As a third generation plumber, Eric Carter has been around the plumbing industry his entire life. So it was no surprise when after graduating high school, he got his plumbing license and went to work in the family plumbing business in Fort Worth, Texas. Carter worked at his family’s company off and on throughout his career, but about five years ago, an opportunity knocked in the form of a bluefrog Plumbing + Drain franchise.
“bluefrog San Antonio became available, and my son lived down there with his mom, so it made sense for us to jump in,” Carter says. “I knew a lot of the guys involved in putting the franchise together and we were kicking around the idea of possibly starting another business. We were looking for a company where we could come in and essentially just flip the switch on something that already had everything together. bluefrog San Antonio had already been open a short time, but the owner had passed away. We came in and bought the business from his family, and then we uprooted and moved to San Antonio. The rest is history.”
The bluefrog franchise also offered significant training and marketing packages already put together, making it an at-tractive offer, Carter notes.
“It was a one-stop shop for us and made a lot of sense,” he says.
After five years in business, bluefrog Plumbing & Drain San Antonio has grown to 10 employees, seven fleet vehicles and has two locations. The company specializes in plumbing and drain services in both the residential and commercial markets. Roughly 80% of the company’s revenue is from the residential end, while 20% comes from the commercial side.
Another advantage to purchasing a bluefrog franchise was the truck wrap was already designed. bluefrog provides several different wrap options, depending on the vehicle make and model.
“At our company in Fort Worth, we have always had Ford Transits,” Carter says. “We’ve had really good luck with them on everything from maintenance to drivability and comfort. They also provide the space we need to do our jobs and stock the right parts and equipment.
“Some of the other franchises have older model trucks, so their wraps are different,” he adds. “We’ve always bought brand new since day one, mainly to keep our maintenance down. The wraps themselves are really very simple. It looks like there’s a lot there, but they’re actually not full wraps. So we’re actually able to save quite a bit of money. I believe that was intentional when they started designing our brand.”
Carter says his vehicles draw comments from customers all the time.
“We’re known in town to have the cleanest and cleanest-looking trucks around – that’s the reputation we’ve acquired,” he notes. “As clean as our trucks look on the outside, they’re just as clean on the inside. We really take care of our equipment. That’s our No. 1 priority. Our first section of training is being relentlessly prepared, and having our trucks put together is a big part of that.”
bluefrog Plumbing + Drain San Antonio lives by its slogan, “We hop to it.” Every customer is sent an email with a photo of the employee who will be coming to their house, along with a brief description of that employee’s experience.
“If one of our guys is going to show up at your house, he’s coming with a fully stocked truck and he’s able to quote and give options,” Carter says. “Typically, 98% of the time, they’re able to do the work right there and then without having to leave. We save a lot of money, time and frustration for our customers by running our business that way.
“It’s a pretty competitive market,” he continues. “There’s always several front runners – companies that have been here for 20 years or more. As far as size goes, we’re starting to catch up to them. But as far as technology and training goes, they’re striving to be more like us.”