A Mr. Rooter ® Publication

2017 Edition 2

Find your WHY . HOW . Mr. Rooter ® Plumbing is


CONTENTS Edition 2 2017


Making our Business Bigger and Better


Mr. Rooter® Plumbing is HOW. Find your WHY. Budgeting: Plan and Control your Resources

7 9

Easy Listening

10 12 14 16 18 22 26 28 30 31 32 33 34 36 37 38 40 42 43

PSP Creates Reunion Excitement Panel of the Pros Overview Menu Price Guide Updating


Marketing Update

Mr. Rooter® Plumbing is HOW. Find your WHY. By: Doyle James

Hiring the Best for the Best

Contribution Margin Equals Profit... The EASY Way!

Voices of Women Reunion Update

Who’s New

Mike Whitlock Presentation

From the Mailbag / ProTradeNet® Update: Cha-Ching!

Franchisee of the Year

MRR Reunion Awards 2017

Award Night Photos

Reunion Photos

Achieving our Full Potential Requires the Whole Neighborhood’s Commitment

Hey Neighbor!

Skilled Trade Talent Drought? Where Are They?

Stephen Covey: Speed of Trust

Career Plug: Franchise Recruiting and Hiring System



Hiring the Best for the Best By: Matthew Lefler

DWYER GROUP, INC. Mike Bidwell, President, CEO Dina-Dwyer Owens, Co-Chair Alesha Yankie, Franchise Development MR. ROOTER, LLC Doyle James, President Glenn Gallas , Vice President of Operations Brenda Payne, Executive Assistant Mark Bruckbauer, Franchise Consultant Don Glovan, Franchise Consultant Bobbi Sullivan, Franchise Consultant Eric Hankins, Franchise Consultant

PROTRADENET LLC Kathleen Seaman, Communications Specialist PRODUCTION Michael McCullough , Creative Manager Cody Peterson, Freelance Graphic Designer Jason Lee , Communications Manager

Matt Lefler, Franchise Consultant Brooke Salinas, Brand Manager

Kimberly Denman , Senior Communications Manager Shelley Blaszak , Senior Communications Manager Megan Boyd , Communications Manager


Hey Neighbor! By: Kimberly Denman

Send PipeLine ideas to


To be a world class company admired for the excellence that customers, franchisees and associates experience with Dwyer Group . OUR VISION


To teach our principles and systems of personal and business success so that all people we touch live happier and more successful lives.

Making our Business

Bigger and Better

Mike Bidwell, President and Chief Executive officer, Dwyer Group®

W e continue to remain busy at Dwyer Group® working to make our business bigger and better. Bigger comes from the acquisitions we have completed, the new franchisees that we recruit into our system and our franchisees’ ability to in- crease their business (same store sales). We launched Neighborly™ in April of this year to assist you with your ability to increase your pool of customers while also reducing your customer acquisition expense. This is a double win – grow sales while reducing your cost. We intend for Neighborly to also improve your ability to retain customers by reducing customer defection and shorten purchase service cycle time. This should further enhance growth and profitability. Next, you must be able to service the additional work associated with the increased sales. We have continued to refine and enhance the RAREtoolbox resources, features and functionality. Turnover is expensive, both in lost revenue and reduced produc- tivity during on-boarding of new (replacement) staff. A well-trained and happy staff generates higher pro- ductivity. This is straightforward stuff, but executing at a high level is not something most companies do. We have been focused on this same concept for our business at Dwyer Group . We also need to reduce employee churn so we can be more productive. Productivity is driven by better efficiency and effec- tiveness (you can have one without the other, which is not what we are after). We have made significant commitments to our internal People Services group by adding several new positions. Over the last year or so, we have hired four HR professionals with advanced degrees and functional experience. Before that, we had none at that level. The result – a 30 percent improve- ment in our year on year turnover results.

We achieved these results by first being inten- tional and making a commitment. We enhanced the sourcing/recruiting/hiring process, the job design process, the on-boarding/training process and the cultural experience. At the same time, working with an HR consulting firm, we did also enhance our benefits where they identified we were not market. It is important to note that wages were not otherwise adjusted – those generally came out okay in the study. The point of emphasis here is to highlight the importance of the things other than wage. People will not stay for wage alone. You must be in the right range, but then you must do the other types of things I referenced above. I recently read a study (forward- ed to me by one of those professionals I referenced) that stated most employees that leave within the first year of hire effectively had made the decision to leave within the first week of employment, regardless of when they ultimately leave. For me, all of this reinforces the importance of paying more attention to recruiting and retention. Our work with the RAREtoolbox is one of our greatest priorities. As an additional enhancement, we are now working to brand the employment experience in a Neighborly or Dwyer service brand franchise. As always, we work to expose best practices into our system. We have been working on other wiring in the background at Headquarters as well. We are staying focused on improving our capabilities, always with an eye to enhance our value proposition to our franchise owners.


