Pain Points for Restoration Contractors

Business man pushing large stone up to hill , Business heavy tasks and problems concept.

By Jeff Cross

Being in business means there are going to be pain points. You know, the problems or challenges you have as entrepreneurs.

For many, these come from outside the company. The competition. No one wants it, but we all have it.

It’s that competitive nature that can be painful because not all competition is good competition. As you probably know, if your competition excels in technical skill, does quality work at a fair price, and helps build a positive name for the industry, everyone wins. But if your competition cheats the system, is lacking in business morals, and subsequently smears the industry with a black mark, everyone loses.

Unfortunately, the latter happens all too often.

In one of the features of the annual Restoration Benchmarking Survey Report, Cleanfax asks respondents, “What are two of the greatest challenges your business faces in the restoration industry?” This could be rephrased to, “What are your pain points?”

There were many challenges — or pain points — in the comments tagged onto the end of the survey. While you can analyze the survey data and statistics in this issue of Cleanfax, I thought you might enjoy some highlights of what bugs business owners the most.

Feel free to nod your head in agreement as you read and have feelings of empathy with your peers on a few of these.


This was a big one. Collecting from insurance companies after the successful completion of a job is a pain point shared by many. The insurance billing process for many is problematic, and being forced to go through the painful process of invoice reduction is common. “TPAs and insurers reducing prices” and dealing with “desk adjusters” or “desk mitigation specialists” hinders the collections process for many, and unfortunately cripples some in the process.


One survey respondent had a sense of humor. He said he has an issue “finding anybody who has a work ethic.” Ouch.

Another said he simply can’t find qualified workers, and the few times he actually found one, it was too good to be true, and the worker soon left for greener pastures.

Declining margins

Then there is the issue of profit. One respondent said his company suffers from decreasing prices and increasing costs. Another was fed up with “margin suppression by insurance companies.”

My favorite pain point listed? One restoration business owner said, “Myself.” Honesty can be refreshing — and brutally accurate.

Enjoy this year’s Restoration Benchmarking Survey Report. I hope the data and statistics help you and your growing company — despite the pain points you suffer every day.

View the 2018 Restoration Benchmarking Survey Report now.

Jeff Cross

Jeff Cross is the ISSA media director, with publications that include Cleaning & Maintenance Management, ISSA Today, and Cleanfax magazines. He is the previous owner of a successful cleaning and restoration firm. He also works as a trainer and consultant for business owners, managers, and front-line technicians. He can be reached at [email protected].

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