It's Who You Know

Building relationships in the communities you serve will help your business prosper.

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Business is about relationships. We’ve all heard that before. This month’s issue of Cleaner features two profiles that demonstrate different sides of this axiom.

Robert Christman’s Roto-Rooter franchise in Bloomington, Ind., has grown and succeeded on the backs of strong relationships in the community. When he bought the business in 2003, most work was residential. In order to grow the commercial side of the business, he immediately focused on marketing.

Christman embarked on a personal campaign to let people know about Roto-Rooter. He took his family out to restaurants and made a point of introducing himself and his business to the managers. He joined organizations and found other ways of personally speaking with potential customers by using their services and offering his own.

One of the most important moves he made was getting involved with a local business group of about 30 business owners and professionals. He regularly attends the group’s weekly breakfast meetings and compares notes and experiences, which he says has helped establish relationships throughout the local business community. Today, he says it is one of the most amazing and important things he did, because these relationships have helped his company become part of the community.

The second profile in this month’s issue features another Indiana cleaner, Bob Gallup and Mr. Rooter of Greater Indianapolis and Central Indiana. Gallup had many years of business experience, but he had never worked in the sewer and drain cleaning industry until he purchased his Mr. Rooter territory two years ago. Developing good relationships within his business was the key to getting a good start.

Gallup learned early on that he needed someone on hand to troubleshoot and be a technical leader for service technicians, so he brought Robert Wilhelm onboard. Wilhelm had a strong industry background, knew the Mr. Rooter system and told Gallup he would help develop the business. He quickly became the go-to guy for the other people on staff, and as Gallup realized his importance to the company’s success, he appointed him field manager.

Gallup also cultivated another relationship that has been a big factor in the success of the business. John Leighty, a client-turned-associate, brought another valuable skill set to the firm and bolstered the developing management team. Leighty is responsible for bathroom remodels and other work that requires artistic design or tile work. The two men are a strong team, and together, they have helped the company grow by reaching new markets.

Networking in Indy

You’ll notice a few Pumper & Cleaner Environmental Expo preview stories in this issue as well. The Expo, Feb. 24-27 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, is another great place to build relationships and help your business prosper. There are networking opportunities everywhere, morning, noon and night, and the people who come back year after year say it’s one of the most valuable aspects of the show.

If you haven’t registered or begun planning your time in Indy, visit for all the information you’ll need to plan the trip. It’s a great way to help build your business, and there’s plenty of fun to be had, too.

Enjoy this month’s issue. See you in Indy.


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