Message From The President

Mr. Rooter ® Plumbing is HOW . Find your WHY.

By: Doyle James

A s we continue to challenge ourselves to be the place people want to spend their careers, we have a choice between “money” and “meaning”. I truly believe that people want to have meaning in their chosen profession, more so than money or compensation. As I have always said about delivering customer value – when all things are equal, price wins. In attracting the best team members, when all things are equal, compensation wins. While money is important, if that seems to be the only conversations you have with team members – to be different than the competition, we need to understand why we – as a company, exist. Simon Sinek, author of the book “Start with Why”, challenges us to do just that – figure out the WHY behind what we do every day. While visiting Washington D.C., my family and I stopped in to the Air and Space Museum. As you can imagine – there was a lot of space devoted to the Wright Brothers for their discovery of

you decided to start in this business, you chose “Plumbing and Drainage Service” as your “ What” . Somewhere along the way you wanted a better way to do the What , and Mr. Rooter Plumbing became the How . What is your Why ? If your WHY is right, you are more effective at the HOW . Let’s talk about the HOW we have chosen, the Mr. Rooter Plumbing System. The System goes far beyond a process like the “14 Steps”. It includes the expertise of the Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchisee and headquarters community, trusted relationships that create an environment of sharing, the code of values (respect, integrity, customer focus, having fun) that drives our culture, an innovative application of highly specialized tools and technology, a shared brand that we love and protect, an entrepreneurial spirit that ownership provides, a lifelong learning and growth environment, and – of course, documented processes and procedures that bring all of these components to life. A gut reaction response to the Why question for a business is

“You aremore likely tomake themoney you desire pursuing a why that takes you to a higher purpose.”

sometimes “to make money”. If you think that is your Why , you may not enjoy what you do, and you may even find that focusing on money actually makes it harder to be financially successful. Money is important, but it is simply how we keep score. You are more likely to make the money you desire pursuing a why that takes you to a higher purpose.

flight. Did you know – at the same time – another group funded by the government and staffed with experts was trying to figure out manned flight as well? While they were driven by money and fame, the Wright Brothers were driven by a strong WHY. To illustrate, imagine a target. In the outer ring you have “ what ”, the next ring is “ how ”, and the final one is “ why ”. When


Why is driven by emotion, not logic. It is driven by the portion of the brain that we use for making decisions but cannot create words. So – our challenge is to come up with words that bring the emotion of our Why to the surface. So where do we start on our search for Why ? Let’s talk about a company that I believe started with and continues to build on a strong Why , the Dwyer Group®. “To teach our systems of personal and business success, so that all people we touch live happier, more successful lives”. From the largest to the smallest franchisee, this is a community of people, a family, that is unlike any other I have ever experienced. It was that way in 1989, was the reason I came to work for the Dwyer Group in 1997 and is still just as strong today. Are we the same company we were then as we are today? No. We were virtually unknown back then and are industry leaders today - which we must continually strive for into the future. Let’s break this down into two pieces – Contribution and Impact. The Contribution is what we do to create the Impact, and looks something like this:

continued success and growth of the franchisee network and the stories we hear every day. If you are serious about the long-term success of your organization, start the search to discover the “ why” that will drive you, your team and your company to the next level. Doyle James President Mr. Rooter LLC

Let’s fill in the blanks.

TO Teach Our Systems of Personal and Business Success SO THAT All People We Touch Live Happier More Successful Lives . This statement was written over three decades ago by Don Dwyer. It has stood the test of time. How do we know this – the




Plan & Control Your Resources

By: Glenn Gallas

I t is hard to believe that another Dwyer Group® Reunion is in the history books. This one was truly one that was unbelievably successful. Everything seemed to be in sync from the first hello to the last goodbye. Every time I attend I personally learn something new from one of our incredible franchisees and this time was no exception. In addition to getting to spend time with many of you, we had the opportunity to learn more about our business finances through Mike Whitlock. Mike did an incredible job teaching all of us in a way that we all could understand. One of the important lessons he taught us was about contribution margin; how to calculate it and how to use it in making the financial decisions that affect the stability and profitability of your businesses. Everyone who attended received a handout containing the easy to use formulas and processes to apply contribution margin when making financial decisions. The attendees also received a USB drive containing his valuable lessons. If you were unable to attend be sure to reach out to your Franchise Consultant for a copy of your very own. Now that Reunion is over, it is time to begin your

annual budgeting process. If you have not begun already or need help, please be sure to reach out to your Franchise Consultant. Budgeting is the foundation for all business success. Budgets help with both planning and control of the organization's financial resources. Business planning requires making decisions about strategy and determining business priorities. Controlling ensures that plans and objectives are achieved through management of the implementation process. If there is no control over spending, planning is futile, and if there is no planning, there are no business objectives to achieve. You have tools to simplify the budgeting process within QuickBooks and assistance in Qvinci. Use these tools to make your financial planning simple and less burdensome. Once your budget process is complete, it is then time to adjust your pricing through the utilization of the Menu Pricing Factor Calculator. Failing to charge right for the services you provide is the shortest route to business failure. Do not make the mistake that many small businesses make by not charging right and, in turn, not making the fair profit they deserve. Happy Budgeting!

