Storm in 1991, by Don Dwyer, the founder of the international franchise company, The Dwyer Group. After 9/11, Don Dwyer’s daughter, Dina Dwyer-Owens, the current CEO of the Dwyer Group took it upon herself to revitalize the VetFran program. There are over 400 members of VetFran, all franchisors looking to give discounted franchises to veterans. The current chair of the program is Mary Thompson, the president of Mr. Rooter. So far there have been over 2100 deals given to veterans throughout the years. And Mr. Rooter, Thompson’s own company, has been named by USA Today as one of the Top 50 Companies in American to work with veterans.
“I was a franchise owner before, and I’ve done every job since. I’ve been on every side and seen it from all levels,” Thompson said. “That’s why I’m so passionate. I know I would not have had the success I’ve had without the marine corp. and the franchising business teaching me how. Veterans make the best franchisees: they are disciplined, but follow a system. We are looking for leaders who want to lead toward a common goal.”
Indeed, a marine sword flashes from the walls of Thompson’s office, a flash of deadly silver and ivory handle polished until it glows in the late afternoon sun. Thompson herself speaks on the subject with true passion, as evident by her recent travels to Washington DC to support the new Help Veterans Own Franchises Act.
“The bill is a win/win situation,” Thompson said. “It gives veterans tax credits up to $25,000 of the franchise fee. This money is cash that veterans can then invest back in the company. It pays taxes back into the community. The veteran now has a job, and also has created jobs, and the franchisors end up with a great franchisee.”
As the chair for VetFran, Thompson has spent her time trying to expand the program to its limits. Through her leadership, the website has been redone and a portal is being created to marry veterans with different job opportunities. Their goal is to increase the number of franchisors on VetFran 15%, and they’re already part of the way there to next year’s goal.
“At a recent event, VetFran experienced 4 percent growth at a single event,” Thompson said, relish in her voice. “The greatest thing about the program is that VetFran isn’t just doing ‘the right thing to do.’ VetFran is the right thing to do, but it’s also the smart thing to do. Franchising is a great medium and a great match between veterans and franchisors. Veterans ‘get’ the system. Most people have to be taught that.”
Through her many engagements, like speaking at the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, Thompson has had the opportunity to spread her knowledge about the world of opportunities available for veterans and franchisors alike. Having wounded warrior, Staff Sergeant Shilo Harris there, however, as living proof of her words, made the impact all the more tangible.
“I always have said ‘If not now, when?’ when it comes to VetFran and veterans programs, and Shilo said something that has really stuck with me. He told me ‘That’s not a question, that’s an imperative.’ And he was right.”