'This job has been the best of both worlds'

Scott Brooks has been in situations that most of us will never experience as a former fireman, and though he's no longer in that career, he found a new one that still gives him the ultimate satisfaction of helping others when they need it most.

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The 54-year-old Winchester, Va., resident is the Emergency Recovery Coordinator with Paul Davis Restoration of Northern Virginia, one of the most trusted brands in the insurance restoration industry. Brooks is the first person a homeowner meets when they contact Paul Davis after suffering catastrophic damage to their home from fire, water, storms or other events.

"This job has been the best of both worlds," said Brooks, who has been with Paul Davis for four years. "I am able to help families in their times of need and I am able to continue fellowship and support of my brother and sister firefighters."

Brooks spent seven years with the Chancellor Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department in Spotsylvania County and was a fireman with the Fredericksburg Fire Department for 13 years.

He recalled being a part of teams that were able to revive three people by CPR over the course of three consecutive 24-hour shifts.

"We were simply doing the job we had been trained to do," Brooks said. "I was never a hero, but I was able to work with a lot of people, that are to this day, heroes in my eyes."

Brooks left firefighting after suffering an injury on the job and he and his wife, Erika, moved to Texas for three years. But after missing family they decided to return to northern Virginia and that's when Erika sent Scott's resume to Paul Davis, where his qualifications seemed like a perfect fit.

"I didn't even know that the Emergency Recovery Coordinator role existed and I did not know what the job entailed," Brooks said. "I was thrilled to interview and was offered the position."

Since 1966, Paul Davis has been at the forefront of innovation in the property damage emergency services and restoration industry by pioneering such things as three-day drying and new water damage assessment and monitoring technology. Customer calls are returned within 30 minutes of first contact, teams are onsite within hours and all work is thoroughly documented.

"Since I am the first person the homeowner meets from Paul Davis, my role is critical and takes a person who is understanding and sympathetic to the situation the homeowner is going through," said Brooks.

"I pride myself in helping people by going above and beyond what they may or may not expect. I want to be the person they trust and can count on to be the right person to help them in a very stressful time."

With more than 300 locations in the US and Canada, Paul Davis is continually growing, and it seems like a perfect fit for individuals who have a background similar to Brooks and are looking to either own or work for a local franchise.

"When I arrive on a fire scene, I understand what is happening. I have lived it and experienced it. I can relate to the situation and guide homeowners throughout the process," Brooks said. "A fire scene can be described as organized chaos and staying back and letting the firefighters do their job is critical. Once the smoke is gone and the fire department has left, that is when my work begins."

While at Paul Davis, Brooks has taken the initiative on several projects that give back to the fire service, including a charity golf tournament that will benefit the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation on an annual basis.

Seeing the commitment Brooks has to Paul Davis, as well as the firefighting community, it's no surprise when he relates the story of a woman who had lost her husband in a house fire. Paul Davis was contacted to secure the property where the woman had inadvertently left her wedding rings after applying some lotion on the day of the fire, which had consumed the entire second floor of the couple's home.

When Brooks asked the woman if she needed anything from the home, she said she would love to have her rings but thought their recovery was not possible. "With her permission, I spent three days digging in the hot July heat searching for her rings," Brooks said. "Just as I was about to give up, I noticed that a pile of debris I had just put in the sifter contained her rings. I was also able to find her grandmother's jewelry. I felt at peace knowing I was able to give her back a precious gift - her rings.

"Paul Davis is more than a company. Paul Davis is family caring for families. We truly care about the people we work for and the community we are in. I am truly happy I landed in this organization and that they allow me to do the things I do and to grow in the company.

There are a lot of restoration companies out there, but nothing like Paul Davis and the people that work at each and every office."

About Paul Davis Restoration

For more than 50 years, Paul Davis Restoration has restored residential and commercial properties damaged by fire, water, mold, storms and disasters.

The experts at Paul Davis understand the complex process of recovering from property damage and provide complete services; there is no need for the expense and confusion of hiring multiple contractors. Paul Davis is a one-stop shop for disaster damage and restoration.