“If there is no control over spending, planning is futile, and if there is no planning, there are no business objectives to achieve.”


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Easy Listening

Dina Dwyer-Owens, Co-Chairwoman, Dwyer Group® Board of Directors

G rab your earbuds, because there’s something I’m eager for everyone to hear. No, I’m not singing these days! Instead, I’ve had the amazing privilege to be interviewed on some of the world’s best podcasts in recent months and weeks. And I’ve been so honored to share my favorite topic — living and leading with values — with listeners across the country and around the globe. What we’ve accomplished across our Dwyer Group brands is hugely important for the growing conversation about values in the workplace. And as others seek to achieve a culture that promotes doing good in business and in life by also doing what’s right for one’s moral compass, our Code of Values at Dwyer Group is an example to be shared far and wide. Learning the Smart Way Growing up, I credit my father, Don Dwyer, for giving his children (me included) a life lesson by having us listen to motivational tapes from some of the country’s most popular speakers. I would listen to those tapes several times, and then he would test me on the material to see if I got the true message. Who would have guessed that learning by listening would be something I would carry

with me for years to come, and I would one day get to do some of the talking? Plus, what’s even more exciting is today’s technology in delivering those messages. More than 67 million Americans now listen to podcasts monthly, and more than 42 million listen to podcasts weekly. In addition, some 80 percent of listeners will listen to the entire episode of a podcast from start to finish. Plus, like those cassette tapes I wore out growing up, podcast listeners can maximize their learning time by tuning in while commuting to work, working out at the gym, folding laundry, eating lunch or any other task at hand. Reaching as many listeners as possible is now a growing goal for me and for what I want to share about our Dwyer Group brands. Plus, being a guest on a show can be head and shoulders above what it would take to travel somewhere, stay in a hotel, and get on stage to reach a fraction of the audience. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the conversations below. These are some of my favorites in a growing catalog of podcast appearances. Share these with your teams and friends. Send the links to those who need to eavesdrop on a quality conversation. This is where the excitement starts. And it also involves one of my favorite values: “Having fun in the process.”

Pssst- I have the opportunity to share the goods news of Neighborly® on almost every call.

The Ziglar Show: This show focuses on “Inspiring Your True Performance,” has achieved more than 30 million downloads, and I’ve been blessed to be invited twice. Enjoy my conversations

Entrepreneur On Fire: A “Best of" on iTunes, Inc., Fast Company, Entrepreneur and more, this show is on fire. Some 70,000 downloads of my episode are just a glimpse of how far this podcast reaches

with co-hosts Kevin Miller and Tom Ziglar in both shows. Episode #402: Leading Your Life and Business with High Values and Episode #468: Create Your Culture: https:// show/id192820274?mt=2

with host John Lee Dumas and the listening audience he calls “Fire Nation.” Episode #1744: Leading with values with Dina Dwyer-Owens: dinadwyerowens/ The Remarkable Leadership Podcast: Host Kevin Eikenberry is the author of the best-selling book: Remarkable Leadership; Unleashing Your Leadership Potential One Skill at a Time. And he has proven that lessons in leadership are worth the energy for any and all wanting to improve. Episode #30: Leading Through Core Values with Dina Dwyer-Owens: values-dina-dwyer-owens-30/

The Action Catalyst Podcast: Named one of the best business podcasts by Entrepreneur Magazine, I have to add that host Rory Vaden truly lives and leads

with values at heart. And just like our goal to put our values into action at Dwyer Group, Rory is all about how to take action in his show. Episode #186: Value Driven Leadership with Dina Dwyer-Owens: dina-dwyer-owens/



T he Plumbing Specialist Pro – (PSP) was presented at the Dwyer Group® Reunion in Orlando. A Panel of the Pros was moderated by Franc Exley, Mr. Rooter®

