Description: Join a category buster in the $20 billion market segment of the home service industry. The in-demand nature of Dryer Vent Wizard's business and the specialty service it provides have led to tremendous growth for its franchise network. Opportunities: Single unit opportunities available in CA, NV, AZ, NM, TX, OK, MO, NE, IA, AR, LA, AL, FL, PA, WA, OR, IL, NJ, ME, MS, GA, UT, SD, WV, SC, NC, KS, ND, OH, and Canada. Business Type: Franchise. Minimum Cash Required: $20,000. Financing Assistance: Yes, through a third party. Training Provided: Yes. Home-based: Yes. SBA-Approved: Yes.
Dryer Vent Wizard Franchisee Testimonial Video
$5,000 discount off the franchisee fee
Interview with David Lavalle: Founder of Dryer Vent Wizard
Dryer Vent Wizard pioneered an industry when it began in 2004. Before that time, homeowners had very limited options for finding a specialist for dryer vent cleaning and repair. Now the franchise has grown to nearly 70 locally owned locations throughoutthe US and Canada.
In this Success Story Interview, we hear from Dryer Vent Wizard Founder David Lavalle who works closely with franchisees throughout the entire process. David tells us all about the proven Dryer Vent Wizard brand, the state of the industry, and what to expect about being a franchisee.
Can you tell us a little about the history of Dryer Vent Wizard and the part you play in the franchise?
As a “serial entrepreneur,” I have always had the pleasure of working for myself and have had a lot of different opportunities and businesses over the years. Dryer Vent Wizard is a combination of everything I had done leading up to its start.
The thought of cleaning dryer vents started after I founded the Mr. Handy Man franchise when I would get a fair amount of calls from customers needing their dryer vents cleaned, but it was a service we didn’t offer. I always imagined some companies would handle this sort of need.
After helping a friend that owned an air duct cleaning business one day, I realized they didn’t even offer this service and began to think there might be a potential market and business in dryer vent cleaning. Like a lot of ideas, this sat in the back of my head and eventually worked its way to the front and Dryer Vent Wizard was born.
Now in our 10th year of franchising, I feel like we have developed more than just a business with Dryer Vent Wizard, we developed an industry.
My role with the franchise is speaking with the franchisees on a continual basis regarding their questions about parts, material, marketing, etc... We always have an open door policy for our franchisees to make sure we are providing the highest level of ongoing support. Providing this support is the part of my role that I love the most. Along with working on support, I also work with franchisees sales and technical issues. To be able to answer their questions gives me a great deal of satisfaction.
Tell us about what makes Dryer Vent Wizard a proven franchise brand.
We are over 10 years old, and that in itself shows that we have a proven system that works! We have very little turnover of Franchisees, very little turnover of home office employees, and our sales continue to grow.
Technician turnover for our franchisees is also very low. I have been involved with many businesses that had a high turnover rate and it becomes very expensive to constantly recruit and train new technicians. I think it’s a testimony to the Dryer Vent Wizard system, that franchisees are able to provide their technicians and their families a good living.
How competitive is this industry?
We want competition! We love it! People always scratch their head when I say that. A significant portion of our business comes from referrals. We get a lot of referrals from air duct cleaning companies, appliance repair centers, window washing companies, etc... They are our competition, but they are also an extension of our sales force.
Often it’s an appliance repair company that discovers a customer’s dryer vent is clogged. They are typically called because the customer’s clothes are not drying and the dryer is assumed to be broken. The appliance repairman will do some testing and finds that the dryer is working great, but the exhaust is clogged, therefore the dryer can’t evacuate the heat and or moisture out of the clothing. When it is determined the dryer vent is causing the problems, they refer the customer to us, and they will typically call us the Dryer Vent Experts or Specialists.
In return, when our customers have dryers that are not functioning properly, we reciprocate the referral back to one of our repair center partners.
How has the industry changed since the franchise began?
What I see in the industry are more and more compliance and awareness. Dryer vents are a danger that can cause a fire, and in my opinion, it’s an epidemic. Dryer fires were somewhat unknown, and now there is more awareness than ever before. Somehow, perhaps, we have a lot to do with that increased awareness over the years.
I also now see insurance companies beginning to mandate the cleaning of dryer vents in communal environments. They will mandate that an entire community has its dryer vents cleaned, because if one person does it and the person next door doesn’t that fire will affect everyone. You are only as safe as your neighbor!
I also see where counties and states are beginning to mandate dryer vents to be cleaned on a regular basis in locations where there are children (i.e. day care centers) or where seniors live such as assisted living communities or nursing homes
When we first started, we were servicing a single dryer vent in residential homes. We would service and repair one dryer vent for one customer, take care of business and move on to the next one. Over the years, we have evolved and now do multi-unit/multi-family complexes in addition to our single vent residential work. We can service condominium complexes, apartment complexes, and townhouses which require us to do hundreds of dryer vents at a time.
It is quite amazing to watch an entire industry take shape and grow over the past 10 years. Things have come so far in that period, but with all of the awareness growth and mandates being put in place, the future is even more exciting!
Are there any areas that are well-suited for a Dryer Vent Wizard franchise?
