Vince Caffarello started in the Cleaning & Restoration Industry on April 4, 1960. He began with ServiceMaster as a salesman of cleaning services, in their company owned Chicago branch office. He purchased a ServiceMaster service franchise in August of 1960 and a Master Franchise in April of 1961. In June of 1986 he began his career with Duraclean, first as Marketing Servicers Manager, then as Director of Franchise Support, next as Vice President of Franchise Services, then Executive Vice President and finally President in 1998. In addition to his corporate responsibilities he has served on the boards of local, state, and national industry associations as well as non-industry related organizations and associations.
1. Duraclean has been around since 1930, is there anything unique about its history?
I believe the fact Duraclean has been around for 87 years is unique in today’s business climate. Duraclean started in 1930 in Racine, Wisconsin as a Business Opportunity. Individuals were offered a container of soap, brushes, sponges and a manual on how to use these tools to clean carpet & upholstery. Duraclean moved to Illinois in 1938 and began franchising in 1945. For the first 50+ years the opportunity was sold as a part time business and then, in the mid-80s, it shifted to a full time opportunity as more services were added.
2. What type of individual is the best Duraclean franchise candidate?
We look for self-starters, who are confident and have good communication skills and a desire to make their life goals come true. Today, some of the tools used in building businesses are social media and networking, which require communication skills. The technical side of our industry is mostly task oriented, “use this to accomplish this” and can be taught; there is no manual that will put a fire in one’s belly to want to be their own boss.
3. What do you believe sets Duraclean apart from the competition?
Our industry has changed drastically since I began in 1960. What we service has changed, how we service it has changed, how we invoice what we serviced has changed and even, in many cases, how we are paid for what we have serviced has changed so we have to be careful in how we answer that question. There is very little difference in cleaning and drying equipment today. There may be claims of differences in equipment or method; however, when you peel away all the puffing, there is usually less difference than first reported. What sets Duraclean apart from the rest is our personalized training and on-going support. Certainly we have academic models, hands on sessions, and in- the-field opportunities as is the practice of most good franchises; however, we take it to the next level. We make several trips to the new franchise and actually get involved with the daily business to assist in jump starting the marketing end of the equation. We never forget that nothing happens until somebody sells something and we get involved in their marketplace. We set the new franchisee up as the quarterback, so to say, and allow them to call in as much, “personal support” as they believe is needed or wanted.
4. Duraclean is 87 years old, how do you see its future?
Duraclean’s longevity is part of its history; however, we don’t live in the past. We have some of the best forward thinking individuals in the industry. For example, the Restoration/Insurance industry continues to change and the recent changes have not been the best for start-ups. Third party administrators have maneuvered themselves between contractors and insurance companies and many have one or two years before a start-up can apply. The restoration industry is still a fantastic opportunity but to bolster our new franchises we added a NADCA approved duct cleaning system plus tile and grout cleaning to last year’s initial package of water restoration, carpet and upholstery cleaning. To these additions we increased our, “in their marketplace support”, to assist it jump starting this new business. We are proud of our history, but we are more involved with today’s business challenges a new franchise faces than ever before. Too often we hear that a “Brand” will make somebody successful and that may be true if your definition of success mirrors the franchisor’s profile. The true Entrepreneur does not accept a ceiling on his or her success and Duraclean sees it future in providing that type of business opportunity.
5. What is the biggest opportunity that Duraclean Franchises can take advantage of as they begin their new business?
The greatest benefit of the Duraclean program is diversity. You are not a one trick pony. If you think of a residential home or a commercial property, a Duraclean Franchise has the training, equipment, and support to service every surface in those two examples. This gives the new business a tremendous advantage, he or she does not have to wait for a water damage event to happen, because they can clean the carpeting or designer rugs, the upholstery, the office partitions, desk and side chairs, the ventilation duct work, the dryer vent, the hard surface and the grout lines; and of course if there was a water event they can take care of that also and invoice the insurance company. This “Service Versatility” allows a new business to create customers quicker thereby establishing their business foundation.
6. Are there any other items of interest you would like to discuss?
I believe a wide range of topics have been covered; however, there are additional opportunities to investigate by going to our website; www.duraclean.com.