Bruckbauer, Mr. Rooter Plumbing Franchise Consultant, presented an overview of the PSP template tool to Mr. Roote r Plumbing franchisees in attendance. These sessions demonstrated the PSP application and provided a framework of how the PSP program will be utilized in the field to manage underground jobs. While the PSP template is not a pricing tool it is integrated with ServiceTitan enabling the Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchisee to capture data and create and track underground sales. Weekly webinars are being developed and will begin in the near future to allow Mr. Rooter Plumbing Franchisees an opportunity to learn how to set up and utilize the PSP tool. A very important first step in preparing to use PSP is to have your Menu Pricing Factor (MPF) updated so that a Mr. Rooter Plumbing Franchisees Price Book is ready to integrate to the PSP tool. Several Mr. Roote r Plumbing franchisees have already asked to be set up with the PSP tool in order to begin familiarizing themselves with the template. Please reach out to Mark Bruckbauer if you would like to have more information about the PSP or would like to be added to the list of Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchisees with logins to the PSP tool. Mark’s contact information is: mark. (254) 745-2541.

Plumbing Sales Trainer. Three long-term Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchisees served as the panel experts and shared their unique methods for performing underground work. Alfonso Jimenez, Mark McGaughy and Scott Hobbs gladly shared their insight with the other Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchisees who attended the seminars. Each of these successful Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchisees operates profitable underground jobs and yet each uses a different organizational structure to accomplish the dig jobs. The Mr. Rooter Plumbing in Denver, Alfonso Jimenez, utilizes an underground system of having several underground crews with a manager per team to lead the underground division. Mark McGaughy, Mr. Rooter Plumbing in Dallas and Waco, has a system which empowers his 26 technicians to individually run their dig projects. Finally, Scott Hobbs, in Panama City, has a dedicated Underground Specialist/Salesman supported by a specific customer service representative to manage his excavation sales. In addition to the informative PSP Panel of the Pros, Mark


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Panel of the Pros OVERVIEW

By: Bobbi Sullivan

Panel of the Pros: Onboarding and Training Panel Members: Mike and Vesna Kolakovic, Scott and Pam Hobbs, Bob and Danielle Beauregard The panel did two sessions during Reunion. We specifically invited couples to be on the panel because Onboarding and Training require very specific skill sets. The following are three of the questions the panel answered. What is your interviewing process? Mike and Vesna believe the entire team is responsible for making hiring decisions. For technicians Mike starts the process by sitting down with the potential candidate for approximately two to two-and-a-half hours. His objective is to get to know the candidate on a personal level and finds that those that have played team sports seem to fit the best. If the technicians make it through the first interview, they are invited to ride along with their three best technicians for one week. At the end of the week the technicians sit down with Mike and his manager, Dominic, to answer the following questions: • Where are they on plumbing skills? And does it match what they said in the original interview? • Are they a team player? • Will they fit the company culture? • Are they likable? Mike says, “If the technicians don’t like them, their customers won’t either.” For CSR/Dispatcher positions Vesna likes to interview approximately 10 candidates. She and her manager, Lori, choose the three best candidates based on the following: • Are they a cultural fit? • Are they loyal and honest? • Are they a team player?

Who is responsible for onboarding and training new technicians? Scott and Pam Hobbs do a thorough Company Orientation, which consists of the following: • Office Administration – Pam reviews job description, employment agreement, new hire paperwork, and company policies. New hires sign off on all that is reviewed. • Introductions – Tour of facilities and employee introductions • Company Standards – Ipads, Overview of Invoices, Plumbing Check-Ups, Advantage Plans, 14 Steps, Payroll, Personal Grooming, Technical Skills for Technicians, Sales and Communications Skills. • Lunch with Management • Time spent with Dispatcher – Scheduling and Communication • Time with Assistant Office Manager – Payroll • Time with Warehouse Manager – Purchase orders, Equipment, Ordering Parts, Truck Maintenance • Time with Operations Manager – 14 Steps, Sales and Communication How do you improve individual and team development? Bob and Danielle Beauregard see this as everyone’s responsibility and strive for a family-like atmosphere in their shop. Bob oversees all the technical development with new technicians and Daniele oversees the CSR/ Dispatcher development. Team development is accomplished through the following: • Weekly technician meetings and monthly “all team” meetings. • Contests for technicians and office personnel • Team Activities – they try to do a team activity each quarter, such as bowling, cook-outs and holiday parties. The panel was very well received, and we had a lot of audience participation. Each of the panel members invited franchisees to reach out to them if they wanted more information on the subject. • Review Employee Manual and Safety Manual • Q&A – Bonding time with new employee

• Do they have a fun, likable personality? • Do they have good communication skills? • Are they comfortable with technology?

The three best candidates move to phase two, which is an interview with Mike and Domenic. They are looking for someone that has “thick skin” and can handle working with the technicians. They give them insight into a day in the life of a technician. The final decision is made by the four of them.



