Some of you may have heard that I recently bought a franchise called Preservan. Some folks were shocked that I would do such a thing since I already owned a thriving window restoration business for the last 13 years with Austin Historical, but I had a couple very good reasons and they may actually apply to you as well.
What is Preservan?
Preservan is a home service franchise that fixes wood rot. Doing historic restoration for years (and living in Florida) I’m well acquainted with wood rot and the myriad of ways that people fix it (some not good…ahem…Bondo!).
My friend Ty McBride in Oklahoma started the business and proved to me that by using a shop contained entirely in a van (more accurately a Kia Soul) his company could serve more people, serve them faster, and make money at the same time all while providing a quality service.
The great thing about what Preservan accomplishes is that it provides a solution to wood rot that focuses on three areas that make a lot of sense to me.
- Affordable – Compared to replacing big chunks of your house when only a small section is rotten, or even the cost to restore windows, simply repairing the wood rot using the long lasting structural wood epoxies I was already familiar with was a no brainer to bring the price of restoration way down.
- Convenient – No more waiting months for a busy contractor or waiting for the lumberyard to get your piece of trim back in stock. With Preservan the only material needed is the epoxy which is stocked in the van and ready to go. Most jobs are finished in just a couple days and we often start the same day as the assessment. My other company can’t compete with that kind of timeline.
- Sustainable – I hate throwing stuff away, especially old-growth wood when 90% of it is fine. By using epoxy to repair only the damaged sections of the house we get to keep tons of waste out of the landfill. Everybody wins with this one.
Why Did I Buy a Franchise?
You may be thinking, “that all sounds great Scott, but why would you, an experienced business owner, buy a franchise when you could start your own wood rot company?”
Great question! As someone who has started and grown a couple businesses I am very well acquainted with the trials and tribulations of starting a business. It’s not all butterflies and rainbows. It’s hard freaking work and it doesn’t pay well for a while in most cases.
Starting a Preservan franchise though is a different story. Sure, there is an upfront franchisee fee and I have to send a small percentage of revenues to the home office, but so much of the hard work was done for me.
I didn’t have to design a logo, create marketing materials, make a website, research which vehicle works best, develop a pricing model, write SOPs, develop customer service programs, of any of that other stuff. The home office did all that for me so what would have taken me 2 years to figure out and pay for they just served up on a silver platter.
Not to mention I get a built-in business advisor when we encounter issues or have questions. The ability to simply pick up the phone and ask about the multitude of issues that come up on a daily basis in your business is invaluable. It’s not just a business coach, it’s a team of people running the exact same business as yours just with years more experience.
What This Means For You
Just like anything on this blog, I like to test the waters of something whether it’s a product or a process (in this case it’s a company) before sharing it with you. I know a lot of you are DIYers who like the satisfaction of working with your hands and actually seeing the physical results of your hard work, but you’re hesitant to start a restoration business, and understandably so. Will it make money? Can you pay the bills? All valid questions you should always ask.
Is starting a Preservan franchise right for you? I honestly don’t know, but I can tell you that if you have ever thought of a career in the trades Preservan is something you should take a look at. Being a business owner is exciting and frightening at the same time, and the potential rewards are huge. I’m not just talking about financial rewards (that part is a must), but also the rewards of saving some history and seeing the fruits of your labor as you drive all around town.
I will say that buying a Preservan franchise has, for me, been the easiest business I have ever started. It’s the closest thing to a business in a box in the restoration field. In my case, the week we launched we booked three jobs right out of the gate and have been keeping busy ever since.
If you’re willing to put in the hard work then I do think this may be a good option for you to consider. The experience has been positive enough for me to ask Ty to give me permission to promote the franchises because I feel that the more Preservan owners there are out there the less stuff ends up in the landfill which helps us all.
For some of you it may be an opportunity to get out of the corporate grind. As the franchisee you decide when and where you work which allows for the elusive work/life balance. Plus your earnings are not capped by a boss any longer, rather you get to decide how much you make by how much you grow your franchise.
If you are curious about Preservan visit this page to learn a little bit more and start the franchise exploration process. If you’re the kind of person who this is the right choice for then soon we’ll get to jump on those monthly franchisee meetings together someday!
Full disclosure: If you do decide to become a Preservan franchisee I receive a commission at no expense to you; however, just like anything on this blog I only recommend things I believe in whole-heartedly.
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
I love old houses, working with my hands, and teaching others the excitment of doing it yourself! Everything is teachable if you only give it the chance.