Dryer Vent Wizard

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Fast-growing Dryer Vent Wizard offers a unique franchising opportunity to entrepreneurs.

By Kat Zeman, Knighthouse Media

Dave Lavalle is very passionate about his business. As the founder of the Dryer Vent Wizard franchise, Lavalle has found a lucrative investment opportunity for a business that serves a need in the market and has minimal competition.

Lavalle, who also founded the Mr. Handyman franchise, frequently encountered homeowners with dryer vent problems that required an urgent response. Common issues were the result of dryer vent lint accumulation, blockages and disrepair or improper venting configurations.

But nobody really provided a service that specifically solved these problems. “I saw a need in the market and saw the franchise potential,” Lavalle says. “So, I beta tested it for more than a year and realized that there was a lot more to it than anybody, including myself, ever realized.”

The Dryer Vent Wizard franchise was born and quickly expanded into a successful business specializing in dryer fire prevention and energy savings through vent cleaning, inspection, repair, and maintenance for residential and commercial properties.Dryer info box1

That was in 2004. Today, Lavalle’s Dryer Vent Wizard empire has grown to include close to 100 Dryer Vent Wizard franchisees throughout the United States and Canada. Three of his franchisees are his children – Michael Lavalle, Daniel Lavalle and Megan Lavalle.

“There’s a lot of room for growth,” Lavalle says. “I predict we will grow and I look forward to the day when we are a fully grown franchise at about 250 units systemwide.” Lavalle credits his business partner, Terry Reuer, as being instrumental in the company’s growth. Reuer, who joined Dryer Vent Wizard in 2009, has used her experience in operations, business ownership and accounting to help continue growing the franchise. She became his partner in
in 2011 and has helped Dryer Vent Wizard increase its footprint through the addition of new locations and international expansion.

“God love Terry because she has to sift through my 99 crazy ides to get to the one good idea and she’s very patient,” Lavalle says. “She’s awesome at that. It’s a great partnership.”

Cost Of Investment

Entrepreneurs interested in opening a Dryer Vent Wizard franchise must have between 15,000 and $50,000 in liquid assets and a net worth between $85,000 and $180,000. It depends on the size of the territory purchased. The company works with various lending partners that can help advise candidates on the best option for making the investment.

On average, the total initial investment is between $54,650 and $151,400. This includes a franchisee’s protected territory, training and a branded and fully-equipped van.

The company also charges a franchise fee of roughly $35,000 per location. It collects an ongoing royalty fee of 10 percent and a 2 percent ad fund charge.

Franchisees receive a week of training at the Dryer Vent Wizard’s headquarters in Farmington Hills, Mich. During this time, they are introduced to overall aspects of the business. That’s followed by a week of field training and then 15 training jobs at no-cost for friends and family. When it comes to support, Dryer Vent Wizard goes out of its way to help its franchisees succeed. That includes offering technical assistance via phone when they are in the field.

In addition, representatives at the company’s scheduling center handle all of the incoming calls for its entire system of franchisees across the United States and Canada. They answer questions and book appointments using a web-based calendaring system that all franchisees use to manage their weekly schedules.

A team of Dryer Vent Wizard employees are also available at the company’s headquarters to help franchisees with issues and questions related to marketing, accounting and any other issues that they may face.

When it comes to attracting customers, Dryer Vent Wizard’s uses a proven methods of local advertising, such as direct mail. For customers who like to research companies on the Internet, the company has a marketing plan as well. It also has a large following on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Dryer Vent Wizard’s family of franchisees pride themselves on their public relations skills. The company’s scheduling center shows that 80 percent of its new calls are booked during the first conversation and more than 90 percent of the booked appointments become paying jobs that its franchisees service in their own exclusive territory.

Dryer Vent Wizard is a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) with franchisees across the country working with local fire departments to help raise awareness on how to prevent dryer fires. The company is ranked in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 List and was also listed as one of the Top Home-Based Franchises in 2011 by Entrepreneur magazine.

 

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