Most areas would be well-suited for a Dryer Vent Wizard franchise. Anywhere there is a laundry room and where people dry their clothes. If you think about it, this is an industry that everyone uses.
Success doesn’t have that much to do with the geographic location of the Dryer Vent Wizard. As long as there is a franchisee that is willing to put in the work to start and grow the business, the sky is the limit. I have yet to see a market in which Dryer Vent Wizard doesn’t work.
What are the most important traits Dryer Vent Wizard looks for in prospective franchisees?
The most successful trait in a prospective franchisee is someone who is coachable. We are looking for someone who is willing to follow the model and, of course, the more you follow the model, the more success you’ll have.
We are also looking for someone that is not afraid to go out and meet new people. Be able to look them in the eye to tell them what it is they do; that’s what I consider a successful trait. Stick to the formula, and you will be successful. It’s proven!
Can you tell us a little bit about the day-to-day activities of a Dryer Vent Wizard franchisee?
I think in the beginning when you start as a Dryer Vent Wizard, it’s probably more geared towards marketing and less of the actual dryer vent cleaning work. Probably only 20% doing the work and 80% marketing early on. It's easy marketing, such as walking in with a smile to an appliance store, handing them a card letting them know what you do.
Of course, it evolves over time, and you’ll notice you’re getting more and more work and you have less time to do the face to face marketing. Think of this as an old fashion plumbing business in a small town. Eventually, the word gets out, and you become the guy in your market.
Then you get so busy, that you’ll be saying “I don’t think I can do another job.” When your schedule becomes that busy, that is when it’s time to hire and train a technician so they can take over your route. By adding an employee, it affords you the opportunity to build another route and move on to getting the next truck.
Some franchisees want to have an executive model business with many technicians, while others to remain as an owner operator. I think it’s a balancing act between marketing and doing the work as you become more managerial as the business transitions to the executive model.
That’s what is so great about this business; it is as flexible as the franchisee needs it to be. You can become an empire builder, or you can be content with a nice paycheck while building equity in something you can sell down the road. It depends on needs and wants of the franchisee.
Describe the need that Dryer Vent Wizard fills in communities.
Every home in a community has the need to be safe, healthy, and energy efficient. Dryer Vent Wizard can help with all of these needs!
Dryers with clogged vents often take multiple cycles to dry a load of clothing. These clogged vents cause energy inefficiency, higher electrical bills, and unwanted wear and tear on both the appliance and the customers clothing. By having the dryer vents cleaned on a regular basis, we can help the appliance run at its peak performance and efficiency.
Clean vents also contribute to a safer and healthier home. Of course, there is always a risk of a dryer fire if the lint buildup becomes too great. However, many people do not realize clogged vents can also lead to mold buildup in a home and, with gas dryers, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Dryer Vent Wizards take great pride in providing a high level of service to their customers, but they also leave each job with that great feeling one gets when they have helped keep a family safe.
What advice would you give first time franchisees?
Keep your chin up at the very beginning. The first year is always the toughest with any business you choose to start. Bear in mind everyone else has been through this, and they have been successful. Starting a business is like a rollercoaster ride. There are highs, and there are lows.
Also, never stop networking and marketing. A lot of our marketing is what I call “shoe leather marketing,” meaning you get your feet on the ground and consistently go out to spread the word about your Dryer Vent Wizard business. One of our top franchisees said a long time ago, “I work every day whether I have a job or not. Every day I get up and go marketing, and by spreading the word, eventually it will pay off.”
Finally, be coachable and don’t be afraid to get yourself out of your comfort zone. Everyone is not perfect in every aspect of the business. However, the ones that allow themselves to be coached and force themselves to get out of their comfort zones are the people who are successful.
What’s next for Dryer Vent Wizard in terms of expansion?
Dryer Vent Wizard’s expansion focus has to do with adding more multi-unit work. By adding more condo and apartment complexes to our already impressive amount of residential work, we can encourage franchisees to stretch and push themselves beyond the “one man and a truck” business concept.
There is as much multi-unit business in our markets as there is regular residential business. The multi-unit business provides a unique opportunity for franchise owners to experience substantial growth in a short period of time, which will allow them to continue to build a valuable asset.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
As I stated earlier, I have had multiple businesses in the past, and Dryer Vent Wizard is the one I would say to a relative, “You gotta do this thing, this business is AWESOME!” Two of my sons are Dryer Vent Wizards, and both are very excited about their business and both are doing very well.
My younger son who is now 12 years old says he wants to become a Wizard. I have been lucky enough to have a wonderful wife who understands the business and allows me to work as many hours as I want, and we have a total of 10 great kids. With Dryer Vent Wizard I have always worked a tremendous amount of hours, but between the scheduling center answering the phones and the efficiency of the business, I have been able to step back a little bit from where I was in the past. I used to work weekends, and now I don’t do that anymore. I spend a lot of time outdoors by water or camping. Dryer Vent Wizard has given me the opportunity to devote more time to the family as well as get the family involved in the business, and that has worked out perfect for me.
Just remember you can’t sell a job, but you can sell a business. Becoming a Dryer Vent Wizard franchisee has all the elements in place to “Make the Magic Happen” for you and your family. So come and join a great team, I think you will like what you see!
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