Pat Swisher, the CEO of Enviro-Master International Franchise, grew his company’s revenue from $4.1 million in 2014 to $16.7 million in 2017, a 305% increase.
Enviro-Master International Franchise is a health and safety company that specializes in disease prevention and odor control.
In this interview with Eversprint‘s Malcolm Lui, Pat shares how he and his team accelerated their high value sales by:
- Supporting their franchisees who have been growing their sales 20% YoY.
- Acquiring Swisher International for their customers and contracts.
Malcolm Lui: Welcome to the High Value Sales Show of Eversprint.com. I'm Malcolm Lui, the Managing Member of Eversprint, and today we're speaking with Pat Swisher, the CEO of Enviro-Master International Franchise, a health and safety company that specializes in disease prevention and odor control. Welcome to the show Pat.
Pat Swisher: Good to be here. How are you doing today.
Malcolm Lui: I am doing fantastic.
Malcolm Lui: Pat, you grew your company's revenue from $4.1 million in 2014 to $16.7 million in 2017, a 305% increase. Before we talk about how you grew your company so fast, can you briefly share what your company does beyond my quick intro, and how your company differs from the competition?
Pat Swisher: Well absolutely. First of all we don't have any competition which is highly unusual. I founded the hygiene business back in 1983 with a company called Swisher International which later sold in 2004 started enviro master in 2009. In the health and safety industry and we really have no competition so we're kind of unusual in that regard.
Malcolm Lui: All right. And can you shed a bit more details as to what your company does exactly besides disease prevention and order control.
Pat Swisher: Sure we contract on a weekly basis with companies such as Chick Fillet Texas Roadhouse 7-Eleven just mentioned a few where we come in and work in conjunction with their cleaning crew to literally do what they cannot do. We come in and do a deep cleaning of all porcelain fixtures. We scrub the floors extract all the bacteria and the organic matter out of the floor. We then coat the entire restroom with a German saddle spray that's designed to kill bacteria for up to seven to nine days. So we also sell products to our customers such as toilet tissue hand towels hand sanitizers. So where we really focus on the restroom. But we do do work outside of the restroom such as back of the house kitchen areas and in the dining room. We also provide our disease prevention service for daycares schools places such as that where we come in using an electric static sprayer to coat all the surfaces such as a daycare that the tables the chairs the toys so that things that people touch have been coated with a German style spray that is harmless to humans but very effective in stopping the transfer a disease.
Malcolm Lui: All right. Fantastic. Now you said before earlier that you don't have any other form any other competitors out there why is that. How how are you different that you don't have any competitors.
Pat Swisher: Well if you look at the marketplace we're the only company that offers the service that we provide. So having been in this industry for 30 years I think I'd be aware there are other people that do sell into the space but they don't do a complete service such as we do. They will sell toilet tissue or they'll sell hand towels or sell soap but they don't package it with a service such as Anbar master does to make it cost efficient for the customer.
Malcolm Lui: I see I get it. All right. So but it sounds like you have a long ways to go before you penetrate the market fully
Pat Swisher: Oh absolutely we probably are not even at 1 percent penetration of market at this time. And that's that's the thing that's kind of unique about us is the market for our products and services are so big. I've mentioned just a few companies such as 7-Eleven. We work in the convenience store space we we serve as Circle K we service 7-Eleven. We work in daycares. We work in restaurants on and on and on. So anybody who's got a public restroom facility is a potential client of ours.
Malcolm Lui: In India of a range of clients that gave you a small mom and pop convenience store that you'll do work with or do they have to be larger regional
Pat Swisher: Now we do.
Malcolm Lui: Chain
Pat Swisher: We do everything from a local mom and pop to a national chain such as Texas Roadhouse with six hundred locations. We currently serve as 30000 locations a week. So it's all across the board.
Malcolm Lui: Okay. And when you say we. To what degree is it done by your franchise partners and to what degree might be done by your own operations.