Paul Davis Restoration has more than 300 independently owned franchises in the USA and Canada. The professionals at Paul Davis are certified in emergency restoration, reconstruction and remodeling. http://pauldavis.com/.

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According to the IFA, veterans account for about 7% of our population but 14% of franchisees are veterans! In addition, veterans are far more likely to hire other veterans for jobs within their companies. It shouldn't be hard to understand why.

Among other disciplined attributes, veterans aren't likely to sweat small problems. Many of them have seen the worst of humanity, have been shot at and more. It's pretty tough to rattle their cages over an unreturned phone call.

Here's what three veterans have to say about their lives as franchisees:

Ron Finch is a franchise owner with Enviro-Master Services, North America's leading health and safety-focused commercial cleaning service that has doubled in size since 2012. A favorite among veterans, Enviro-Master offers a 25 percent discount to former military members. "Veterans are equipped with the most important qualities for running a business," said the 46-year-old Finch.

"I would tell any veteran to keep their nose to the grindstone, because it's going to be a lot of work. However, the reward is great; the ability to make a difference in others' lives, to make a difference in the community where you live and financial independence and autonomy for yourself."

Finch, a Mobile, Alabama resident who purchased an existing Enviro-Master franchise in July 2018, serves commercial businesses throughout the Florida Panhandle and the Gulf Coast regions of Alabama and Mississippi.

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Paul Holt served in the U.S. Army for 21 years and after retiring from Fort Bragg, he decided it would be a perfect match to take his attention to detail and combine it with his interest in the residential home market by joining the No. 1 home inspection company in North America, Pillar To Post Home Inspectors.

Said Holt,

"As a soldier I was trained to look at projects in finite detail, as well as from a macro vantage point. Dedication to the accomplishment of my mission was paramount. I work until the job is done, not when the clock says it's time to go home.

These are the characteristics that I counted on when I made the move into my own business and so far they have served me well on this new career path."

Pillar To Post Home Inspectors is a member of VetFran, a program of the International Franchise Association that helps vets purchase franchises and the company has achieved 5-star status in that program, the top ranking possible.

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Keith Young was already a successful franchise owner with FirstService Brands, the leading North American brand in the property services industry. So when he sold his CertaPro Painters of Central Houston franchise after 10 years, he didn't have to look far for his next opportunity.

The 48-year-old Young stayed within the FirstService Brands family and became a franchise owner with Floor Coverings International, visiting customers' homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers. His Floor Coverings International serves customers throughout Houston and the surrounding areas.

Young is also a U.S. Navy veteran, who has put an emphasis on hiring veterans in the past and plans to continue that practice with Floor Coverings International.

"I will be hiring a sales associate before the end of 2019," Young said. "Military veterans make very successful franchise owners and employees since they know how to follow a proven system and take responsibility for achieving their objectives", Young shared.

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We Salute all Who Serve and Have Served on this Veterans Day!


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Here is the obvious point: most restaurants cannot make money on delivery.

Domino's with its industrial strength pizza and 20 years of technology is the exception.

Restaurants need to drive people from their smartphones to the restaurant's location -- you got an app for that Braam? Grub Hub.png

Having worked alongside entrepreneurs and small-business owners for the last decade, Resa Kierstein, a former corporate fundraiser and mover and shaker in her world, finally decided it was time to join the ranks of those she's been raising funds for- and she did it in style.

The 45-year-old Kierstein recently launched her Floor Coverings International franchise, visiting customers' homes in a Mobile Flooring Showroom stocked with thousands of flooring samples from top manufacturers.

Floor Coverings International of Great Falls marks the franchisor's first location in Virginia, not unnoticed is the fact that a talented female breaks the state open for future franchisees who are looking for one of the top franchise opportunities in North America.

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Kierstein was formerly vice president of fundraising and development for a national non-profit whose focus was assisting small-business owners in starting, running and growing their businesses.

"I'm thrilled to be utilizing my past business skills and offering this great mobile service to homeowners here," Kierstein said.

