When Disaster Strikes: The Benefits of Knowing Your Neighbors
Ever dreamed about having too much work? For seasonal service industries like residential and commercial restoration, this isn’t an uncommon occurrence. Restoration represents a chunk of a $75 billion dollar industry, but often follows irregular patterns of “feast and famine” with no work some of the time, and huge volumes of service calls at others (typically, when disaster strikes).
What then, is the best practice for handling more service calls than you can fill?
For restoration companies, one excellent way to handle these scenarios is to call upon your neighbors in the industry for help. Doing so will benefit your customer – but also benefit your restoration company.
Building a Contingency Plan for Disaster Relief
Following a major weather event or disaster, your restoration company is going to be called upon to act. In reality, depending on the size of the event, you’ll probably receive more calls than you can field. This is why it’s so important to build contingency plans before the fact. What is your triage procedure? Do you have all the equipment you need – and if not, where will you rent from (and do they know your plans)? Finally, what if you cannot field every service request – who will you call upon? All these questions are important parts of a risk-management plan.
The Power of Collaboration
For any business owner who’s ever negotiated a great finder’s fee, the value of partnering with your restoration neighbors is obvious. Positioning your business so that you know who to call if you’re overwhelmed is a great way to support your business in multiple ways:
- Satisfying customers by securing them a service, even if it’s not your own.
- Establishing great relationships with fellow restoration companies (who are more likely to send work your way when they’re overwhelmed).
- Maintaining yourself as a trusted service provider amongst your customer base.
Remember: even if you didn’t perform the specific restoration job requested by a client, if you refer them to somebody who can, you’ve still provided a valuable service to that client. That can help keep you in their good graces, expand word of mouth, and mitigate risk from business loss.
Cooperation: Not Just for Small Businesses
There are myriad market forces spurring change in the restoration industry today, and these changes affect the entire market. Increasing pressure from public and federal entities are leading large restoration groups to collaborate including ISSA/CRI, RIA/IAQA/IIRC, APIC/ASHRAE, and more. This is an industry which relies on working together to achieve a common goal, and collaboration is key.
So how do you get to know your neighbors? Networking offers a great opportunity to reach out and connect with colleagues. National conferences are often go-to locations for networking, but one of the best methods to access a huge number of colleagues is through a franchise.
Franchising offers access to national networks of professionals and colleagues all across the country, saving you the time-consuming task of establishing connections and seeking out mutual forums. To learn more, contact a franchise developer today!