Pat Swisher: Well we're we're a franchise organization and we 100 percent franchise. I believe if you're going to be in the franchising business you need to focus on supporting your franchisees and not focus on company operation. And a lot of companies do that and certainly they do it well. But my philosophy is I want to be a franchise support organization from head to toe. So all of our accounts are service through our franchise system at this time
Malcolm Lui: Did you start with your own operations at the very beginning and then once you sorted out the processes then you went franchise
Pat Swisher: Correct. And that's the way most good franchise or start is. I had at one point close to 20 company operations 10 years experience. So before you start franchising you need to have a proven model that you can train and replicate with others. And we had over 10 years experience in 20 locations before we even thought about franchising
Malcolm Lui: And what's become of those 20 locations you just spin it off as a franchise.
Pat Swisher: Wheat. We did that was back during the Swisher days. We spun that off and sold them as franchises and then converted to 100 percent franchise
Malcolm Lui: So Swisher is similar to what you do today as enviro master
Pat Swisher: Well correct. SWISHER It was very almost identical to what we do today. I sold the Swisher company to a gentleman named Wayne housing back in 2004. They went in a different directions and I started enviro master in 2009. Replicating what I had done with Swisher up into the time I sold it
Malcolm Lui: Ok. But then when you restarted again in 2009 you didn't start with operations again. Right. Security had
Pat Swisher: What I
Malcolm Lui: Them
Pat Swisher: Know what I did. I have one operation in my hometown Charlotte because it was some changes I wanted to make to the model in Swisher was so big that it was very difficult to make changes the way I wanted to do it. So I used the model here in Charlotte for three years before I ever began franchising to make some changes to the model
Malcolm Lui: Right. Right. But when you started your operations again in Charlotte you had franchising in mind down the line from the very beginning.
Pat Swisher: Oh really didn't I. I went into the business again in Charlotte just for me and my family. And then the word got out that I was back in the business and. The first year I ended up put in twelve friends and family members literally into the business. And then it was kind of like your sort of pregnancy. Go ahead and do it because I've got to support twelve in franchising. That doesn't work so well so we went ahead and started expanding from there.
Malcolm Lui: Ok. Now your business grew quite rapidly four point one million in 2014 to sixteen point seven million in two thousand seventy 2017. Three hundred and five percent increase. What were the drivers over those three years
Pat Swisher: To one organically our franchisees grow year over year well in excess 20 percent. So that is one of the large drivers. The other driver was I was able to buy back my old company in 2000 and I want to say 16. We are 17 rather we bought back the Swisher company and merged it with enviro master
Malcolm Lui: Ok. So a large bump in the increases from the acquisition of Swisher OK. How much of that was the of the revenue came from Swisher
Pat Swisher: About 30 percent
Malcolm Lui: Down 30. So 30 percent of sixteen point seven million was Swisher roughly.
Pat Swisher: Yes
Malcolm Lui: Ok got it. So you imagine before the first driver your franchisees they're growing 20 percent year on year. Any details behind that. Is it simply they're able to get 20 percent more more bathrooms to clean. Year on year or are they just selling more services into their existing client base. What's driving that.
Pat Swisher: Well our franchisees have their own sales force on the local level and local level and depending on how big a market they operate in depends on how many salespeople they have somewhere between two to five people on average. We also have a National Accounts program which we're the only franchise with or I'm aware of that has a national accounts team that goes out and on behalf of the system solicit solicits national customers such as 7-Eleven such as Texas Roadhouse. And if we sign them up to a national customer we give all that business to our franchisees. So there they're attacking the growth from a local level we are attacking it from the top down.
Malcolm Lui: And how do you are the revenue share the same between franchisees who find their own customers locally and in your team finding them nationally and sending it down to the franchisee to service
Pat Swisher: Yeah there's no difference. They get 100 percent of the revenue they do pay they have it the local salesperson sells it they pay a commission to them. Our national team sells it they pay a commission to us. So it's very very similar
Malcolm Lui: Right. That's a fantastic benefit having a national sales organization
Pat Swisher: It is it because it's fluttering when you have a local franchise and you go out and you walk in the door of a national customer and they say that's a corporate decision that's made in another city we can't help you with us. I have an opportunity to turn and say you know we got some ice interest in our service can you guys go talk to him.
Malcolm Lui: Right
Pat Swisher: So we do have a team that does that.
Malcolm Lui: Right. How many big national accounts does their team typically bring on board in a year
Pat Swisher: You know in that business. It takes a lot longer to close but we bring at least four or five. Now we also sell out to regional customers to that say cover the southeast or the West Coast so we'll bring on you know anywhere from four to 10 new national regional customers a year and that could vary like Texas Roadhouse has 600 locations to a regional account that may have 40 locations.