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By: Don Glovan

W hat is the Menu Pricing Guide and why is a detailed pricing structure important? Your Menu Pricing Guide has the services you offer and the pricing it needs to be at for you to earn a profit from your investment into the business. When you originally started, you calculated all your costs, added profit and then you were done…at that moment. However, costs change over time; material increases, new equipment leases, added employee benefits, added office staff, added marketing campaigns, etc. All of these costs, and more, affect the financial suc- cess of your company. If you don’t include these additional costs in your selling price, they must be paid for somehow…it’s like reaching in to your pocket and paying for them with your personal money, bad news and the wrong way to run your business. Here’s the good news, you can account for those additional costs in a few easy steps and have your new selling price on the street in 24 hours! You’ll need to have the following items to update your pricing; 1) Your current budget, 2) The MPF Calculator, 3) Access to your ServiceTitan Pricebook. Utilizing your current budget (What??? You don’t have a budget…contact your Franchise Consultant to assist you with this!) to complete the MPF calculator. The calculator has three sections to complete using your budget.

Inside your ServiceTitan, your Pricebook will have several tabs. For just updating your Menu Pricing Factor, go to the Price Setup tab. You can update your pricing globally for all services in your price book. Or you can update just a category or sub-category. Once you’ve entered your data and press Next, you have the opportunity to review each service for current pricing and new pricing. If all is good, press Save and your Pricebook is updated and available for your technicians to download to their iPad. For updating materials, got to the Materials tab for access to individual material items. Once your materials have been updated, you need to continue with the same process of updating your Menu Pricing Factor by: Globally, Category or Sub-Category, followed by a review of the Current pricing and New pricing. By following these steps, you’ll have the most up-to-date Pricebook in your technician’s hands and have you earning the profit your investment has been designed for. Contact your Franchise Consultant for more information. Keep in mind there are many factors in having a profit besides planning for a profit. Always keep your bookkeeping and accounting practices current, monitor your jobs costs & labor costs on every job. Whenever you have an added expense in any area of your business, they must be included in your cost of doing business.

Section 1) The fixed costs or G&A portion of your budget, including any debt you owe. A

fixed cost is anything you have to spend money on every month regardless if you generate revenue or not, such as rent, advertising, office staff payroll, insurance payments, etc.

Section 2) The variable costs, or cost of goods sold,

portion of your budget. A variable cost is anything related to a call for service, such as technician pay, vehicle fuel, material, equipment rental, permits, drain maintenance products, etc.

Section 3) Final calculations. In this section you will add for your profit percentage, number of vans running service or doing

installations and your team’s efficiency. The end result will be the standard rate in your Pricebook.

“Always keep your bookkeeping and accounting practices current, monitor your jobs costs & labor costs on every job.”


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Vice President - Sales |

Marketing Update

Neighborly / Neighbourly At Reunion, we encouraged franchisees to do three items to help drive the Neighborly program. Those three things are the following:

By: Brooke Salinas

T he Mr. Rooter® Plumbing marketing focus for 2017 is to continue to increase the awareness of Mr. Rooter in the marketplace with select branding and lead generation partnerships to

become the plumber of choice for our ideal target audience. As a reminder, our marketing efforts will focus on the following objectives for 2017. • Brand Awareness • Search Engine Optimization/Lead Optimization • Search Engine Marketing/Lead Generation • Customer Relationship Marketing • Cross Marketing with Neighborly™/Neighbourly™ As we think about planning marketing tactics, we always keep in mind our core Brand Target customer- the affluent, 45+, “Baby Boomer” Women as the core target market, but keeping in mind that men are very influential in the purchase decision. We know that 60% or our revenue comes from 29% or our customers and the opportunity is to understand the characteristics that make up those customers and find more customers like them that we can turn into a loyal cheerleader customer of Mr. Rooter . The National Advertising Fund consist of the following tactics*: • National YouTube Pre Roll • Remarketing Ads on Google and Facebook (US) • National Cable TV flight (Q1 2018) US • National SEO content, strategies and blogs • SEO enhancements such as Google Analytics and conversion tracking • Online Directory and Listings management (US)

For Decal order information, please reference this information below:

Magnets/Leave Behinds Magnets are an excellent tactic and can be used even without a fully formed cross marketing group. Your brand’s Local Marketing Support Team can assist with the layout and artwork. Remember to add local tracking numbers on all marketing pieces when applicable. Some of the reasons magnets work: • Inexpensive & easy to order • Great customer leave behind, one they will keep • Perfect home show giveaway • Long marketing life • Test response rates exceed 4% with a $27 customer acquisition cost Capture emails • Collect accurate customer data ( i.e., emails, cell #’s) to ensure national CRM tactics deliver maximum results • Did you know you can check your email capture rate at any time? Log onto your CES profile via the Single Sign On button on Franconnect. Selection “Franchise Metric Reporting”. From there, you can see your email capture rate as well as email metrics from all the campaigns being sent out to your customers.