"I've completely divested myself from my comfort zone of a corporate career and am beyond excited to bring Floor Coverings International's passion for a 'customer first' experience to our area." Floor Coverings International, Great Falls serves customers in Sterling, Reston, Herndon, Great Falls, McLean, Ashburn, Fairfax and Prince William in the state of Virginia.

Kierstein's mother also owns and operates a small business.

"My mom instilled the entrepreneurial spirit in me at a young age," Kierstein said. "I watched her and thousands of business owners in my previous job become highly successful contributors to their communities, while employing others and supporting their families. Their enthusiasm and passion finally rubbed off and I made the decision to join them and live the American dream."

In Floor Coverings International, Kierstein found a company that has tripled in size since 2005 by putting a laser focus on consumer buying habits and expressed desires, its impressive operating model, growth ability, marketing, advertising and merchandising. Floor Coverings International further separates itself from the competition through its customer experience, made up of several simple and integrated steps that exceed customers' expectations. They arrive at the customer's door with more than 3,000 flooring choices. Floor Coverings International has 150-plus locations throughout the U.S. and Canada with plenty of opportunity for continued expansion in 2019, including the rest of Virginia. Kierstein added that Floor Coverings International, Great Falls holds a Class A Virginia contractor's license.

"It is the highest standard in the state and will set Floor Coverings International apart, potentially, from others in the home services industry," she said.

Lastly, Floor Coverings International also has a very strong commitment to community involvement, led by CEO Tom Wood. That struck a chord with Kierstein.

"A key component of our business is our support for charitable organizations in our community and fulfilling a personal passion for giving back," Kierstein said.

For information on a franchise visit www.flooring-franchise.com

For more information or to reach Resa Kierstein click on Floor Coverings International of Great Fallsor call 703-466-0853.

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"Great service and attitude will help you grow"

(Fayetteville, Arkansas) As the birthplace and home of Walmart, Arkansas is a great place for an entrepreneur to shine. The region has proven to be perfect for Aaron Lewis.

He opened CertaPro Painters of Fayetteville in 2006 with his wife and business partner Michelle. Soon they added two employees.

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Today the couple boasts a thriving business that employs 60 people. Securing contracts with huge brands like Target and Bass Pro Shops helped the couple's business grow revenue exponentially, reaching more than $3 million during the last consecutive three years.

Lewis claims his success is owed in part to watching his grandfather run a profitable insurance company in the river valley of Arkansas which began in 1947. The business eventually went to Lewis's father, then to his brother and 70 years later is still a success. Lewis inherited his grandfather's business acumen and philanthropic heart and adopted his strategies which were to run and create a family business.

"I've always been keenly aware that the struggle is real for small businesses," Lewis said. "I don't think I would own a business outside of a franchise, and CertaPro was the perfect fit for my family because it offered support, a solid reputation and the freedom to work remotely so I could spend time with my family."

As the largest residential painting contractor in North America, CertaPro's success is owed to its corporate leadership, solid training and support programs and to its franchisees.

The company's locally owned and operated businesses consistently bring personalized service to customers in every region.

Lewis's franchise location embodies CertaPro's core values, which are centered on delivering integrity, practicing continuous improvement and taking pride in even the smallest details of the work they perform.

Drawing pride and inspiration from the strong values set by the CertaPro Painters system and his grandfather, Lewis said,

"My lifelong goal is to build a business like my grandfather did that serves as a conduit for generosity and social problem solving."

The path to success is hardly ever an easy one. After growing up without parents and raising his siblings from a young age, Lewis's grandfather started a bank to help others in the community. The success of the bank quickly fueled a local construction boom, with the first subdivisions and modern homes being built in the community.

At only 39, Lewis has a long way to go before reaching the legacy of generosity that his grandfather left, but it's in his DNA and in his business plan!

He and Michelle are already giving back to his state. The couple has set a goal of protecting 1,000 miles of wild streams in rural Arkansas. They are also building a citizenship program that focuses on work visas to help workers migrate successfully into US employment. The company employs several legal immigrant workers and enjoys watching them learn, grow and flourish into great workers who in turn, take care of their families.

