BY ROBERT P. MADER
OF CONTRACTOR'S STAFF
SARASOTA, FLA. — Clockwork Home Services in early September announced its acquisition of Nashville, Tenn.-based Tab Hunter's One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating franchise and Tab Hunter's Benjamin Franklin Plumbing franchise. For 2005, these two franchises generated total revenue of about $5 million. They will now become wholly owned and operated units of Clockwork.
Under terms of Clockwork's acquisition, Tab Hunter is joining Clockwork's management team as vice president/ franchise sales for the company's Benjamin Franklin Plumbing and One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating subsidiaries. He will be based in Clockwork's corporate headquarters in Sarasota. Additional terms were not disclosed.
In his new capacity, Hunter is responsible for marketing, sales of new One Hour and Benjamin Franklin Plumbing franchise territories and management of its sales staff.
At the same time, Clockwork announced plans to become the nation's dominant plumbing, HVAC and electrical contracting franchise.
Clockwork, formerly known as VenVest Inc., is the company started by Jim Abrams and John Young, who started Service Experts, the first HVAC consolidator, in 1996. VenVest was founded in 1998. The company owns Success Group International, which is the holding company for Plumbers Success International, AirTime 500, Electricians Success International and a roofing contractors group, in addition to the Ben Franklin and One Hour franchises.
"Tab shares management's vision of building a dominant home services company," said Rebecca Cassel, president/franchise operations at Clockwork Home Services. " Tab has the demonstrated business skills, knowledge of the contracting industry and experience from the phenomenal success of his former business that, collectively, will enable him to greatly contribute to the continued growth of Clockwork's One Hour and Benjamin Franklin Plumbing franchise networks."
From 2004 through 2006, Hunter's company experienced more than 60% revenue growth and saw its customer base expand significantly in the Nashville metropolitan area, she said.
"Our business model is based upon building national recognition and trusted brands in home services sector," Cassel told CONTRACTOR. "A few made an attempt in the plumbing, HVAC and electrical world. The most recognized today would be Roto-Rooter, and there's a lot of opportunity for a company to be known for on-time, can't-lose service for people who want a drugfree, criminally backgroundchecked employee in their home."
Clockwork plans to create a network of both company-owned and franchise locations, with 25% to 30% of the units company owned, Cassel said.
Clockwork currently has nine company owned locations with revenues of $ 100 million, although that dollar volume is higher than the typical Success Group International member, Cassel said.
"We want to find independent, successful contractors out there who want to be a part of building a national brand name," Cassel said. "We want to be in the Top 100 markets throughout the nation.
"Contractors in metropolitan areas have the biggest opportunities to grow, but we want to have a franchise presence with Ben Franklin anywhere there is a McDonald's. They will be well supported even in rural areas."
In the next five years, Clockwork plans to have 500 outlets nationwide for Ben Franklin, 500 for One Hour and 500 for the electrical franchise, Mr. Sparky.
Clockwork believes it will be successful because it has created its own farm team with the Success affinity groups and has taught contractors its best practices.
"We're not just patching somebody into system," Cassel said. " These are clients of ours who are ready to graduate. They have a long track record and a franchise is the next logical step for them."
Clockwork plans to begin national advertising by the end of 2007. Additional information about the company is available at its Website, www.clockworkhomeservices.com