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Business World Magazine Publication Service Brands International with Craig Donaldson & Nicole Hudson

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Service Brands International is a multi-concept franchise family with a well-earned reputation as a leader within the franchise industry and an essential service provider in the marketplace. Their portfolio of home-services brands includes category leaders Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman and ProTect Painters. Founded in 1984, and with headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Service Brands has a mission to help franchise owners and customers realize their dreams. In the three decades since their inception, Service Brands International has had a “terrific track record helping franchisees achieve success in the business,” says CEO Craig Donaldson. Over the years, they have honed their skilled, designed innovative operating systems, and carefully bolstered their industry standing.

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Business World Magazine Publication Service Brands International with Craig Donaldson & Nicole Hudson

  1. 1. Published September 17th 2012 Service Brands International is a multi-concept franchise family with a well-earned reputation as a leader within the franchise industry and an essential service provider in the marketplace. Their portfolio of home-services brands includes category leaders Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman and ProTect Painters. Founded in 1984, and with headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Service Brands has a mission to help franchise owners and customers realize their dreams. In the three decades since their inception, Service Brands International has had a “terrific track record helping franchisees achieve success in the business,” says CEO Craig Donaldson. Over the years, they have honed their skilled, designed innovative operating systems, and carefully bolstered their industry standing. Before joining Service Brands earlier this year, Donaldson spent 14 years running Harris Research Inc, the franchisor of Chem-Dry Carpet Cleaning & Upholstery. He made the move to Service Brands because he was impressed with the company’s culture. “We seek our success by seeking our franchisees’ success,” he says, citing the company’s motto. “There’s this spirit of concern for each other as employees,” he explains. “There’s also a commitment to excellence so we can help our franchisees be successful.” Nicole Hudson is a digital and social media specialist, and was recruited by Service Brands to help them capitalise on that market. “One of the things that impressed me most was that this family of companies
  2. 2. really took the time to invest and build and mentor from within,” she says. “We also have a really interesting of alignment of women in high positions, as Presidents and Vice Presidents,” Hudson continues. “One of their main focuses is really trying to mentor you and move you up in the company, and really teach you what it is to be a leader. I’ve never found that experience anywhere else.” “I have had a wonderful career here and it only continues to get better as it evolves.” According to both Donaldson and Hudson, it’s the corporate culture – and the quality of people it attracts and fosters – that makes Service Brands’ franchises stands apart. In all three brands, the top priorities include building rapport between employees, communication, and instilling a commitment of quality in their service providers. “That applies to Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman, and ProTect Painters,” Donaldson explains. “We’re very committed to quality and excellence by treating the employees respectfully, so they in turn treat the customers respectfully. There’s a professionalism we expect in all three of these brands that is not common among local independent contractors.” “The end customer is drawn not just to the category, but to how we bring professionalism, a confidence, and a commitment to excellence to the client,” he says. “We have a transparency, a consistency and a promise to the customer,” adds Hudson. “All three brands embody that, from the franchisees all the way up to the national brand. If there’s ever a success to celebrate, or a complaint to mitigate, we have open channels. There’s no one who won’t pick up the phone and help keep a relationship positive or solve a problem. Our customers really respond to that commitment.” When Donaldson joined the business, he recalls calling his son-in-law in California and asking him to do a “mystery shop.” His son-in-law called his local Mr. Handyman franchise, and ended up extremely impressed. The franchisee technician delivered a service far superior to what he was used to with local independents. “Here, in a personal way that I care about, I saw the way the Mr. Handyman franchise works to stand above the competition with superior quality, and superior commitment to excellence,” Donaldson says. A fabulous model Service Brands International represents an excellent opportunity for more than customers – their brands also make excellent choices for people looking to get into franchising. Donaldson has been in the industry for 15 years, and says he’s never before seen a brand that can offer the same high levels of success theirs do. Roughly 30 per cent of their franchisees have businesses with revenue north of $1 million, and 90 per cent of their franchisees report growth. “The second thing I’d say is it’s a fabulous model,” he adds. Their brands all offer potential for recurring revenue, rather than just a one-time opportunity. It’s also a very cash friendly model, with no need for a brick and mortar store and with customers who pay right away. Another major advantage of Service Brands is the internet marketing effort they have rolled out from their headquarters, including search engine optimization for all the brands, and launching a mobile website for Molly Maid. “We drove 160,000 leads to franchisees last year,” Donaldson says. In a business where 92 per cent of their customers are repeat ones, that is an incredible sum. “We’ve taken care of so much of that business building effort that can be so difficult for small owners,” he says. Maximizing opportunity Moving forward, Donaldson will make sure Service Brands is firing on all cylinders with the three brands they have – “that we’re maximizing the rich, wonderful opportunities we have,” he says. Molly Maid
  3. 3. currently covers 455 territories, with 255 franchisees. Mr. Handyman has 222 territories with 138 franchisees. ProTect Painters’ franchisee count is around 35. “In every case there’s wide open territory,” Donaldson says. “We have a lot more footprint of the country to cover with ProTect, there are still many rich and valuable markets available for Mr. Handyman, and even the oldest of our brands, Molly Maid, is only scratching the surface in terms of potential.” In the long term, Donaldson says he is positive their brands will continue to lead in every category they are in. “There will be a national footprint filled out for all three brands, high levels of success and respect for the franchisees, and an expansion into new exciting service categories.” They will also be focusing further on national expansion – Mr. Handyman already has operations in Canada, and Molly Maid in Puerto Rico. Donaldson’s previously oversaw a company with operations in dozens of countries, so he’s well equipped to lead that charge. - See more at: http://www.businessworld-magazine.com/business-world-magazine/september_2012/service-brandsinternational/#! Donaldson comes to SBI with extensive business management experience and background in the franchise industry. For the last 15 years, he served as President and CEO of various entities with Harris Research, Inc., a franchisor for 4,000 ChemDry Carpet and Upholstery Care franchises and over 200 N-Hance Wood Renewal franchises. Focusing on significantly increasing revenue and strengthening marketing programs, technology, and franchise relations, Donaldson was also involved in making Chem-Dry and NHance national service providers for The Home Depot. Prior to that, he spent 13 years with Avery Dennison, working his way up from Operations Analyst to Vice President/General Manager. Hudson joined SBI in 2011 with extensive experience in digital marketing, SEO, social media and lead generation in the consumer package goods and fashion industries. For the prior 5 years, she lived in New York City and worked with brands such as Kenneth Cole Productions, Chap-Stick. Benadryl, Bass Shoes, Pfizer, Nicole Miller and Charmin Brands. Nicole is the lead on digital marketing, social media and content marketing strategy in Franchise Development for SBI’s portfolio of brands; Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman, and ProTect Painters.

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