How did you get into the industry?
We initially got into the franchise industry as a family when I was a child — I have a long background with franchises. I started in the family business which was a franchise dollar store and helped there on the register. While in college, I joined my father’s business, a Verizon Wireless retail store. I joined the business as we opened store #4 and we grew the business to 24 locations. During that time, we didn’t love having all of our eggs in one basket, so I started getting involved in more businesses.
At one point, while we were working in another home service business and noticed the need for a more focused customer experience business. In-home services and contracting in general, there are many excellent craftsmen out there but many are severely lacking on the customer service side. We saw the opportunity to create a business that honed in on the customer experience and their needs. Next, we began researching indoor air quality providers.
We saw a weird situation: large restoration companies weren’t really interested in helping clients with indoor air quality issues because they were more focused on the insurance referrals for larger jobs. Also, these weren’t as equipped to help people who were truly suffering from indoor air quality problems. On the other side of the spectrum, there were the Jack of All Trades companies who had 60 different services plastered on the side of their van; many of whom would just spray bleach or paint over the mold and call it a day. There wasn’t anyone focusing on the health-related issues — nobody wanted to touch it. They didn’t want to understand what the customers were going through. My wife jokes with me that my hobby is researching things. I spent the time and energy to find out what they were going through and then I customized the service and solutions from Mold Medics to meet them where they were.
Let’s discuss some challenges that you’ve faced and/or some successes you have encountered.
Working with a large number of clients suffering from toxic mold exposure, CIRS, and other environmental sensitives have proved to be both very challenging, and extremely rewarding. It was a challenge out of the gate to see and try to truly understand what they were experiencing and going through. We had to learn about this space. What do they need? How can we create a protocol that will provide the results they require? Discovering the answers to these questions then pivoted into our biggest successes. We learned how to interact with our clients and figured out how do we solve these issues and make sure that their concerns are being heard. We recognize what they are going through is real and we take it seriously down to the smallest details. As an example, our technicians are provided with fragrance-free deodorant and body wash. They can launder their clothes on site with fragrance-free detergent. We are very aware of the client’s needs and understanding these needs has been a big success for us.
Is there anything that you would like to add regarding your training and support model?
As an entrepreneur, I felt the most frustrated and scared when I was in a situation and wasn’t sure what to do and I didn’t know where to go for the answer. It is hard when you feel like you’re trapped alone on an island without help or support. I don’t want our franchisees to feel this way, so we have really focused a lot of our support here. The biggest thing franchise owners will notice is that they have support resources available for when they encounter anything a new issue in the field, or in the growth of their business. We’ve built a robust network of other professionals as resources to help with difficult situations. Our franchisees can feel confident and know that they can move forward no matter what they encounter, knowing that our support team is just a phone call or video chat away.
What does your franchisee do in the business every day?
For a franchise operator, it will depend on how they come into the business and how they grow. We offer two paths: the owner-operator model and the investor-owner model. The investor-owner serves in more of an advisory type of role and they are conducting the day-to-day customer interactions. The owner-operator will be doing daily customer interaction, but we take care of as many things as we can for them from our corporate call center. Our call center handles the inbound lead traffic, books air duct cleaning (which doesn’t require a site visit), sets up assessments for on-site visits, etc. When a franchisee pulls up the custom app each morning, they will see their list of tasks for that day. Callbacks, customer contacts, and on-site visits are all right there in the app. It gives them a step-by-step process on how to execute their day. When they aren’t hands-on at a site or on a call, they are working with referral partners —real estate agents, home inspectors, doctors etc. — to get the business development going. We do as much as we can remotely for them.
In your own words, describe the ideal franchisee.
The first thing I would say is that you don’t have to have experience in contracting, mold removal, home services or related businesses. It helps to know which end of the hammer to hold but you don’t have to have an extensive background in any of our services. They can get comfortable and competent quickly through our training programs.
What they must have are good leadership skills. We want them to get out of the van eventually and lead the crew; that’s the first goal. They need strong communication skills. They are going to be doing a lot of sales and marketing. They must be comfortable with one-on-one interaction. Our franchisees must have a strong work ethic and be prepared to get their hands dirty and grow the business!
What are your goals for your company in the future?
The biggest thing is that we are looking to grow. We want an additional 3 franchisees signed by the end of the year. We want to continue to operate our corporate territories. It’s important for franchisors to understand what the day-to-day operations are like so they can understand what their franchisees are going through. Otherwise, there is a large disconnect that happens. Our corporate territories will continue to serve as our “test kitchen”. We are in a hugely expansive space. Radon mitigation and radon testing is one thing that we tried in our corporate location first and then rolled out. Other than that, our goal is for our franchisees to be successful. The reason we did franchising vs corporate territories is the effect franchising has had on our family. My father was 1 of 6 children from a single-parent household and grew up in government-funded housing. Through franchising, entrepreneurship, and hard work, he dramatically changed not only his life but our whole family. Now, I can pass this on to the next generation with my kids. I love the idea that we can bring that very same opportunity to more people through franchising.
Thank you to Tim Swackhammer for conducting this interview. For more information about the Mold Medics franchise opportunity, visit their franchise page at www.moldmedics.com.
MORE FRANCHISE DETAILS
Training and Support
Mold Medics’ expert support team works with each franchisee to understand and fully grasp how an ideal operation should be executed. This will include everything that a franchisee will need, including ongoing operational support, classroom training, on-the-job training, and marketing strategies.
What is the Fee Structure?
Franchise Fee: $29,999
Royalty Fee: 7% of Gross Sales and the minimum applicable monthly royalty of $2,000
Estimated Initial Investment Range: $83,049 to $158,999 (includes franchise fee)
Each territory will include a defined area and will be documented generally as a population base of approximately 300,000 people.