Febuary 5, 2018
If you're looking for a change in industry but don't know where to start, then Sears Clean franchise owner Bill Cole might just be the inspiration you need. Originally a Chief Marketing Officer in hospitals, hotels, healthcare, and many others, Cole completely abandoned all that when family ties led him to want some permanent roots in Houston, Texas. Previously in an industry that required him to move jobs and houses every few years, Bill Cole was not only looking for a job that kept him in Houston but he wanted to be associated with a well-known brand where he could run his business on his own terms.
Bill found the perfect match with a Sears Home Service Franchise.
Without any prior knowledge about the carpet cleaning or air duct cleaning industries, Cole went into owning a Sears Clean franchise with a surplus of customer service skills and a tireless work ethic. Making the decision to own a Sears Clean franchise over other companies came down to the fact that Sears was a consumer-based company where his marketing skills could be a major determinant of his future success.
This January marks the fifteen year anniversary of the opening Bill Cole's Sears Clean Houston franchise. At the time he purchased the franchise in 2003, annual revenue was around $692,000. The combination of hard work and learning from other successful franchise owners allowed Cole to increase yearly revenue to over $3 million in the last fifteen years. Cole states that innovations such as introducing duct cleaning just six months after purchase were key to helping revenue skyrocket.
While Cole has been very successful in his franchise ownership, this does not come without hardships. The last couple of years were difficult as the oil-dependent Houston economy suffered from a significant recession with lower gas prices in the United States. However, this year has been key for building back up to high success levels, and the franchise even reached a record year for air duct cleaning. Hard work is also essential to creating success; Cole knew going into the business that he couldn't expect to work 30 hours a week and be successful, and planned his strategies accordingly.
"If you want to be a successful franchise owner with Sears, you can't expect to come into the office at 9 AM and leave at 5 PM," said Cole. "If you are willing to put in the hard work and have the dedication to continuously grow, it can be a lucrative business."
The hurricane that hit Houston in late 2017 was also tough for the franchisee, as the amount of water was estimated to cover the entire United States about a half-inch deep. With parts of the city underwater and roads completely flooded long after the hurricane, most customers were looking for disaster relief--not clean carpets.
Instead of awaiting defeat, Cole and his employees adapted to the situation. With employees experienced in drying out structures, water extraction and donation help from other franchise-owners in procuring much-needed equipment; they were able to target areas that needed that type of service.
Bill Cole's quick thinking and aggressive marketing strategies to the areas that needed him most were not only lucrative in a time where most people were not seeking carpet or air duct cleaning, but even earned him new customers and record-breaking September revenues. Opportunistic strategies and being able to adjust quickly to hardship are what make Bill Cole such a successful franchise owner.
The incredible success that Bill Cole and his Sears Clean franchise have experienced are not because of knowledge of any particular industry, but because of the strategies and opportunistic ideas he learned in his previous career. Gathering momentum because of marketing strategies and understanding that being a Sears Clean franchise owner is not a hands-off job gave Cole a leg up when he first started, and continue to help him succeed.