Thomas Maguire is a PuroClean franchisee in Spartanburg, South Carolina. His business has experienced success every year since he opened up 5 years ago. His business approach is to go above and beyond the call of duty by doing more - such as teaching his own continuing education classes, offering incentives to his employees, and helping other franchise owners. He's been recognized by the brand for his performance and growth.
He says, "I enjoy the satisfaction of putting someone's home or business back together for them and getting them back to the way that it was before the disaster."
No. of units you own: 1
Family: Wife, Rosa, two daughters
Years in franchising: 5
Years in current position: 5
My main influences consist of my education at the Citadel in South Carolina, serving our country through the U.S. Air Force, my parents, and the Bible.
Key accomplishments: PuroClean President's Circle - Recognition for top-performing franchise owners.
PuroClean Hot Shot Award Winner (2014) - Recognition for franchisees that have been in the network for two or more years who have the highest growth percent increase. My growth increase was 161.4% in 2013 over 2014.
PuroClean Navigator - A franchisee is recognized for giving up his/her time to contribute to and benefit the franchise development process.
Spartanburg Association of Insurance Professionals Exec of the Year (2013)
My average work week usually starts around 7:00 a.m. and lasts until however long our clients need our help. PuroClean is a 24/7 business, so we work all sorts of hours.
What's your passion in business?
I truly enjoy helping people. The homeowners or business owners that we help typicallyhave never had a property loss before, so they are often quite distraught when they call us. Soon after the call, they see my PuroClean vehicles arrive on-site with the fire trucks for a fire/smoke damage restoration or with the plumbers for a flood water loss. I enjoy the satisfaction of putting someone's home or business back together for them and getting them back to the way that it was before the disaster.
How do you balance life and work?
I make it a priority to set boundaries for each aspect of my life. My family understands how important our business is and my employees know how important my family is.
Helping others is our passion and property restoration is the vehicle for us to do it.
Management method or style:
I try to focus on the big picture, overseeing key items and being supportive of each and every one of my employees. If I can help my employees out, then that will free them up to help out more customers.
The most challenging aspect for me is knowing when to grow and expand the business and understanding how to do it cost effectively at the right time.
How close are you to operations?
I am very close to operations. I oversee multiple job sites in a week and each property owner has my direct cell phone number.
What are the two most important things you rely on from your franchisor?
I rely on the franchisor to help me connect with a good network of franchisees where we can then, in turn, help each other grow. Secondly, the franchisor needs to be our support system by helping us develop, expand, and become more profitable.
How is social media affecting your business?
Through social media, we have more avenues with which to engage our customers. It is a great way for our past customers to communicate their satisfaction with the services we provide to future customers. We love reading their comments about us on a variety of websites. We routinely get calls from new customers who mention they read all about our PuroClean office online through comments left by past customers.
How do you deal with problem employees?
We believe in providing instant feedback whenever there is an issue, problem, or concern. The way we look at it is that if we have to fire an employee, it is most likely primarily the fault of the owner/supervisor. There are three reasons we would consider firing someone:
The first two of these are the responsibility of the supervisor. If we get to that point, it should never be a surprise to the employee.
Growth meter: How do you measure your growth?
We look at profitability per job, top line revenue, and number of people we have helped.
Vision meter: Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
Like most people, we have revenue and growth goals, but more important than dollar goals, we are also working to build a business that smoothly operates no matter what occurs. We do this by working to have standard procedures for every type of job we have. This way, no matter what our top line revenue is, we are running smoothly and efficiently with the least possible amount of repeat problems.
How do you forecast for your business?
Yearly view - We look at year-over-year sales and profit margins to analyze overall trends and make strategic business decisions based on hard numbers. Monthly view - A lot of consistent overtime is one key indicator that you may be working your team too many hours and don't have enough people.
Is capital getting easier to access? Why/why not?
Thankfully, this has not been a problem for us. We have a great banker who has provided us with a line of credit, enabling us to grow almost 200 percent last year without touching it or going into debt. But we do have a couple of sources of funding if we need it.
What are you doing to take care of your employees?
From a monetary standpoint, we do spot bonuses, pay substantially more than our competitors, and provide generous pay for after-hours and on-call work. But more importantly, we work hard to provide a flexible work environment where grace is prevalent. When we take good care of our employees, they take good care of our customers, which reduces problems across the board.
What kind of exit strategy do you have in place?
We are in the midst of a two-year plan to reduce my direct work hours in our PuroClean business from 60-70 hours each week, down to 20-25 hours. This is a key piece of my plan to take us from a job at a business that I own to a thriving business that employs people even smarter and better at it than me.
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