Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 68

SIR GROUT
www.sirgrout.com / HQ: Alpharetta, Ga. / Jeff Gill, co-president: "Most people won't
call a competitor if they get everything satisfied with the first phone call."

UniqUe

Sir Grout has 38 locations in 15 states
and Singapore, and prides itself on its
dedication to customer service.

Straight Service
Sir Grout's technologies helped make it a leading
grout restoration franchise. BY TIM O'CONNOR
Most companies view the ongoing economic recovery as the right
time to push growth, but in 2015 Sir
Grout co-presidents Jeff Gill and Tom
Lindberg made the conscious decision
not to pursue any additional franchises
for the year. The pair wanted to focus
the grout cleaning and surface restoration company's efforts on expanding
the individual businesses. "We grew 30
percent in revenue without adding a
single franchise," Gill says. "Obviously, our efforts paid off in spades and our
franchisees benefited from it."
Gill attributes that growth without
physical expansion to a wave of franchises hitting their stride after a few
years in business, as well as the com68

franchising-today.com

FALL 2016

pany's ability to identify owners who
are committed to success. "We look
for people who have business experience," Gill explains. "People who understand what it takes to run a business. People who have people skills
and, ideally, have sales skills.
"I don't want to sell a franchise
just to sell a franchise," he continues. "I want them to be successful."
Sir Grout is back to adding franchises in 2016 and the company's goal is
to reach 50 locations in the next two
to three years. "We are probably the
best opportunity that nobody knows
about," Gill says. "Now we're trying
to make it the best opportunity people know about."

and

dUplicatable

Gill had 20 years of experience as a recruiter in the high-tech industry when
he decided to change careers following the burst of the dot-com bubble in
the early 2000s. Gill was fascinated by
high-end cars, so he bought into ChipsAway, a franchise that fixed paint
chips on luxury automobiles. But the
business only covered the exterior of
vehicles, and Gill soon noticed he was
missing an opportunity to take care
of vehicle interiors. He bought a few
steam cleaners from Italy and began
offering the service to dealerships.
Car dealers, however, had only
enough business for a few vehicles
at a time. To increase volume, Gill
expanded his steam cleaning service
to the rental car industry. One of the
country's major rental companies
gave Gill a few cars that were deemed
to be in too bad of shape to go back on
the road. It took only a half-hour for
Gill to get them looking like new.
The rental company was impressed
and opened discussion with Gill about
rolling out the chemical-free cleaning
service to all its markets, but leadership ultimately decided it could not
afford to invest in the technology.
When the deal fell through, Gill was
left with a bunch of steam cleaners
and several employees. He decided to
test the equipment on the grout in his
home entryway and found it cleared
out all of the grime that had built
up over the years. So Gill shifted his
equipment and workers into a grout
cleaning business.
The entire service takes only one
day to complete, dries within 10 minutes and does not require tearing out
any old material. "We're about price,
value and convenience," Gill says.
"When we're done, your floors or
walls either look brand new or better
than new," Lindberg adds.


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Franchising Today - Fall 2016

Contents
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Cover1
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Cover2
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 1
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Contents
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 3
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 4
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 5
Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - 6
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Franchising Today - Fall 2016 - Cover3
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