Spur your Local Economy With Home Improvement!
FranChoice suggests you work with your local franchisee to get the best pricing and customer service on your holiday home update projects
December 03, 2008 // Franchising.com // EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - Quick! Can you tell me the names of three franchises that aren't food related? Are you stumped? Most of us can easily recognize many national food franchises but aren't aware of the numerous service companies that are also important franchised businesses. If you're having company this holiday season and have a home-improvement "to do" list, consider the benefits of working with your neighborhood service franchise.
"Your local sign, home improvement, carpet installer, painting company and many more are most likely franchised businesses," said Lori Kiser-Block, President of FranChoice, Inc., a national franchise consultant company that helps individuals find their ideal fit in a franchise business. "They take pride in offering the best products and services and will work hard to make you happy because most of the time they live, work and send their kids to school right in your neighborhood. They know that word of mouth is the very best advertising they can get and consider every customer a VIP. As well as great service, a franchise usually has the backing of a national franchise company which offers some tremendous advantages to them and to you."
One example, said Kiser-Block, is that a great franchise company is often able to offer consumers lower prices due to national buying power. If a franchise business has 400 franchisee ordering thousands of custom cabinets from a manufacturer, they will usually get a much better deal than a stand-alone business who orders at a much smaller volume. This savings is passed along to the customer.
"Another advantage of working with the best franchise businesses," said Kiser-Block, "is that franchisees go through very thorough training to run their businesses. This means you are not their test case or guinea pig. Your home will be serviced by professionals who show up on time, are dressed for the part, and best of all, they know what they are doing. This can make a big difference, particularly when you are pressured for time and want the job done right and quickly."
There's also the confidence you get from having a national company standing behind the franchisee. If you should ever have a problem with a franchisee that you can't solve, you can go to the franchisor to see if they can help. Having this additional recourse if a problem arises can save you time, money and aggravation.
Jonathan Thiessen, Director of Licensing for Budget Blinds which has over a thousand franchise units, said that their size means customers get a better deal. "Our customers love the selection, warranties, and prices of window treatments that our franchisees can offer by way of our Vendor Alliance. By leveraging our $300 million in sales with 40 carefully selected vendors, our customers are able to share in volume discounts and product upgrades that an independent dealer simply can't offer."
Franchise owner David Sheets, whose CertaPro Painters franchise territory is in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, is proud to be part of a company with a stellar reputation, particularly in an industry where customers are often frustrated by loosey-goosey here today, gone tomorrow contractors. Sheets said CertaPro franchisees are trained to make sure that the details of every painting job (interior or exterior) are cared for from start to finish. "Requests for our services always increase right before the holidays and we plan for it by having our experienced personnel ready to complete projects in the homeowner's timeframe. CertaPro's goal is to make sure each customer's painting experience from start to finish exceeds their expectations."
Kiser-Block offers these suggestions for finding a great franchisee:
- Word of mouth - ask your family and friends for their recommendations.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau. If the business has had complaints, make sure they have been resolved.
- Do some online sleuthing. If a business is not playing fair with their customers, someone is sure to be blogging about it!
- An established franchise with a number of franchisees is more likely to be able to deal in volume pricing and will have the experience to provide you with the best service - and will have more to lose if you are not a satisfied customer.
FranChoice is a national network of consultants dedicated to helping consumers find their ideal match in a franchise business. Since 2000, FranChoice consultants have helped over 40,000 people identify and investigate the perfect franchise for them through their free service.