Those new to the industry might wonder want a basic rundown of the restoration sector, what exactly its key areas, and what it takes to diversify into restoration.
There is a common misconception that for a carpet cleaning company to diversify into restoration it is as easy as ponying up the money for the (often very expensive) equipment, but the process is not so simple. This is not to say adding restoration services is a bad idea; it just take planning and dedication as with any other diversification venture.
Five steps to diversify into restoration
First, as usual, we recommend proper training. Actually, in the case of restoration, it isn’t so much a recommendation as a requirement, as certification in certain areas is mandatory. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration (IICRC) and the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) each offer training and certification in restoration services, and the International Cleaning and Restoration Association (ICRA) reports it will offer these soon.
Second, start your network. Now is the time to investigate local insurance companies, both agents and adjusters, and plan on how you will reach them so they can refer you and get you jobs. Most of your attempts will fail, as agents and adjusters are constantly approached by other restoration contractors, but all it takes is getting work from one insurance agent or adjuster and you are on your way to more jobs.
Take advantage of your current customer base. As a carpet cleaner, you no doubt have hundreds of customers who you can market to and use as referrals. What many neglect to do when they diversify is simply inform their customers of all the services offered. Make sure everyone knows you are expanding into restoration.
Third, make sure your website is optimized for search engines. That means it should use current SEO strategies be mobile friendly and offer easy navigation for users. If you don’t know how to do all of this, it might be time to reach out to website development and SEO companies who are knowledgeable of your industry.
Finally, make sure you’re properly insured. As industry-insurance expert Kari Dybdahl pointed out in a recent article, “As you take on more risk, it becomes increasingly important to ensure your risk-management strategy is dialed in, and insurance can help with that strategy. Unfortunately, the insurance programs for nine out of 10 restoration firms contain material coverage defects.” And there are gaps specifically built into restoration companies’ general liability policies to catch those who don’t take care when it comes to insurance.