• Lead Generation • Mobile Marketing

• Banner Ad (CA) • Live Chat (CA) • Lead Optimization website testing • Customer Relationship Marketing program • Online Reputation Management • Cross Marketing - and *SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Quarter 3 2017 Recap US Total Calls (National Programs) = 17,710 US Booked Calls (Opportunities) = 9,029 US Call to Opportunity Rate = 50.9% Website Total Traffic = 14% Website Organic Traffic = 36% Website Form Leads Total = 4,825 US Website National Calls = 14% decrease US Website Local Calls = 83,091

Make sure you are reviewing the Mr. Rooter Quarterly Business Update (QBU) send out each quarter to get the latest results from the Advertising Fund reporting.


Co-Branded Magnets Program Info.

Co-branded Neighborly™ refrigerator magnets are now available through ProTradeNet ® printing vendors. Local markets with three or more brands can order with ease and experience shorter lead times with our pre-designed templates.

Why co-branded magnets?

• Cross marketing groups can lower local marketing expense. • Above average response rate; over 400% higher rate than direct mail. • Enhances national and local marketing efforts. • Raises your brand’s customer retention and awareness. • Drives traffic to to deliver leads for all brands. • Adds value to customer experience by giving one place to find home services.

Need to reach out to the neighboring owners in your area?

• Go to the Find a Neighbor map tool to download a list of owners in your area.

• Contact your Franchise Consultant for help if you need a login to the map tool.

• Contact your neighbors and see who would like to participate in the magnet program and obtain local tracking phone numbers for each brand. • Take number of brands participating and divide total magnet cost by number of brands. (or divide cost how you see fit depending on demand)

• Choose one owner to place order and pay. (participating franchisees can pay that owner their portion)

• For more information on local cross marketing, please see the Cross Marketing Playbook

We’reEverywhereYou Look


Neighborly™ and the Neighborly logo are registered trademarks of Dwyer Group.

Hiring theBest for the Best

By: Matthew Lefler

T he voices of the trades cry out the same message continually: “I just can’t find good people.” While it is true there is a shrinking market for tradesmen, and a lot of people seem to trace this back to the Recession of 2008, this doesn’t have to be something you blindly accept. Despite the theories behind the shortage, there is a simple question to ask: what are you doing about it? What proactive approach are you doing to attract young and ambitious talent to your organization? Plumbing is a learned trade, and unless someone grew up with a plumber for a dad, the chances of someone blindly choosing to become a plumber isn’t too likely. This is not a criticism of the trade by any means. In fact, it is a challenge. Plumbing—and labor trades as a whole—has gotten a bad rap and there is a stigma attached to it. As plumbers and advocates for the trade, it is our responsibility to highlight all the benefits of going into a trade like plumbing. Sure, we can blame this on the school system for cutting trade schools and programs, but that isn’t productive: it’s time to focus on solutions. Simply

put, you are the best recruiter and advocate there can be for the business: you are a Mr. Rooter® Plumbing plumber, and if you truly believe we are the best in the field (as we all believe it here), then you are recruiting people that have a chance to be part of a winning and elite team. Believe what you say, and others will believe it too. Be the voice of the voiceless in the trades. You may have to reach out of your comfort zone and consider someone “green,” but the investment could yield major results. People can be trained to be plumbers or drain cleaners, so how about focusing on other skills that a person could bring to the table. You may be surprised how many people might take interest in working as a plumber once all the stigmas are wiped away. Focus on the benefits (work-life balance, freedom, culture, compensation, growth potential, among others). Be proud and inspire pride in others to attract ambitious “new” employees. Additionally, there are several strategies that add to the overall allure of joining your company and industry: a polished application process, instant satisfaction about being considered,

“As plumbers and advocates for the trade, it is our responsibility to highlight all the benefits of going into a trade like plumbing.”


