How Can Being a Team Member Benefit Your Business?

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How Can Being a Team Member Benefit Your Business?
John Mott II

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John Mott II is president of Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain in Sciotoville, Ohio, part of John Mott Enterprises that includes Mott’s Potts (portable restrooms and septic service) and John Mott Excavation. A Roto-Rooter franchisee since 1972, services include drain cleaning, plumbing, jetting, CCTV and pipe bursting.

About half the company’s work is residential with the remainder divided among commercial and municipal. It also serves as a subcontractor to other plumbing companies in the region.

Q: What are some of the advantages of being a Roto-Rooter franchise?

A:  I would say national recognition, the advertising. Being able to network with other dealerships from all over the country about problems they have faced and how they have come up with solutions.

My father (the late John Mott) liked being able to talk with others in the business who were not competitors.

One thing that stands out to me is the training they offer to deal with flooded basements from heavy rain or a city main backup.

There are a lot of good people in the franchise — a lot of knowledge.

Q: Considering the three companies in your corporation, what percent of the business is driven by Roto-Rooter, and how does this benefit your other services?

A:  I would say 60 percent of our business is from Roto-Rooter calls for sewer and drain cleaning. When we get a call for a stopped-up drain and we go out to cable the line and pull mud back with the cutter, we know we will have a broken line. Then we send in our camera, and this will likely give us an opportunity to bring business to our excavation company and replace the line, or we might do
pipe bursting.

Q: When the economy is fluctuating, how has the Roto-Rooter name impacted your business?

A: We don’t see a lot of change in the drain cleaning portion of our business when the economy is down. This is a stable part of the services we provide — so a definite benefit.

Q: Have you considered adding another Roto-Rooter franchise?

A: I’m pretty satisfied right now, but if I knew I could find trained people I might consider expanding. I have thought about it off and on over the years. But you have to be able to take care of people when they call for service, and that takes technicians. There are no training opportunities at this time and it is a challenge to find personnel.

Q: Who are your team members and what duties do they perform?

A: We have two full-time drain cleaners and three plumbers. Our technicians are cross-trained so they are capable of working across the line. We have three service vans and they are all equipped for drain cleaning, and also for plumbing with tools and supplies — cable machines and different parts. We have a trailer jetter that is an important tool for us, and cameras.

Q: Are you a licensed plumber, and do your employees work under your license?

A: I have a state plumbing license and my employees work under that license.

Q: What do you enjoy about being a plumber?

A: I am in the field probably 50 percent of the time, and what I enjoy most would be those projects that are a little more substantive, that amounts to more than a typical service call. In our area they are putting in sewers to replace septic systems. The old treatment systems have to be removed and hooked up to the new city or county sewer.

Depending on the size of the treatment plant it can be a two- or three-week job. Four men would be on this kind of job. For a residential switch, it would typically be a one-day thing and have two men.

The treatment plant work takes longer to do, costs more to do, and you have to wait longer on the money. But it is good to do something different from time to time.

Q: How have you used the Roto-Rooter name to promote your business?

A: One thing we have used successfully is a 2008 Chevrolet Kodiak C 4500 with a pickup truck box. It looks like a giant pickup. We use magnetic Roto-Rooter decals and attend local car shows. It’s a big truck, and we have recently added to the program by using a bag from Roto-Rooter containing a roll of toilet paper, along with a coupon and description of our many services as a handout.

Q: How else have you benefited from the Roto-Rooter name?

A: One way I have found the Roto-Rooter name to be an asset is when a large company comes into our area and needs some kind of work they will call us first. They recognize that name.


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