"That's what it means to build a legacy and help others build new lives using the opportunities afforded them here in America," said Lewis. "I want to leave a legacy of helping people that have fewer opportunities than I do", says Lewis.

"I see business as a way to help solve many social problems including immigration".

CertaPro Painters of Fayetteville serves a wide area encompassing Northwest Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Commercial and residential painting is an estimated $60 billion industry in the U.S. and Canada.

CertaPro Painters has been consistently ranked No. 1 in its category by Entrepreneur magazine and boasts a customer referral rate that exceeds 95 percent. Best-in-class operational systems and procedures make CertaPro the most professional business model in the industry, and its satisfied customers are the direct benefactors.

What's more, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of actively employed painting and wall-covering contractors will increase by 38.5 percent during the 10-year period from 2010 to 2020. The bureau further concluded that sales of residential painting services are likely to increase by an annual rate of three to four percent during the same period.

For more information click on CertaPro Painters of Fayetteville or call 479-587-1250.

For more information click on a buying a CertaPro Painter Franchise

About CertaPro Painters

Founded in 1992, Audubon, Pennsylvania-based CertaPro Painters is the largest painting company in North America. With more than 350 independently owned and operated franchises worldwide, CertaPro provides a customer-driven painting experience for both residential and commercial properties that is unparalleled in the industry (both residential and commercial). The company's stellar service and proven business system have made CertaPro North America's most referred painting company. For more information, visit www.certapro.com

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How You Can Partner With Your Best Friend in the Top Painting Franchise, CertaPro Painters...

Chris Mehring and Steve Leeland began their journey with CertaPro Painters® in 2002 and 2003, respectively. They didn't know each other at the time, though their territories all but overlapped.

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So, it made perfect business sense when the two joined forces in 2012, forming one of the biggest and most successful CertaPro Painters franchises to date.

CertaPro Painters is North America's largest and most-referred painting company with more than 350 locations and growing. "CertaPro Painters of Waukesha County proudly services every zip code in Waukesha County except one, four zip codes in Washington County and one zip code in Walworth County. We also service areas of SE Wisconsin for some commercial projects," said Leeland.

For Mehring, who started his career as a painter, the transition to CertaPro Painters was a natural one. "I'm not sure I ever really 'left'. I simply transitioned from painter to franchise manager (for a different company) to franchisee. I was 25 years old at the time, and had already delivered great results for my employer, so CertaPro Painters was the next logical step for me."

Steve Leeland says he knew since the 8th grade that he wanted to own his own business. He began his career at Auto Trader Magazines of Wisconsin where he sold advertising and managed circulation. "I knew the corporate world wasn't for me," explained Leeland.

"The experience of servicing customers and wearing many hats with Auto Traders proved to be an asset in my early years as a CertaPro Painters owner, though, so I do value those years that I spent 'in the trenches'".

Leeland says the driving force that led him to CertaPro Painters was the company's culture and clear business plan.

"The culture of friendly support, success and business-execution-clarity are what drove me to sign the franchise agreement. The company was also up and coming and fit well into my budget," he recalled.

Commercial and residential painting is an estimated $40 billion industry in the U.S. and Canada. CertaPro Painters has been consistently ranked No. 1 by Entrepreneur magazine in its category and boasts a customer referral rate that exceeds 95 percent.

Best-in-class operational systems and procedures make CertaPro Painters the most professional business model in the industry, and its satisfied customers are the direct benefactors.

The pair agree that there is no 'secret to their success', but the right attitude and perseverance certainly play a key role - a fact they both wholeheartedly agree on.

"I get more enjoyment from the impact we have on people and their community than anything else," says Mehring. "Everyone wants a good value, but that means something different to each person, so it is important that we listen.

We create painting opportunities that fit each individual customer's needs." Leeland adds, "Our customers are not only looking for quality work at a great price; they are looking for a partner in their contractor. We work together to solve problems and find the best products to suit their needs."

When asked about advice they might offer to prospective business owners, their philosophies were, again, right in line. "My path hasn't been easy," said Mehring, "but it has been when I needed to get me to where I am today. I wake up every day excited and ready to face new challenges.