$495). To put this investment into perspective, two top HR sources—Center for American Progress (CAP) and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)—state that the average costs for hiring can range from $1,200 to $10,000 per employee, depending on his/her salary range. By simple comparison, it’s clear that CareerPlug is the better investment, allowing you to be proactive instead of reactive. This is your Mr. Rooter Plumbing shop, and if you want to hire the best, you need to be the best at hiring. Be proud and show that Mr. Rooter Plumbing is not what plumbing is typically stereotyped as you purchased a Mr. Rooter Plumbing because you wanted to be part of something special, so give your future employees the same feeling. Be proactive, with the help of CareerPlug, and continue to become the model of success in the franchise system. For more information, contact your Franchise Consultant or myself, Matthew Lefler, at 254-745-5090 or “Finding the people is the first step; the rest is about ensuring you can get them on your teamefficiently, quickly, and ready for success (with as little work and time fromyou as possible).”

and a quick onboarding process in order to quickly allow the person to collect a paycheck (and for you to start driving up your revenue). Breaking each down, a polished application process gives the professional appearance that a lot of trades neglect—strip away the stigma of the trades by showing that you are something different and special; the instant satisfaction of a potential employee knowing he/she is considered is also a large benefit, as it allows the applicant to feel like he/she is being taken seriously—I am sure we all remember applying for jobs and waiting a week or more for an acknowledgment of any kind; lastly, the quick onboarding process speaks for itself: it is that much sooner that an employee can start earning a paycheck. Finding the people is the first step; the rest is about ensuring you can get them on your team efficiently, quickly, and ready for success (with as little work and time from you as possible). This is where CareerPlug comes into play. CareerPlug is a top of the line Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that makes the overall hiring and onboarding process easier. Not only can CareerPlug help with the areas listed above (application process, job notification, and onboarding), but it can help with lots more: job board blasting, electronic legal/HR paperwork, WOTC process, applicant assessments, automated emails/letters/notifications to applicant, customizable screening questions, interview guidance, a multitude of valuable reports, and more! There is no doubt that CareerPlug can add a lot of value and time, contrasting the normally expensive and time-consuming drudgery of finding new employees. As a franchisee of Mr. Rooter Plumbing, you are already enrolled in the Basic Plan for CareerPlug, with the Pro Plan coming to $41.25 per month (paid in a yearly installment of


At Ferguson, nobody expects more from us than we do. And why should they? We’re the ones who set the bar. Who expect more than the industry standard. From the warehouse to the job site, whatever it takes, we’ll take you there. Put us to work for you. Visit

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By: Eric Hankins

G rowing the top-line (revenue) of a business isn’t necessarily a difficult activity. However, ensuring as much revenue as possible makes it way down to the bottom-line in the form of ‘profit’ can seem daunting if not effectively managed. After all, a business can grow its way to bankruptcy if the only measurement that mattered to it was top-line revenue growth. So how does a business owner ensure they are effectively growing revenue while still effectively improving profitability? There are many ways to do this, but one of the most effective ways is to maintain a proper contribution margin. Contribution Margin is calculated very simply: 100 percent - Variable Cost percent = Contribution Margin. This is the same way that a business’ Gross Profit Margin is calculated, but Contribution Margin is viewed a little differently. Simply put, Contribution Margin is ‘what’s left over’. By ‘what’s left over’; we mean after the revenue is calculated and the variable costs to produce that revenue are deducted, it’s ‘what’s left over’ to pay for all fixed costs (which includes owner salaries) and business profits.

How it works: The better your business’ Contribution Margin, the less additional revenue it takes to cover the additional profit, fixed costs, or owner salary. With this in mind, determining the needed additional revenue to cover the increased profit/fixed cost/ salary is simple: Take the planned increase in profit, fixed cost, or salary…and divide it by your Contribution Margin. (Planned Cost Increase ÷ Contribution Margin Percent = Additional Revenue Needed)

See the following tables for examples:


Planned Cost Increase

Additional Revenue Needed

Additional CSR



Additional Profit





Additional Salary

• If you are looking at your P&L and wondering how to improve your profitability…the first place you should look is your Contribution Margin. • If you want to add another Customer Service Representative (CSR) to your office staff and wondering how much revenue needs to be generated to break even…the first place you should look is your Contribution Margin. • If you want to add to your owner’s salary and wondering how much revenue needs to be generated to break even…the first place you should look is your Contribution Margin.


Planned Cost Increase

Additional Revenue Needed

Additional CSR



Additional Profit





Additional Salary

Another way to look at this is to consider that very small changes in Contribution Margin can have a very large impact on your business’ overall profitability. Consider the following scenario. In this scenario, there are four shops in the same town with the first shop being the one that the other three are measured against.



1. Shop number two improved its Contribution Margin by one point by effectively reducing material costs which produced an additional $14,000 in profit.

2. Shop number three decreased its Contribution Margin by one point because it did not effectively manage its purchase orders. This produced a decrease in profit of $14,000. This means that the shop would have to increase sales by almost $30,000 to make up for that difference!

3. Shop four added a sales person and paid them six percent of sales. This reduced the Contribution Margin by six points, which means that the shop would have to produce additional sales of $200,000 to make up for the difference in profit!


“After all, a business can grow its way to bankruptcy if the only measurement that mattered to it was top-line revenue growth.”


