The Rooter-Man franchise has been around since 1970 when they were founded by Donald MacDonald. Although they did not begin franchising until 1981, Rooter-Man’s nearly 30 years of franchise experience has resulted in consistent growth, even during the tough economic recession. Not surprisingly, this has also allowed them plenty of time to perfect their franchising system. They expect to exhibit even more growth when the economy’s credit conditions improve and franchisee’s have an easier time accessing start up funding.
Rooter-Man franchises offer residential and commercial plumbing services ranging from septic work to troubleshooting, maintenance, repairs, water jetting, pipe location, leak detection, and drain cleaning. They advertise that their drain cleaning equipment is patented and superior to most others in the market. Rooter-Man offers 7 day a week, 24 hours a day service, including holidays, and promote the slogan “To the Rescue”.
As of 2009, there were a reported 481 US based franchises, up from 461 the previous year, with another 17 franchise units outside of the United States. The are currently seeking expansion worldwide and they offer exclusive territories up to a population of 125,000. Their headquarters is located in North Billerica, MA. Franchise fees range from $3,975 to $39,750 depending on the size of the territory and the total start up investment is estimated at $46,750 to $137,600. Rooter-Man does offer in-house financing for the franchise fee and they do allow third party financing for all start up costs and fees. The ongoing royalty fee also varies according to the territory size. A net worth of $25,000 is required.
Rooter-Man franchises can be run from home, offering a unique opportunity for a home based business for someone with plumbing experiences. They do not require owner operation, although 97% are run by the owners. It is estimated that 3-5 employees are needed to run each franchise and 25% of all franchisees own more than one unit, a statistic that suggests that multiple units are needed to generate significant income.
A 6 week training and certification course is offered at company headquarters. On-site training is also available as is co-op advertising, and participation in national and regional advertising campaigns. Before starting a Rooter-Man franchise, or any franchise, one must realize that they will bear the brunt of the advertising and marketing burden. Simply having plumbing and business skills may not be enough to have success with a Rooter-Man franchise. A significant amount of marketing expertise is necessary for success in any business opportunity.