This is the first article in a series, “Building a Million Dollar Business,” where we conduct exclusive interviews with industry leaders to learn more about how they’ve transformed their cleaning and restoration companies into successful, million dollar businesses. This article features Ron Jones, owner of R1 Greater Charlotte and R1 of Winston Salem.
Before making a career in the cleaning and restoration industry, Ron Jones worked 25 years in a completely unrelated field. He was in the information technology space doing consulting, outsourcing for large multinational companies and serving in executive leadership positions. After getting laid off, Jones took it as an opportunity to jump into something new. He and his wife knew they wanted to do something on their own, so they started looking into franchises. The recession-proof aspect of the restoration space was attractive to Jones, so that’s what eventually led him to Restoration 1. He hasn’t looked back since.
Since becoming the owner of two franchises, Jones has successfully recruited and built a strong workforce. He attributes this as one of the key components that led his franchises to become a huge success. In an exclusive Spot On Solutions interview, Jones shares some of his best advice to grow and maintain a flourishing business.
Jones has prioritized hiring a loyal team of employees since becoming an owner, and it has paid off well. His secret? Never never stop hiring. Jones always has job posters circulating in the community and is constantly on the lookout for potential employees, particularly those who understand the company vision.
“When interviewing people, it’s all about explaining the strategy,” Jones said. “My vision of where we’re taking this is drastically different from where they were 10 years ago. I don’t like the idea of, ‘we’ve always done it this way.’ That’s not something I quite frankly allow in our organization.”
Jones’s innovative approach to running a business has attracted a large pool of devoted employees, including a recent hire who took a $30k pay cut to join the team.
“They get where we’re trying to go,” Jones said. “I mean, you feel bad they took that drastic of a pay cut. But on the other hand, that’s a powerful statement. They get your vision and want to be a part of building that.”
Another aspect of Jones’s business model that makes it attractive to potential and current employees is that it follows a transparency model.
“We sit down on a monthly basis and our employees see the entire P&O. They’re all a part of the profit share,” Jones said. “This is not about me and my wife getting rich, this is about wanting them all to improve.”
Instead of focusing on his own profits, Jones invests heavily on employee training and education, something he considers to be an important priority in the business.
“We spend heavily on technology and we’re trying to completely change what a water tech does,” Jones said. “We don’t want just the old rip and strip kind of guys. We want people who are leveraging the science.”
Building a million dollar business doesn’t come without its challenges. From the get go, there are always mistakes to be made and lessons to be learned. One mistake Jones regrets was having his employees quickly outsource phone calls.
“That’s one of the worst mistakes you can make,” Jones said. “We spend a ton of money to make that phone ring and if you don’t make sure that phone is answered by people who are empathetic, trained, and know how to deescalate some of the misinformation in the marketplace, you’re losing a lot of opportunities.”
Another hurdle Jones had to overcome with his employees was teaching them to trust the process of online marketing.
“If my employees got one bad call or transaction, they would shut it down instead of looking at it for over the course of 90 days,” Jones said. “Yes I paid $10k, but I made $100k, so why does it matter that there were some bad clicks and bad calls when the overall return on investment was accurate.”
For every hurdle Jones and his team has overcome, the stronger and more united they became in their vision. This rang true especially when navigating the business through the uncertainties of COVID-19. Yet, Jones said his team has become better because of it.
When asked what advice he would give to budding entrepreneurs in the industry, Jones encouraged anyone who wants to be a leader to quickly make their way out of working their business to managing it.
“Start trusting your team, but also verify. Build your KPI’s but also teach your team what that means. Get your team using that type of vernacular and reporting it back to you so they understand how those things impact the business,” Jones said. “Educate your employees so they can replace you.”
We’d like to extend a special thank you to Ron Jones for doing an interview with us and making this article possible.