This begs the question: “How do I effectively manage my Contribution Margin”? Fortunately, there are many ways to do this. We will focus on three of them in this article: 1) Define Your Profit Goal: How profitable do you want to be? This is a question only you can answer. However, it’s important to determine if you want your business to produce a fixed dollar profit or a percentage. In other words, do you want to make $100,000 profit, or 15 percent? The choice is yours and it’s important that amount is determined as most action plans are built around it. Work with your Franchise Consultant to determine this number. 2) Manage Pricing: When was the last time you determined your Menu Pricing Factor (MPF)? If it’s been more than a year, it’s time to recalculate! Why? Because your costs may have increased, this means that your MPF should also increase to maintain your desired profit. Your P&L is a valuable tool that should be evaluated at least on a monthly basis. One of the things it can do is determine how much you should charge per labor hour. Think about shop number three in the previous scenario. A one percent decrease in Contribution Margin meant at least a two percent increase in revenue to make up for the profit difference! Your Franchise Consultant can help you determine what your MPF should be as well as how to effectively mark up your materials to produce sufficient profit. 3) Manage Discounting: Discounting is a very effective tool to get customers to make a purchase decision. Providing discounts is a great way to show appreciation to First Responders, the Military, or any customer group you want to use. Providing coupons can be

an effective way to help customers decide to contact your shop when they otherwise may not have. However, discounting can be used ineffectively if used at the time of purchase to get the customer to say “yes” to the Tech’s offer. In other words, if the Tech wants to give a ‘standard’ $25 coupon to help them make the decision, those coupons will add up! What is the impact of those coupons? The answer is simple: take the total discount amount and divide by your Contribution Margin. See FIG.1 for an example. In this example, the total coupon values were 2.4 percent of annual sales. At a 48 percent Contribution Margin, this shop has to generate an additional $70,347 in sales to make up the discount. This is a five percent sales increase to make up a 2.4 percent discount! The point is, it is imperative to evaluate the effectiveness of any discounting/coupons you are providing and understand the impact to your Contribution Margin and your profitability. If discounts are given as a means to get every customer to say “yes”, then look at how effective your Technicians are at executing the 14 steps and providing value to the customer as opposed to a price. Coupons are generally designed to give to potential customers to help them make the decision to call for service. They are not generally designed to give to every customer. You can download the ‘Revenue by SKU’ report in ServiceTitan into Excel and sort it by ‘Revenue’ to determine the value of your coupons. You can also use this report to see what prices are being charged versus what they are posted as in your Price Book. In other words, you can see if the SKUs are being discounted or not. Your Franchise Consultant stands ready to assist you with profitability and action steps to improve and/or maintain the profit your business deserves! Let’s use 2018 as the starting point for effective profitability!


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By: Brenda Payne

W hat an exciting time we had at Reunion in sunny Orlando, Florida! We had a record turnout for the Voices of Women with 34 ladies and some of our women from the United Kingdom. I wanted to thank each and every one for attending and participating in the meeting. A special “thank you” to Pam Hobbs and Kathy St. Croix for serving on the VOW Committee and assisting in the coordination and setup of the meeting. In the session portion of our meeting, commenced with roundtable discussions. The tables had a list of topics to choose from for their discussion. These topics ranged from owning/ working at Mr. Rooter® Plumbing, challenges of the business and coaching needs to goals. This was a great time of sharing and networking! Below is an outline of some feedback from the VOW women. To see the full list, it can be found on FranConnect, by visiting library, VOW. What do you like about owning/working at Mr. Rooter Plumbing? • Business vacations • Physical/financial freedom • Daily learning, add to business & opportunities for growth • Employee of choice for our community, giving back to the community • The Mr. Rooter System What do you find challenging being an owner/spouse/ employee? • Creating defined spouse roles • Getting respect for work done, especially from Technicians

• Dealing with staff immaturity • Not knowing what happens next • Employee/Technician concerns and recruiting • Work balance with personal life

What areas do you feel you need the most coaching? • HR: Time Management/Delegation • Decision maker • Supervisor/CSR/Technician training; maintain long term staff • Motivational team building • Spouses: motivate, work w/o criticism, productive feedback • Soft skills classes – Adjective Class (Meg), Dave Ramsey Thank you, ladies for your willingness to share, encourage, support and empower each other! Your ideas have given us a true road map for our upcoming meetings. We will keep you posted on when and where that will be. Let’s continue to serve each other and work together so we can all lead more successful lives! If you have any questions or ideas, please feel free to reach out to myself, Kathy St. Croix or Pam Hobbs; or you can send an email to We also have a Facebook page, just let us know if you would like to be added. Again, thank you for such a powerful VOWMeeting! • Rebuilding the business • ServiceTitan/Quickbooks


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