Malcolm Lui: Right. It's quite nice. I mean it visor franchise owner I'd be the to have these accounts landing in my lap
Pat Swisher: Well they they work with us hand in glove and they do a lot of the legwork with us and it behooves everybody because when you go in and talk to all of these national counts they're not instant talking to you. You can't do 75 or above percent of their locations. So we all got to work together to make that work
Malcolm Lui: Right. So they've been a liquid a lot to bring on board your company to help with keeping their facilities clean. They're really talking about all right. They're not just starting one branch in
Pat Swisher: On a week when we're talking to him. A lot of times we already have a relationship with him on a local level and they know who we are but we can bring to him a lot of consistency Bob in pricing and services by working with them at a corporate level. So what we're able to do is go in and cause a lot of our franchisees there say there there's five or six franchisees and join the local business. They're all doing different services selling different products and different pricing. We can go in and bring consistency of service consistency of pricing and that's what these corporate guys really want because they're trying to manage a chain of stores and who's them to have everything as consistent as possible.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. You wanna. You definitely want a consistent level of cleanliness in the bathrooms right. You don't want one branch to be spotless. Another one not to be as clean.
Pat Swisher: Exactly.
Malcolm Lui: All right now. To what degree do you help your franchisees help win business locally. I know that each franchisee has their own sales team 2 to 5 salespeople. Do you know what sort of training and support you give them to help them win their business.
Pat Swisher: Well we have we're kind of a unique business model and the fact that it's a scalable business model what a franchisee does year one is totally different than what he should be doing in year five. The franchisees that we are interested in Have a easily had their white collar guys most about 60 percent I'm have MBA is they're highly intelligent guys and we're looking for them to scale this business and build a team because it's the nature of our business is what we refer to as a low dollar high volume business very similar to say cable TV or mobile phones or insurance where the customers are paying as low dollar but it's a reoccurring revenue model. So that means that they have to have the ability the managerial ability to build a team to scale it so that they can manage the number of potential customers in their market. Most of our larger franchisees are managing in excess of 30 employees with a customer base well in excess of a thousand customers a service every week. So that's what we're looking for. That's the kind of skill set the franchisee needs to have in order to be successful in this model
Malcolm Lui: So you're not going to bring on board a franchisee who doesn't have experience building teams. Essentially
Pat Swisher: Is correct. Because the key to this business like I say is being able to scale it and if you can't recruit hire train and manage people that you shouldn't be in this business it's not A stand alone where the franchisee does the work and drives a van and doesn't have to worry about hiring anybody. It's totally opposite of that it's a scalable business model
Malcolm Lui: Right now. What are your minimum criteria when you get a franchisee to bring on board. Do they have. Do you require them to have owned a prior business where they have built up a team. That's like one of your
Pat Swisher: No.
Malcolm Lui: Minimum career
Pat Swisher: First of all they need to have a minimum operating capital of about three hundred thousand dollars. Number two we give them a personality test to see if they have the right personality traits that we look for and then we look at their background to see if they've been successful in their career up to that point. Those are the three things that we really look for. We've got to make sure they're you know we're a sales organization. They need to be extroverted as far as personality traits. They should be able to have exhibited the fact they can manage and recruit maintain a staff. And we're looking for somebody that has what I call the you can't measure the heart and the passion to go out there and build our own business
Malcolm Lui: Right. So not necessarily someone not really looking for someone has literally built up a team previously but if they meet the personality test. If they show indicators of success to their outgoing the ducks are lining up well enough for them to be successful.
Pat Swisher: Correct. All those things we take into account and you know most people in their business career they've been in a managerial position have managed other people. That's a key indicator we need to have because of what I just said it's a scalable business model. You can't manage other people. You really shouldn't be doing this and there's a lot of people out there that don't fit that model that may be formerly for example a stock broker that looks at his computer screen all day is very analytical. They wouldn't fit in this model. That's not not very well. So we're looking for someone that's extroverted who likes dealing with people who likes managing people and building teams and he's passionate and that's the key driver. Are they passionate about building a business. And that's the intangibles it's very hard to measure.
