Q&A with Dawn Erickson, PuroClean Franchisee, on Why She Chose a Service Brand
Name: Dawn Erickson
Company: PuroClean Disaster Restoration of Charleston
Title: Franchisee, Co-Owner with husband Mark Erickson
Why did you choose to franchise with a service brand?
When we began our search to open a business, we knew we wanted to open a franchise because the support from the brand would help us hit the ground running. My husband and I came into PuroClean with a background in the restoration industry. He was a general contractor and I worked in business development. We wanted to make sure our skill sets matched the kind of business we wanted to build. We chose a service brand because we knew the market and that we would be providing a necessary service. In this industry, disaster restoration, we provide support to people in vulnerable situations, to homeowners and business owners alike. Not everyone has the need to remodel a kitchen, but when it comes to saving your kitchen from water damage or flooding, doing nothing is not an option.
I like working with a service brand because it feels nice to help people. PuroClean is a recession-resistant business, and there will always be people who need the service we provide. It is fulfilling to me and my skill set to own a business where there is constant work, and where the work we are doing is making a difference. Starting a business is always a daunting task, but gambling on yourself can be a wonderful thing.
How did you choose the sector and brand you did?
We chose PuroClean for two reasons: 1) its excellent reputation in the restoration and remediation industry as far as training and support goes, and 2) the brand’s growth as a business. When we opened our franchise, PuroClean provided the support we needed to operate our business from the start – not only the resources that allowed us to enter the industry at an affordable price point, but also the training for us to continue to grow. Not having to worry about the little things allowed us to reinvest our time and energy into our business. Having that essential support from the brand sets you up for success.
What different skill sets are required for service brand franchising?
To be successful in this particular service, you have to excel at customer care. It’s our #1 priority. We have been trained to provide a high-quality standard of work for every job we take on. However, taking care of the customer is just as important. We walk into every job knowing that whenever someone calls us for help, they are having a bad day. They have had a fire, flood, biohazard situation, you name it. They are stressed, traumatized, and they don’t know what to do. From our end, we have to make sure that the customer is okay. In this business, you must have care and compassion to do the job and do it well.
What are the advantages to choosing a service brand?
One advantage to choosing a service brand like PuroClean is that our business is recession-resistant. Knowing that we are providing a service that is necessary lifts a big weight off our shoulders as business owners because we know our industry will stay around.
Another advantage is that with the kind of work we do, we don’t have to worry too much about having a prime retail location, the way stores do. There is no need to drive high traffic into our physical office. Our clients are calling us to make appointments, and most of the labor is done in their home. They may visit us at our office if necessary, but the nature of what we do doesn’t require our customers to walk in through our doors.
I think another advantage of working with a service brand is the opportunities that come out of B2B marketing, and the work we do with so many entities outside the typical client. Naturally, with this line of work, we do a lot of marketing with people and businesses that can recommend us constantly. For example, by working so closely with insurance agents, many of our clients are referred to us by agents we’ve worked with in the past. All of these things are helpful to us as business owners.
What would you recommend to anyone considering a service brand?
Allow yourself to start small. Take it day by day. Pick a brand that allows you to grow and build your business brick by brick. It can be overwhelming, but starting small will help you manage. I also think it is important to lose that fear of failure that prevents you from taking a good risk. In your research, choose wisely so you have all the opportunities to succeed. Do what feels right for you, but do your homework first. My last recommendation is to surround yourself with people who have been where you are now. Get advice from others and seek mentorship from other small-business owners. Keep faith in yourself and what you believe in and you’ll be all right.
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