Rick is director of franchise operations at Midtown Chimney Sweeps Franchising. Here in this commentary Rick gives a brief description of what he does for us. His passion in life is finding the real value in a business and helping the owner realize a gain. In the chimney sweep industry he is working hard to show chimney sweeps that their real value is not being recognized because at the end of the small business career the value is attached to them as an individual not to their company or brand.
At a recent NCSG Convention in Ohio in 2014 we asked an elderly sweep what his retirement plans were. We were curious what chimney sweeps were planning for their retirement in their industry. Shockingly, his plans were for his chimney business retirement was simply, “I am going to stop servicing my customers one day, and go out of business.” Surprisingly, this is not unusual in the retiring chimney sweep industry of 2015. We view this as an opening market as these accomplished individuals depart the industry leaving a vacuum behind them! After a lifetime of knowledge and skill has been created in understanding how to service the fireplace and chimney industry it is a shame that we will all lose that knowledge. We are talking to sweeps today about converting their mom-and-pop name into a stable franchise brand and system that handles all the scheduling and Customer Relationship Management and phone calls and allows the small chimney sweep business to be more hands on and mechanically oriented than office oriented. This system will allow the local chimney sweep to sell his business to an employee or family member and get a cash value AND the satisfaction of a job well done.