Malcolm Lui: Right. So when you said before three thousand dollars of capital is that the amount of investment they need to get things rolling. Investing in an office investing in equipment supplies
Pat Swisher: Yeah. Three. Three hundred thousand is a benchmark. Now some people will spend more than that. Some people will spend less than that. It really goes back to how fast they grow. And so they come out and grow extraordinarily fast and they hit their benchmarks within two or three years. They'll be right around at 300000 if they lag on that. They may spend more money because the fixed expenses continue to go while they're getting their act together to continue to grow their business.
Malcolm Lui: Right now going back to the 20 percent year on year growth that the franchisees are experiencing right now. It is entirely up to them to build the local business or do you. How do you help with advertising for them and helping them generate business opportunities. How does that work.
Pat Swisher: Well what we do is a lot of networking. For example if one franchisee in one market sells a regional account or a national account they will network with other franchisees in that region to swap accounts. We have regional calls every month with our franchisees. We have regional meetings we have national conventions where we're networking amongst one another. So we sponsor that we we put those on so that we provide the forum and the venue for them to network in. But that's the real benefit to being in a national system is that we've got probably four or five hundred salespeople out there every day calling on accounts that are networking with one another all across the country
Malcolm Lui: So when you're talking about networking. An example would be for example if someone in one city has a regional account that you can work with it will help make introductions to another franchise operator and another nearby city. Is that how it works.
Pat Swisher: Yes our franchisees set up networking usually done recently. We do have national networking calls on the phone but they like to get together on a regional basis. I was just out last month in California where our Southern California franchisees were setting up a networking group and getting that started here in the Carolinas. There's a networking group that one franchisee in particular has introduced other franchisees in the Carolinas to a very large convenience store chain. And so they do a great job in networking and helping each other out.
Malcolm Lui: And when they do the networking and helping each other out. The whole idea is that you're helping other operators other Francesc chance other franchise owners and over the course of time someone's going to help you out as well. Right there's no financial relationship among the cross-selling
Pat Swisher: No there's no front financial relationships for a lot of times it's self serving because when a franchisee goes in and calls on one of these regional customers they may have stores outside of the franchisees territory. And so in this case with the convenience store chain they want to be serviced and they want to convert to to a service for all of their locations. So a lot of times it helps having other franchisees in the region to be able to pick up those other locations outside their primary market. So it's both self serving as well as helping other franchisees at the same time
Malcolm Lui: Right. Got it. Now force Swisher International. You mentioned how that was a you know a chunk of your revenue increase over the past few years in 2014 to 2017. What was your thinking behind buying back. Swisher and how are you integrating it into your entire into your business.
Pat Swisher: Well the people that bought the company from me back in 2004 went in a totally different direction. Our focus up into that point had been we wanted to be an expert in what we did and not try to do and be everything to everybody and they went down a different path. Got into some trouble ended up selling the company to a company called Ecolab which was very interested in a portion of what their business had become but really wasn't interested in the hedging business. So we were able to negotiate a purchase price of the customer base back from a company called Ecolab and then merged into our franchisees business back in 2016
Malcolm Lui: Ok. So this is the customer base is already doing work through Swisher having Swisher people come in and clean the facilities. And it was pretty much now. Your franchisees doing it for them.
Pat Swisher: Correct. The obviously I kind of knew what was going on with my company and what services they were providing and how they were providing it. So it was pretty easy to integrate it into our company and overlay it because we do it. We were doing the same services. It was more just changing the branding than anything else
Malcolm Lui: Right. So it was a acquiring the customers and the contracts that they had
Pat Swisher: Correct.
Malcolm Lui: Right. All right. Yeah it's a great way to grow. Do you see other opportunities like that out there that you can
Pat Swisher: Again there's no other national companies are kind of wish there were but
Malcolm Lui: Yeah
Pat Swisher: They're not. There are some regional people that we're looking at local people we're looking at a pretty good size opportunity but nothing on the immediate radar screen.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Okay so for 2019. How are things looking for you. What are you. If we were to have this conversation again say one year from now what would you have to have seen happening or business for you to be happy in the progress in particular what obstacles need to be eliminated. What opportunities need to be captured and what strengths would you like to see further maximized in your business.
