Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 45

SURFACE SPECIALISTS SYSTEMS INC.

bath ware surfaces. But the company
branched out when it saw the potential to expand its services.
Kaplan joined the company in 1989
when he purchased a franchise from
McClosky. The concept of Surface
Specialists, Kaplan notes, appealed to
him personally. "I like fixing things,"
he says.
Over time, Kaplan grew his franchise to be the largest in the Surface
Specialists chain. Today, he owns the
company, which now has 44 franchise
locations that set themselves apart
with service.
"There are a lot of guys who can fix a
chip in a tub," he says, but asserts that
Surface Specialists can fix any type of
structural damage. "If the bottom is
bad, we can correct that."
The company also represents more
than 80 manufacturers across the
United States and provides strong refinishing services for tubs. "I've seen
them last as long as 20 to 25 years before they have to have them redone
again," Kaplan says.

Happy FrancHisees
Under Kaplan's leadership, Surface
Specialists has won recognition from
Franchise Business Review (FBR). For
the past eight years, the company
was a repeat winner of the Franchise
Satisfaction Award, which is based
on how happy franchisees are with
the company.
"[FBR was] impressed with our retention rate of our franchisees, which
is 97 percent," Kaplan says. "We're
doing something right, because they
don't leave."
In fact, the company has franchisees signed up to 30-year agreements.
"If they follow our systems, they can
make quite a bit of money," he says.
"It comes down to the individual and
how motivated they are."

Surface Specialists takes pride in its
bathroom refinishing projects.

Kaplan himself is an example of
how the company's franchisees can
succeed. "I built up [my business] to
where I was doing a million dollars a
year," he recalls.
"You can have some great success if
you follow what we do."

Meeting needs
Surface Specialists offers its franchisees flexibility in the services they
offer, Kaplan says. All provide the repair and refinishing of tubs and countertops, but the franchisees can select
what other services best fit the needs
of their local market.
The franchisees also can get creative with their service, which has included converting a tub to a shower.
While removing a tub and installing
a shower can cost up to $5,000 for clients, "We can cut out the front of the
tub to make it into a shower for a fraction of that cost," he says.

Ideal TraITs
Surface Specialists Systems Inc. looks for key traits
in each franchisee. "Though experiences in some
sort of a hands-on field is beneficial, it is not required," the company says. "Our franchise owners
come from all walks of life, including serving in the
military, repairing copy machines, running a bread
route and an information technology manager, just
to name a few."
Some of the physical requirements Surface
Specialists looks for are:
	
	
	

	Good manual dexterity;
	The ability to complete home repairs; and
	An eye for detail.

The company also requires specific personality
traits, including:

	
	
	

	Honesty and trustworthiness;
	Determination and confidence; and
	The ability to take direction.

Finally, Surface Specialists looks for several business traits, including:

	
	
	

	The managerial skills to operate a business;
	The willingness to set and achieve goals; and
	The ability to offer strong customer service.

WINTER 2017

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Contents
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - Cover1
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - Cover2
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 1
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - Contents
Franchising Today - Winter 2017 - 3
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