Launching any new business can cause heart rates to rise, but a new venture during a recession can put most entrepreneurs over the edge. Despite the economic turmoil in today’s marketplace, James Pierce, president and CEO of the new franchise 1-800-PLUMBER, says there is a silver lining for the plumbing, heating and cooling industry.
“When the housing market was in full swing, most plumbing, heating and cooling contractors were fully employed in the new construction business,” he said. “With the plunge of home sales, homeowners are now focused on maintaining or remodeling their existing plumbing, heating and cooling systems for longevity and cost-efficiency.”
New construction sales are down 41.1 percent, according to a U.S. Census Bureau report, which undoubtedly affects local contractors. But Pierce anticipates the residential side will be much more resilient than either the commercial or new construction sectors.
1-800-PLUMBER’s franchise partners will be focusing much of their efforts on residential repair and replacement. The maintenance of drains and water systems along with replacement of inefficient HVAC systems will be some of the driving forces behind business.
“Homeowners are watching their pennies,” said Pierce. “With proper maintenance, they can prolong the life of their mechanical systems and that’s where we can help.”
Pierce also believes the economy will encourage more contractors to look into franchising options. Franchises that offer a sound business structure allow contractors to focus on what they do best - installing, repairing and replacing plumbing and heating systems.