Pat Swisher: Well we are two initiatives this year are we're filling in in markets where we don't have any representation. We operate both in the U.S. and Canada and there's some great markets out there that we're still not into that our national accounts are pressuring us. Would you please open some by the hub there. So that's one of our initiative is to continue to fill in where we we need operators. Number two our national accounts team is really gaining a lot of momentum. But you got to be careful that you don't as I say in sports out kick your coverage. So we're going to continue to grow both organically at the franchisee level this year we hope to do it again over 20 percent growth. We're going to be adding to that with our national accounts team by adding new national customers on top of the ones we already have. Those are two big initiatives for this year
Malcolm Lui: All right. So what's the plan to further help your franchisees grow another 20 percent
Pat Swisher: Well again providing them with support when we start talking about this and being that this business model is a scalable business model that each franchisee is reaching different plateaus there are several things that we do. Number one when they buy a franchise they are assigned a coach and the coach stays with them from the time they buy the franchise until they leave the system. If they ever do leave but the coach is a person that has experience with every level that these businesses go to and they can mentor and coach the franchisee thus keeping them sometimes bringing them back to the 30000 foot level and say let's get out of the weeds. Let's look at our business plan and make sure we're on plan and keep moving forward. So that's one of the things that we provide. We we have we'll work with them to put together a business plan. Keep them on that business plan mentor him and coach him on a local level and then of course we've talked about what we do on the national level to overlay accounts that they can't get on their own.
Malcolm Lui: Right. You talked before about getting more operators in different parts of the nation where you're where you have gaps right. I imagine it's good to have them. Before you mentioned how regional companies national companies they want coverage throughout their network. Right. And if you don't have operators in those cities it's tough to say yeah good for you. So what's the plan on getting more franchisees in those areas where you have gaps
Pat Swisher: Well we have an active franchise sales department and we attend conventions in different cities that are put on by the franchising industry. We target markets certain areas that we're trying to find operators. So our goal is to continue filling in this year areas that we need operators into to continue our coverage
Malcolm Lui: Ok. Yeah I notice how you're not at least for your main web site. I didn't see any paper or click ads. I'm not seeing a super strong SVOD presence. Are those two avenues of marketing not something that you found to be effective or did you have at times that can be
Pat Swisher: Well it's it's kind of a progression. First we have to educate the market on who we are. There's a article I read a read one time about a company called Oreck vacuum cleaners And Orac has a better business model. They have a better product but nobody knew about them. So they had gone out with SEIU and a lot of online marketing when people weren't googling swivel headed back. Vacuum cleaners don't think they had too much success. The first phase of what they had to do is educate the marketplace as to who they are and what they do. So our plan this year is we're employing a PR firm to get some articles done on our franchisees to cannot educate the market that we're out there because the unique thing about our business having no competition there's no by sitting out there in say Eugene Oregon googling health and safety hygiene companies. So before that would be successful we've kind of got to educate the market is that we are out here and have people then start looking for us and then they start Google us and then they they pick up the FCO and the other marketing things that we have on our plate to do. But the first things come first. So those are kind of two things we're doing simultaneously. This year is working on our Web site our FCO as well as our PR firm to get the name out there.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Got it. Not when people though be searching for bathroom cleaning supplies bathroom cleaning service restaurant cleaning service and those be
Pat Swisher: Those
Malcolm Lui: Things
Pat Swisher: Are people that you're talking about are potential customers and yes they do. Visit our website when they're looking for buying toilet tissue or they want to quote We do things. Also marketing wise to generate interest from our customers such as direct mail pieces email blast other marketing techniques and that that drive that kind of traffic to our Web site
Malcolm Lui: Right now for four for potential franchise franchisee franchisee owners you're saying that people aren't ready type typing in health and safety operator franchise.
Pat Swisher: Correct. They don't. It's kind of like the Oreck vacuum cleaner story I told you. They don't know we exist in most of our franchisees a lot of them came from my former company that already knew about us and we've been kind of busy putting those people in the business and some of we use a lot of outside business brokers slash coaches with companies that specialize in franchising such as the T S organization free and net organization. They bring clients to us that are out searching for a business and we've gone over with those people what are what we're looking for and what quality qualifiers they need to have. So I would be honest with you about 95 percent of our franchisees today come from business coaches
Malcolm Lui: Right.
