BeTheBoss.ca: Tell us about the PuroClean concept.
Gord Gamble: PuroClean is a franchised service business which specializes in property damage emergency services, mitigating losses from damage mainly caused by water, fire/smoke, and mould. Our franchise owners work primarily with the insurance industry but also directly with homeowners when losses are not insured. We are the “Paramedics of Property Damage”. Our mission: When property damage occurs, PuroClean is driven to provide an unmatched service experience quickly, professionally, ethically and with compassion, resulting in peace of mind for all concerned. The premise is if you do very high-quality emergency services you will have a very satisfied policy holder, and you will be able to significantly reduce the overall size of the insurance claim.
BTB: How and when did you become involved with PuroClean?
GG: In 2008 I met some executives of the U.S. based franchise while attending a wedding in Florida. Shortly after that I was negotiating the expansion of the brand into Canada.
BTB: What was your background prior to joining PuroClean?
GG: I began franchising in 1980 as a master licensed developer with Ming Auto Care Centres for Western Canada. In 1988 I sold my Ming Auto Care business and purchased a ServiceMaster franchise operation in Toronto. In addition to my ServiceMaster business in 2001, I also launched the Mr. Handyman franchise in Canada, a company that specializes in home repairs.
BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a PuroClean franchisee?
GG: PuroClean offers one of the most comprehensive training and support programs in franchising. You go into business for yourself, but you’re not by yourself! All franchisees attend “The PuroClean Academy” along with additional Mentoring and Field Training. We offer on-going field support as well as 24/7 Technical Support and National Conventions. The biggest advantage of being part of the PuroClean Canada network is the Franchisees themselves. This is a very high quality group of individuals who work collaboratively as a team and leave no one behind. This team works together better than any franchise group I have ever seen.
BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?
GG: The right candidate has high quality leadership and management skills, combined with experience in business-to-business relationships. Good leadership of the franchise is paramount. Our franchise owners have also acquired experience in project and team management.
BTB: Tell us a little about the PuroClean Market?
GG: There are unlimited opportunities in this recession-proof industry. Property damage restoration is a multi-billion dollar per year industry in Canada. According to Insurance Canada, $10 Billion in property damage claims were paid by the insurance industry in 2011. Property insurance claims (homeowners & commercial) via referrals make up our Target Market. There is also an additional $3 – $4 Billion in non-covered losses which rounds out our total annual market.
BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?
GG: It does not pay to cut corners when selecting franchise owners for our organization. Treat franchisees the way I wanted to be treated as a franchisee.
BTB: Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?
GG: Thane McNiel and Gary Franklin, two of the pioneers in the ServiceMaster of Canada organization, were my inspiration to do well at finding and developing good people for the organization.
BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?
GG: My advice to potential franchisees underlines the team spirit that I so strongly support and encourage. I would tell them that, number one, we are not in the business of selling franchises. We are in the business of developing a high-quality network to serve the industry that we service. Franchisees also need to have an affinity for the business they are pursuing and to match their strengths, background and skill-sets to a business that is complementary.
BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that PuroClean would be a great opportunity for someone?
GG: First of all this is a recession proof industry. There is a low investment needed with high margins. There is no prior industry experience necessary and the scalability of the business provides significant growth opportunities. PuroClean is a nationally recognized name with growing national service programs. We have reduced expenses through collective purchases, advanced lead generation technology, as well as on-going continuing education support. You always have the opportunity to continue to develop as a leader.