When Phil Green was looking for ways to expand his Collinsville home remodeling business, he eventually found the answer with help from local experts.
“I looked at a lot of different ways to market my existing business, to grow it,” Green said. “So I was looking for a way to grow my business and that led me to think about if franchising was an option for us.”
Green’s wife Donna had quit her job last fall to join her husband’s business, Green Home Solutions, which provides heating, ventilating, and air conditioning cleaning as well as radon remediation and mold mitigation services. As the business development manager, Donna Green found the guidance her husband was searching for at the Metro East Small Business Development Center, located on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. That’s where she met small business specialist Jo Ann May.
“We had a great response right off the bat,” May said of her meeting with the Greens. “They were willing to learn and willing to listen.”
The Metro East Small Business Development Center has guided local entrepreneurs for the past 30 years by providing resources and information with funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration and Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Business also provides expertise for clients. May said the center has advised more than 400 clients this year.
Donna and her son Scott, who joined his father two years ago to become a partner at Green Homes Solutions, said May recommended a franchising consultant and other experts who guided them in the process.
“She recommended that we look at talking to a CPA (certified public accountant) that could look at our numbers and see the health of our business before we expand,” Scott Green said.
“We talked with her about what our options are with growing the business as we are, which would need capital, versus looking at franchising,” Donna Green said. “So she directed us on both.”
May identified franchising as a possible option to help the Greens maximize their business. She said the entrepreneurs’ existing business and knowledge helped them adapt and succeed in expanding.
“They were already business minded and already in business,” May said. “They had other opportunities they wanted to discuss and were trying to figure out exactly the best approach for their business. It was a pretty smooth process. I guided them and put them in touch with a franchise consultant to discuss their next move.”
The Greens decided that franchising was their best option and were able to create a business plan that has led to launching an AdvantaClean franchise. AdvantaClean of Madison County opened for business earlier this month. The chain has more than 200 franchises across the country that provide mold removal, water damage cleanup, air duct cleaning and dryer vent cleaning for both residential and commercial customers.
The Greens have retained and continue to operate Green Homes Solutions. With their new business, they can expand their services further. Phil Green said the small business development center provided the support and resources he needed to make the right move.
“I was already looking at franchising, and I was looking at AdvantaClean and was even talking to AdvantaClean,” Green said. “But having their help with other people to talk to and their wisdom helped make the decision easier to make. It kind of reinforced that maybe I wasn’t crazy for considering this. So it was a big help.”
The Metro East Small Business Development Center provides free counseling and reaches clients in nine counties throughout Southwestern Illinois. To learn more, contact the center at 618-650-2929 or online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact reporter Will Buss at email@example.com or 618-239-2526.