Pat Swisher: And you can't really compete with those guys on an NCO level in terms of franchising franchise that franchise industry is huge. It's 3000 franchise companies one in the United States. So these big brokerage companies maintain a real large presence. And what we do is we educate their brokers as to what our model looks like and through many different means and then when they have interest from a client that is qualified they will show them our our product. So that's how it's done a lot in the franchising industry these days if I'm trying to compete with the 3000 franchise companies with our not gonna be too successful.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Right. Be very specific for people to find you. So if there's like one with you. What would you say is the biggest obstacle that you need to overcome this year. You mentioned a number here several. Are you talking about expanding your franchise the operation is getting more national accounts helping your franchisee owners grow their own business organically with the coaches that you've assigned to them. Is there any one big rock that you would like to get out of the way
Pat Swisher: Well we have just because what the Swisher acquisition about 24 months ago it propelled us into a Nash trillion national company and this year we are rebranding and looking at our marketing. We've hired a new V.P. of Marketing that's come in to help us with content development and Strategies a social media strategy. And Pete in public relations stories. So all that's began is kind of a very exciting time for us because all that's beginning this year and we're very excited about that.
Malcolm Lui: Okay cool. So the biggest challenges is is on the marketing side getting the word out about enviro masters
Pat Swisher: Well it's a challenge. It's a unique challenge that both from franchising and as well as potential customers. They just don't know we exist. And so we have to get out there and our challenge this year is more education of the market a social media strategy we've come up with content development and strategy and in hiring a public relations company. People are going to start saying yeah I've seen that. I get that yeah. And so we're very excited about what's going on in that area and that's our challenge this year. So it's very very very big market is to get out there and make people aware there is an option and you shouldn't have to tolerate facilities any longer that are are not freshly supplied and are poorly maintained. And it's a real big thing to our potential customers because they realize it's their brand and is a reflection of the restroom is a reflection of their brand. And that's just not acceptable any longer when there is an option out there. So it's our goal to make sure they know there's an option and we will take care of their brand if they'll give us an opportunity
Malcolm Lui: Yeah yeah definitely. I mean if every time I go into an establishment a bathroom and that's if it's not very clean it doesn't reflect positively at all on the company as a whole
Pat Swisher: Well you know it was interesting we attended the convenience store national trade show out in Las Vegas last spring and the tagline for the entire show was clean restaurants mean business they get it. And if you see what's going on particularly in that industry where the new convenience stores realize hey pumping gas is great but we want people come inside because they come inside they go and buy something. And what attracts them to come in and I've talked to people all the time about this is they have certain places they stop when they're on the road knowing that they have clean restrooms.
Malcolm Lui: Oh
Pat Swisher: So
Malcolm Lui: Yeah
Pat Swisher: Those guys have figured it out and they are capitalizing on that. We're helping them do that
Malcolm Lui: Oh yeah definitely. I mean when we go on a road trip that we have a choice between stopping by and McDonald's and some mom and pop shop of any sort. You go to the McDonald's I guess you know that he have an idea what you're going to get there
Pat Swisher: Oh absolutely and it drives positive customer experience increases customer loyalty they're our customer base understands that and they're looking for ways to have had that happen. And we're one of the solutions for them
Malcolm Lui: Yeah it is probably a topic for another conversation about I recall someone doing a study perhaps a super scientific study
Pat Swisher: You
Malcolm Lui: But they
Pat Swisher: Hear.
Malcolm Lui: Did a study where they measured how much paper towels are dispensed in the bathroom. Right. Some some bathrooms they only give you a sliver. And others are very generous. And they found a correlation between those companies that are genders of the paper towels and overall customer satisfaction of the experience as opposed to those that are really you know give you just you know two inches of paper towels and yet stand there to get like 10 pieces of paper to try your hands.