If that scenario appeals to you, then I recommend business ownership."

"Starting a business requires a lot of hard work," agrees Leeland. "You have to remain committed to succeed, but the long-term rewards - such as profits, flexibility and a sense of accomplishment - make it all well worth it."

CertaPro Painters® of Waukesha County, WI is pleased to provide the best house painting to your specific neighborhood in and around Waukesha. For more information, visit CertaPro Painters® of Waukesha County, WI or call 262-676-2138.

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About the Franchisor: CertaPro Painters

Founded in 1992, Audubon, Pennsylvania-based CertaPro Painters is the largest painting company in North America. With more than 350 independently owned and operated franchises worldwide, CertaPro provides a customer-driven painting experience for both residential and commercial properties that is unparalleled in the industry (both residential and commercial).

The company's stellar service and proven business system have made CertaPro North America's most referred painting company. For more information, visit www.certapro.com

Rhonda Sanderson -SandersonPR -847-612-9829

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How Effective are Your Email Campaigns?

Converting those prospects into franchise sales appointments? Or could you use some help?

New templates, perhaps?

"Our own sales teams at LinkedIn swear by these: five core templates to suit different prospects, different situations, and different stages of the buyer journey"

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Personally, although I love LinkedIn's platform, I have serious doubts that I would ever respond to this type email, favourably respond.

I am more likely to swear at it, and not by it.

"Lost for words? Here's your starting template for inspiration:

Subject line:

[Prospect Name], Jessie recommended I reach out

Blah, blah and who cares what the message is. Because, in my experience, these types of messages never end well -- for me.

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And sure enough, if morbid curiousity drove me on, I find the following "offer", which is to do someone's homework for free.

Message:

Hi [Prospect Name],

Our mutual connection, [connection name], and I were talking recently about [hot topic]. She said you were an expert on this issue.

I'm writing an article about [hot topic] because it's relevant, timely, yet confusing to many of my customers. Can I include your perspective, [Prospect Name]?

Regards, [Your Name]

Sure, here is my perspective: Read and quote any of the 18 articles I have written on the topic. And no, I don't want coffee.

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(Note to self: disconnect from "Jessie" as soon as possible.)

So, if not LinkedIn templates, what is the powerful sales too you might be missing out on? Conversational talk -- because you would never use any of these words, or the sentences, in this template when talking face to face. So, don't use them in an email. You are welcome, no coffee required.

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Here are (3) dangers lurking with the delivery apps.

1. Traffic mismatch. The guest can use your brand's app or a 3rd party delivery app. If the latter, your brand has to pay a commission.

2. The delivery app is going send your customers to a nearby competitor, if they can make a food delivery sale.

3. When something goes wrong with the order, your brand will be blamed -- even if you aren't responsible for the delivery.

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What are the alternatives?

1. "Jimmy John's is satisfying customers one sandwich at a time -- but what if you don't live in one of chain's highly coveted zones?

Well, the sandwich maker might just buy you a house.

Jimmy John's announced its "Home in the Zone" contest this week, a first-of-its kind competition where a deserving superfan will win a new home within one of Jimmy John's famous five-minute delivery zones."

2. Panera is accessing new customers from the aggregators, but not using their delivery service.

"We're open to it now because it's additive and, very importantly, the customer experience is protected.

There's a standard of quality that we believe in, and the economics work for us and very importantly, for our franchisees, which a lot of these models don't," Wegiel says.

He says delivery companies told Panera it was one of the top search brands on their sites. Panera was only willing to partner up, however, if aggregators agreed to some conditions.

The company wanted to ensure a deal would add incremental volume instead of cannibalizing what it had already built, which was confirmed through testing."

3. Domino's, the acknowledged leader in pizza delivery, says: "Despite the pressure, Dominoʼs is not planning to partner with a delivery site.

Allison said that he doesnʼt think partnering with third-party platforms creates incremental sales, and that those platforms will end up hurting restaurant profits."

For more, see the discussion on LinkedIn, below.

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