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Franchises and educational resources provide opportunities to improve business

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With the economy still taking its toll in some areas, business owners can find light at the end of the tunnel with possibilities for growth through franchises and an interest in educational resources.

Franchises offer added support via customer assistance, marketing resources and training for employees. While they are not for everyone, doing some research on drain cleaning and plumbing franchises may be a great way to see what methods are available to help you grow your business.

Educational resource groups, such as network groups, provide business-development and instruction for companies seeking more industry knowledge and training. Joining national associations or network groups allows you to meet people experiencing the same issues you are, and to work together to find resolutions.

The following list of resources is available to companies seeking ways to advance to the next level of performance and profit.


Franchise Systems


The 1-800-PLUMBER system provides franchisees with around-the-clock business and customer support. The system provides a memorable phone number and corresponding website designed to create top-of-mind awareness with customers. A central sales and dispatch center supports all franchisees, taking incoming calls and dispatching the job to the closest franchise, relieving owners of answering the phones, booking and scheduling jobs, and the related administrative processes.

With the t-Tab technology and implementation of an iPad application, 1-800-PLUMBER places the power to better serve owners and their customers in the hands of their technicians. The service center offers franchisees the ability to track technicians while on jobs and track where calls come from. The system also offers franchise owners a full-time marketing staff. Franchisees have access to sales training, market research and assistance with integrating new systems and protocols. 281/492-3000; www.1800plumber.com.


CityWide Plumbers

As part of the CityWide system, franchisees can benefit from multiple revenue streams created by an expanded mix of services including sewer and drain cleaning, video inspections, new installations and general plumbing maintenance.

The system offers prime franchise territories, providing a larger base of prospective residential and commercial customers for greater earning potential, as well as buying discounts on supplies and equipment.

The CityWide system includes comprehensive training that covers areas such as hiring, management and operations; a proprietary operations manual with detailed procedures for efficient business operations; ongoing operational support; and advice on implementing effective local advertising and marketing programs and branded website presence. Customized back-end software provides tools to book appointments, route service technicians, generate invoices, track payroll information and maintain customer databases. 800/310-2564; www.citywideplumbers.com.


Mr. Rooter Corp.

Founded in 1974, the Mr. Rooter plumbing and drain cleaning organization has more than 250 franchise locations worldwide. Mr. Rooter believes a properly structured business is designed to provide five things: a good annual income, more freedom of time to enjoy a better lifestyle, a healthy bottom line to create wealth, equity in your business to pass the business to your children or sell for a profit, and sufficient cash flow to reduce or eliminate debt.

The system combines the benefits of a local business with the strength of a national brand name. Owners get comprehensive training and ongoing support from a franchise consultant. Franchisees also receive local and national marketing support and the opportunity to network with other franchise owners. 800/298-6855; www.mrrooterfranchise.com.


A Corp/Rooter-Man

With a network of over 480 locations, Rooter-Man has been rated as the number one plumbing, sewer and drain cleaning franchise by Entrepreneur magazine for the last nine years. Rooter-Man franchise owners become part of a team of independent dealers working together under a nationally recognized trademark and brand.

Franchisees receive comprehensive training programs, ongoing and dedicated support, and exclusive discounts and partnerships. Franchisees are taught how to run a successful business through personal training and 11 step-by-step manuals that outline every aspect of running a Rooter-Man franchise, including comprehensive national and localized Internet marketing programs. 800/700-8062; www.rootermanfranchise.com.



In 2004, Valu-Rooter was a one-truck sewer and drain cleaning operation in the residential market. Effective this fall, Valu-Rooter franchises were made available in selected markets. Committed to helping owner/operators break out of the one-truck trap and enjoy the fruits of their labor, the system offers branded marketing, training and workable systems.

Franchises will command both larger customer bases to enjoy right now and higher resale values for when it’s time to sell. The system offers a four-day training session at the Valu-Rooter headquarters along with two-day training sessions at each franchise owner’s home base. Annual seminars provide ongoing training and marketing support. 800/438-8258; www.valurooter.com.



1-800-GOT-ROOTS is a marketing tool available to highly reputable sewer and drain companies looking to get more from their advertising dollars. Service providers can purchase exclusive use of the number for their territory. All calls to the national toll-free number from a provider’s service area ring directly to that company’s phone number.

For providers with multiple locations, calls can be routed to the closest office based on customer location. Contractors receive a detailed report with date, time, duration, caller’s phone number, city and state for each call routed to a given location. Also included is use of the national website to direct customers to their local 1-800-GOT-ROOTS provider. 800/468-7668; www.1800gotroots.com.


Education Resources

Nexstar Network

Nexstar Network is a business-development and best practices organization delivering comprehensive business training, systems and support to independent home-service plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical professionals. It helps businesses get rapid results guided by peer connections, experienced coaches and proven systems.

Best practices from across North America are available for members to apply in their own business. Coaches and member trainers come from the industry and have owned and operated businesses. They guide, advise and hold members accountable. 888/240-7827; www.nexstarnetwork.com.


National Association of Wastewater Transporters

NAWT carries on the mission to unify the voice of the sanitary liquid waste management industry while increasing its professionalism and public image through education of the industry to members and the public. The organization develops national representation of individual, state and regional chapters, allowing the industry to exchange ideas and concerns.

The association provides a wide range of training programs that include septic system inspector training and certification, onsite system operation and maintenance training, vacuum truck technician training, and an annual waste treatment symposium. A Train the Trainer program helps the organization take its programs to a wider audience. 800/236-6298; www.nawt.org.


WaterJet Technology Association – Industrial & Municipal Cleaning Association

The WJTA-IMCA provides service, education and representation to members, including contractors, manufacturers, researchers and educators in the waterjetting, industrial cleaning and industrial vacuum equipment industries. The primary goal of WJTA-IMCA is to educate members, their employees and all users of the technology regarding safety and best practices.

The WJTA-IMCA developed the Recommended Practices for the Use of High Pressure Waterjetting Equipment and the Recommended Practices for the use of Industrial Vacuum Equipment manuals and videos to help people ensure a safe and productive work environment for workers and site visitors.

The WJTA-IMCA Medical Card offers guidance for physicians and emergency medical personnel treating waterjet injuries. The WJTA-IMCA keeps members abreast of the latest developments in products, equipment, applications, industry news and on-the-job safety in a variety of ways: the Jet News newsletter, a regularly updated website, and conferences and expos. Educational “boot camp” sessions on a variety of work-related topics are provided for contractors and end users. 314/241-1445; www.wjta.org.


Top Dollar Press

Top Dollar Press is the publisher of Top Dollar Plumber, a book of advice for plumbing and drain cleaning service contractors. Authors Sid and Ti Sutherland, both experienced plumbing professionals, share advice designed to help contractors grow their businesses and maximize profit. They provide on-site sales training to show plumbers how to close and develop relationships with customers by riding along and critiquing their methods.

The company website includes a variety of articles and other resources with marketing, sales and operations advice. 877/883-9150; www.topdollarplumber.com.


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