Pat Swisher: Correct. And we say the better companies out there are well maintained well stocked and they realize it's their brand. An interesting statistic that the National Restaurant Association which is one of the largest organizations trade organizations in America. They survey customers every year and we're talking about people like you and I that go visit McDonald's and TGIF fridays and all the other ones that are out there and they they interview customers and they say what's the number one thing. Right. Ten things most important to you and you would think it would be a food menu items quality of the food price of the food. Year after year since I've been in this industry the number one concerns that the patron of the restaurant industry is the cleanliness of the restaurant because you and I as patrons realize that at that bathroom is dirty and not stocked properly. Probably the kitchen is too and a lot of times we don't come back to those kind of places. So people are starting to wake up so you know I need to spend a little on my restaurants keep them well stocked well maintain and clean. And with the economy roaring like it is and it's hard to hire people and keep people then we do the heavy lifting we go in and work with their their team to do literally what they can't do. So it's very very appealing to a lot of these particularly national customers of struggling with frontline help to keep people just trained to run the cash register more or less how to properly clean and maintain a restaurant.
Malcolm Lui: Right. Right. A question for you about You know bathrooms and and safety and cleanliness are paper towels better or worse than the electric containers hand dryers
Pat Swisher: I'm going to answer that because I've been asking this question a hundred times you probably could not have anything more unsanitary than one of these electric blowers. I want you to think about this for a minute. Just use common sense. You're taking the air out of a dirty restroom and blowing it onto your hands. That can't be sanitary. Right.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah
Pat Swisher: So all the studies that I've read it sounded like a good idea it became very popular at one point time. I think it was sold based on a you don't have to provide hand towels which is expensive to save money but at the end of the day they're just absolutely not the right thing to be providing for people to clean their hands with. It does absolutely the opposite.
Malcolm Lui: Right now have you seen studies that show if they actually save you money because their electricity costs their maintenance costs with handwrite versus paper towels that you just throw away.
Pat Swisher: I would question that as well as for the reasons you just said that studies I've read it is what I was talking about from a hygiene perspective. It's not very hygienic
Malcolm Lui: Yep
Pat Swisher: A matter of fact if you ever watch people when they have restrooms and have nothing but those blow dryers most of them are walking out wiping their hands on their shirt or their pants
Malcolm Lui: Yeah
Pat Swisher: Because
Malcolm Lui: I
Pat Swisher: They.
Malcolm Lui: Do that.
Pat Swisher: Yeah they don't. They don't want to to use those.
Malcolm Lui: Well I do because it takes too long. Yeah. The standard for like a minute.
Pat Swisher: Oh yeah yeah.
Malcolm Lui: All right. So in terms of the biggest opportunities that you see then it's just growing your franchise network that's the biggest opportunity
Pat Swisher: I biggest opportunities to continue to to to fill out our our franchise network and continue to grow our business. One customer at a time and when I tell you that we haven't even scratched the surface we haven't. So there's huge opportunity for us in that area
Malcolm Lui: Of growing your franchise throughout the nation
Pat Swisher: In our hour our brand within the customer base absolutely
Malcolm Lui: Right. How many states are your franchisees operators in now
Pat Swisher: We're in every major market where where we target is metropolitan areas. At the end of the day this is a rout. Business very similar to a commercial pest control company. A lot of people confuse us with the janitorial business. We're not where our technicians run routes. They'll service anywhere from 10 to 15 customers a day maybe 60 customers a week something like that but very very similar if you look at this from 30000 feet it looks a lot like a commercial pest control company.
Malcolm Lui: Right. So it's not like they sound like your guys are working nights and creating an office at the end of the end of the evening.
