Jeff Dudan, CEO and Co-Founder of AdvantaClean, knows a thing or two about how to grow a franchise system. Founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, which ravaged the coasts of Florida and Louisiana in 1992, Dudan sought to build a company that was founded on the tangible values of community-engagement, commitment to excellence and a passion to for helping entrepreneurs realize their own dreams of owning a small business that makes a real difference.
Leading water and mold-damage restoration franchise CEO offers advice to franchise systems looking to grow
In nearly 25 years in business, AdvantaClean is an American success story, with over 200 locations open across the nation, and Dudan is widely regarded as an industry leader. In a new article for Franchising, titled, “Improve Your Operations with These 3 Tips To Attract More Prospects,” Dudan opens up about how his commitment to investing in training, technology and more has created a prosperous business model that has attracted entrepreneurs to the AdvantaClean franchise family.
Here are Dudan’s three rules for success:
1. Invest in Training
“Running a franchise should be a little like being the owner of a race car,” Dudan writes. “You don’t just buy a fast car, find a good driver, and say, ‘OK, goodbye, maybe I’ll see you at the finish line.’ You have a pit crew to help franchisees keep the business going when they inevitably run into a rough patch.”
AdvantaClean offers one of the most comprehensive training and ongoing support platforms in the entire industry. New franchisees go through our 90-Day Success Plan®, which emphasizes financial awareness, and we work with you to develop a business plan and set goals to help you maximize your level of profitability. Most importantly, AdvantaClean offers a 24/7 call center that works to fulfill the duties and responsibilities of a typical office manager. Our call center team manages every customer interaction — from the initial request for services all the way to the follow-up call ensuring that the customer is satisfied with completed work.
“In the beginning, we offer initial training to franchise owners and their employees five times a year,” Dudan writes. “Our interaction with franchisees also includes four regional meetings a year with training and one annual conference with training. As for training, that can mean a lot of things, from introducing franchise owners and employees to new technical instruction or sales training or showing them methods to become more efficient. We also believe in the power of storytelling and collaboration, so franchisees can share what’s working so we can all learn.”
2. Invest in innovating
“You might not think that you’d necessarily have to be on top of technology when it comes to cleaning mold and sewage, and in some ways, you’d be right,” Dudan writes. “Sludge is sludge, and suction is suction. But no matter how straightforward and basic your franchise, you don’t want to fall into the trap of thinking that there’s no way you can do what you do any better. If people in my industry thought that way it would be as if, 100 years ago, a cleaning service asked, ‘What do I need a vacuum cleaner for? I have a broom.’”
AdvantaClean has become one of the most trusted brands in the restoration industry because of Dudan’s commitment to innovation. Since 1994, we have provided quality mold remediation, water damage repair and air duct cleaning to commercial and residential properties. Our services are backed by more than 20 years of industry-leading experience, and our commitment to exceptional work, transparency and exceptional customer service has positioned us as the brand that Americans can trust to make their homes safe to live in again.
3. Invest in your own operations
“You can’t train franchisees, and you can’t provide the latest and greatest in technology for them if your own offices are a dumpster fire,” Dudan writes. “That’s why, for instance, our headquarters is on a 5-acre industrial site, and why our 22,000-square-foot campus offers executive training facilities, a continuing education center, and a simulation environment for hands-on technical instruction.”
AdvantaClean is fully committed to the long-term success of our franchisees. This is why AdvantaClean takes such pride in our state-of-the-art training facility, offers ongoing financial and marketing support, and works diligently to include our franchisees in every new initiative we launch to increase brand awareness and profitability for our franchise owners.
“And you must treat the people working for you well, and make sure they are well-trained and certified so that they’re empowered to help your franchisees be the best they can be,” Dudan concludes. “If you do that, you lift everyone, and successful franchising requires a franchisor to try to lift everyone. As they say, you’re only as strong as your weakest link, and with franchising, the more successful you are, the more links you have – making it increasingly important that you empower everyone to do better.”
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