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Franchising with fervor


Rainbow International Systemzentrale Deutschland GmbH is an organization of 23 franchise partners in Germany. While the majority of them are located in Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the country headquarters serve the northern part of Germany from Aalen, Baden-Württemberg.

“The Dwyer Group’s franchise organizations are all related to building trades, such as heating and air conditioning, plumbing, or painting,” says Jeff Meyers, Managing Director of Rainbow International GmbH. “Our organization focuses on restoration, particularly in connection with fire, mould, leaks and so on.”

Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Rainbow International has 400 locations around the globe to serve customers whenever a disaster strikes.

“We offer turnkey services to give customers exactly what they need, when they need it,” Mr. Meyers explains. “Imagine there is a homeowner who has experienced some flooding in his house. He calls the insurance company, who then call us. We take care of the drying process and even put down new flooring – whatever is necessary to get the house back in order.”

Thanks to its contracts with insurance companies, Rainbow International does not have to negotiate prices with homeowners and can start work right away. “A house needs to dry quickly so that flood damage does not become mould damage,” Mr. Meyers continues. “We can react faster than a lot of other restoration companies, which is a real benefit to the customer.”

In addition to insurance companies, Rainbow International frequently works with property management firms, who contact the service provider on behalf of the homeowner or tenant. “Fire and water damage is generally covered,” the Managing Director explains. “Mould, however, is usually not.” For that reason, Rainbow International is also glad to work directly with the property owner for mould removal, leak detection and other services.

As a member of the Dwyer Group, Rainbow International is part of an organization that encompasses 1,500 franchisees in ten countries The Dwyer Group counts Aire Serv®, Glass Doctor®, Mr. Appliance®, Mr. Electric®, Mr. Rooter®, Rainbow International®, The Grounds Guys™ and Five Star Painting® as its brands.

Rainbow International was the first brand, established in 1981. With its franchising structure, the Dwyer Group in general and Rainbow International in particular have an attractive offer for potential franchisees. The restoration company seeks two different types of people as its partners. It contacts C-level managers and people working with large companies who are looking to change jobs or own their own business.

“We want people who are looking for a challenge,” Mr. Meyers points out. “Sometimes they are not yet sure if they want to be completely independent, and in that case, franchising is a great option for them.” These kinds of partners tend to have managing skills, but they need to be strong in sales and be well financed to purchase the kind of equipment necessary for restoration work.

Then there is the technical partner. Rainbow International seeks tradesmen who already do fire and water restoration work on a local scale. “They might be struggling with recruitment and financial management,” Mr. Meyers cites an example. “If they partner with us, we can give them simple step-by-step processes or comprehensive software management to make things easier for them.”

Partners from the trade tend to have the equipment and skills, but Rainbow International gives them a boost with business coaching and consulting. Rainbow International’s agenda for the coming years is full, but the company is assertive enough to achieve its goals.

2014 saw turnover of 24 million EUR for the German branch of the organization, while this year’s target is 30 million EUR. Growth of ten new franchisees a year is expected, as well, which is just one step on the path towards its vision for 2020.

“In five years, we plan to have 60 franchise partners in Germany and annual revenues of 70 million EUR,” the Managing Director discloses. “We should have a total staff – both technicians and office staff – of about 1,000 people.”

This year, Rainbow International anticipates being able to offer nationwide coverage in Germany with the target of opening ten new franchises. “We’re expanding quite aggressively, with new locations in Düsseldorf, Cologne and Berlin,” Mr. Meyers says. “North Rhine-Westphalia offers a lot of potential. There are so many people, so much money and so much property in that state. There will always be a need for restoration services.”

This growth strategy will not be possible, however, if Rainbow International does not find the right franchisees. “We have to find the right franchisees and they have to find the right technicians,” Mr. Meyers underlines. “We have the advantage that we are a training organization. Even people who are not particularly skilled can be trained within a short period of time.”

Some of the services the restoration company provides are very technical, such as mould detection and removal. These activities require special training, and Rainbow International has an academy where employees can acquire that know-how. “We are a support-oriented franchisor and want our franchisees to be successful in their business,” Mr. Meyers says in conclusion.

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