Pat Swisher: That's correct. There's hundreds of gentle companies that go in a vacuum. They dust they empty trash cans they work at night. We work during the day during business hours Monday through Friday and we're going into only commercial accounts. We don't do any residential and work in conjunction. It's a specialty cleaning niche that we have
Malcolm Lui: Right. Got it. And how about the biggest what we see here is the company's biggest strength that you like to leverage further
Pat Swisher: I think our biggest strength is are our franchise system. When we go out and sell a national customer for example we are a national customer. Our national customers love the fact that our we're made up of individual owners because an individual owner who's got a stake in a business is much more attentive than an employee is ever going to be to the customer. So it really is our strength is that our our franchise owners are in each one of these markets it's their business they have a stake in it with us and they take care of the customer better than any employees ever gonna take every customer
Malcolm Lui: Right now. The way your model works though. Buying the franchise owners buying from the head office supplies. That's enviro master branded supplies that they just buying
Pat Swisher: Well
Malcolm Lui: Other supplies
Pat Swisher: In any franchise system. You have to have consistency. So when we advertise to our potential customers and we tell them that we use certain products such as German sides that have certain kill claims we've got to make sure that everybody is using the same materials and is trained on how to properly use those. So yes they do buy through us. But let me tell you the difference between a good franchise or a bad franchise or a bad franchise or has never operated businesses and has no empathy for franchisees and the fact that they're trying to make money. I have and I know what it's like to be out there trying to make my margins and try to make money. So one of the things that we bring to the table is we have set up professional buyers who negotiate on behalf of our system top quality products at truckload quantities and then we've driven cost out of the distribution system through a redistribute or so that they don't have to carry all that inventory on the floor. So I'm bringing as their franchise partner a lot of value to the table so that when our franchisee on a local level goes in to compete against a national company such as a U.S. foods or somebody like that they can be competitive. And that takes a lot of work but for for two reasons. Number one we want to make sure we're consistent in California as well as Carolina when we present to our customer and tell them who we are and what we do. So it's just like McDonald's. And that gives you as the consumer confidence when you're driving down the road in some city that you're not familiar with and there's a McDonald's on one side of the street and Buddy's hamburger shop on the other side street you're going to stop at McDonald's because you know what you're going to get.
Malcolm Lui: Yep definitely at three. Last question is where you pack. If environment if your company enviro masters or to have a billboard on a freeway what would your billboard message be. It has to be pretty briefly because people typically drive by billboards in six seconds. So what's your six second billboard message.
Pat Swisher: Well first of all we got to tell you a little story about that real quick at Swisher we sold a Count called Citgo that had probably some 8000 locations. And when we sold the account there was they sent me a contract and there was a paragraph in there about their ability to use our branding and our logo which I didn't think much about because we always brand what we do in the restroom but after we started rolling that out there billboards said we have Swisher. That meant they had clean restrooms so we had become a national brand at that point. So if it were me and we had billboards I would simply say if they don't use and master go somewhere they do.
Malcolm Lui: All right. That's a good one. If people still know the Swisher brand
Pat Swisher: They do. Again we don't use the brand Swisher that obviously is my last name. It was I had become a national brand and we go under the name enviro master which now people are starting to associate with the same type of thing we did with Swisher
Malcolm Lui: Yeah what a Swisher you know. If you said it by itself you wouldn't think about it so much as a cleaning related name or word. But you know in the context of what the business did is pretty good
Pat Swisher: Yeah. Yeah. I always tell people is kind of my destiny to be in this business.
Malcolm Lui: Yeah. All right. To ask questions Who are your ideal clients and franchise partners and what's the best way for them to contact your company.
Pat Swisher: Well our ideal client again we service every type of manufacturing facilities we service office buildings we service daycares we service restaurants. So it's really the the client is somebody that recognizes the fact that they want to protect their brand. And in today's environment it's not good to be on TV because your store was closed down because of norovirus. Right. So people that want to protect their brand and they want to make sure that they have the cleanest facility. We're a national customer for a company called chick fillet and they get it. They understand that it's their brand. They understand how important it is to be absolutely spotlessly clean to their customers. So those are the kind of people we like to partner with in terms of customers and our franchisee. We're looking for somebody that has a passion that wants to build a business. He's somewhat extroverted has a little bit of management background and we can take those kind of guys that are passionate and turn them into very very successful operators. And just to give you an example of how big these things can become. My largest franchisee ever was over 40 million dollars so they can get very large. So we're looking for some people do have some talent
Malcolm Lui: That's a pretty significant business on their own.
Pat Swisher: Exactly.
Malcolm Lui: It's been awesome having you on my show today I really enjoyed hearing how you grew your company so fast.
Pat Swisher: Well thank you and I enjoyed it. And feel free to call me back.
Malcolm Lui: Definitely well there's a there's a lot that I imagine it a year from now that we might be having another conversation to hear how your business has grown even further.
Pat Swisher: Feel free to give me a call enjoyed it. Thank you.
Malcolm Lui: All right.
Malcolm Lui: We've been speaking with Pat Swisher, the CEO of Enviro-Master International Franchise, about his company's rapid growth. For interviews with other fast growing, high value sales companies, or to learn how we can accelerate your firm's high value sales through automation, visit Eversprint.com.
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