Building a Residential Service Business, all the right moves

Lenny Siers iundefineds a multi-brand franchise owner offering Benjamin Franklin Plumbing®, One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® and Mister Sparky® electric services to homeowners in northwest Florida. He also recently expanded his plumbing and HVAC services to northern Alabama.

He is a leader and advocate for the Clockwork, Inc., family of brands. After spending eight years in active duty for the United States Air Force, Siers used his training in HVAC and mechanical systems to start his own contracting business. In 2005, Siers joined the One Hour brand. He added Benjamin Franklin Plumbing in 2010 and Mister Sparky electric in 2017. Today, Siers’ businesses operate a fleet of more than 120 residential service vans.

How did you get your start as a residential service contractor?

I started out with one truck after spending seven years in the Air Force. When I joined One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning I began to experience a great deal of success and felt I had mastered that side of the residential service business. Around 2010, I saw the need for a good, professional residential plumbing company in the northwest Florida territory. Thanks to the training, processes and support systems offered by Benjamin Franklin Plumbing, my team was able to grow that side of the business. Last year we added Mister Sparky electric. Without the systems that the franchise offered, I might have shut down within the first couple years. It’s always a struggle to start up a business, but it’s much harder when you don’t have the established consistency a franchise offers or the mentors who can lead you to the next level. When you’re a part of a franchise system, you feel like you can’t fail.

What was it that made you want to become a Benjamin Franklin Plumbing franchisee?

As someone who served in the Air Force, I like uniformity. I liked the systems they had in place, and the training was exactly the message I needed for my team to adapt. I’m very comfortable with what the franchise offers as a guideline for success in terms of bottom line profitability and growth. By implementing the Benjamin Franklin Plumbing system, recruiting strong talent, training and taking care of our people, I don’t see anything holding me back.

How does the Benjamin Franklin Plumbing system excel in terms of training?

Training is so paramount to success, but it is often underutilized in today’s world. It can’t be a “one day a week” process. To be successful, you have to embrace training in your classrooms and shops, as well as digital training. The digital footprint Benjamin Franklin Plumbing has with online training videos, from leadership to technical videos, has really enhanced my ability to train my employees. It’s a great vehicle to train with, but you also need training that is onsite and offsite. This is why I offer opportunities for my employees to share and learn best practices from other plumbers at offsite training functions. With the training so great in our franchise system, it helps me with recruiting, retaining and operating the business.

--interview as seen in PM magazine, April 2018.

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