We see it every day with home-service contractors: remodelers, snow removal contractors, roofers, and nursery professionals, to name a few, are looking for ways to grow their businesses. The reasons vary. Some are still suffering from the housing dip, while others want to turn a seasonal business into year-round, while yet others want to break from the commercial or new construction markets into the residential service sector.
Adding a related service and additional revenue stream to an existing business makes a lot of sense. Business owners can train their existing employees to provide the new service, and they can cross-market to their existing customer base.
Earlier this week, the Colorado Springs Business Journal published an article covering two entrepreneurs in Colorado Springs who recently added a franchise to diversify their current business by adding a related franchise business. One of these is Jesse Russow, owner of Avalanche Roofing and Exteriors, who is opening a Rainbow International® restoration franchise, a sister company of The Grounds Guys®.
Russow was born in Joplin, Mo. has been self-employed since the age of 11. He began selling appliances for his grandfather, and then opened his own lawn-care business as a teenager. His entrepreneurial spirit eventually led him to open Avalanche Roofing and Exteriors, with offices in Colorado Springs, St. Louis, and Joplin.
Coming from a small town and raising his younger brother, Jesse came from a tumultuous upbringing which gave him the inspiration and courage to move forward in life. He earned a scholarship to study engineering from the Missouri Southern State University, but after earning his basic credits, he chose to go into the roofing business. Russow lost a family member and multiple friends in the devastating 2011 Joplin tornado, but managed to sustain his business. At the age of 29, he works 100-hour work weeks and has employed a staff of 30. His roofing business, only a few years old, reached $3 million in annual revenue in 2012 and is a Habitat for Humanity contractor.
However, Russow had begun looking for an additional revenue source during the slower winter months so that he could keep staff numbers at the same level year-round. With Colorado Spring recovering from the biggest wildfire in the state’s history, fire and flood restoration seemed a good choice. When Rainbow International called him, everything came together.
“The biggest two things you need to succeed in business are tight management and organizational skills. The Dwyer Group® has 30 years of practice, and I don’t. That’s what really drew me to Rainbow International.”
Russow attended a full training week at The Dwyer Group’s Waco, Texas headquarters, where he received technical and management training from the franchise company, and took tests for restoration-industry certifications. He opened Rainbow International of Colorado Springs in January 2013.
“As busy as I am with my current business, I don’t have time to build a company from scratch like I did with Avalanche. With Rainbow International, I can apply it to my existing business and service the same customers, just in a different line of work.”