Q&A: Carpet Installer Expanding Business By Tapping Into Chem-Dry Franchise

Avi Elfersy?s customers kept asking who he?d recommend for carpet cleaning. That gave him an idea for expanding business.

Ever since Avi Elfersy started installing carpets in 2003, his customers kept asking him the same question: Do you clean carpets, too? And every time, the answer was no. Avi had been busy growing his flooring installation company, Spectrum Renovations Inc., which handles a lot of work for Lowes as well as home builders. Business has been steady and after 10 years, he?s growth to the point where it?s hard to grow locally. So after an exceptionally profitable 2012 gave his some extra cash, Avi decided to find a new way to grow ? by adding a Chem-Dry carpet cleaning franchise and turnings those ?no?s? into ?yes?s.?

Avi Elfersy owns Benson's Chem-Dry in Murfreesboro, TN.

Avi Elfersy owns Benson’s Chem-Dry in Murfreesboro, TN.

?I?m an entrepreneur,? he says. ?I love to grow businesses, and this gives me something new to grow.?

We recently chatted with Avi about his background and his decision to add a Chem-Dry carpet cleaning franchise to his existing business.

You?ve been a successful business owner for a decade now. What led you to start your own business?

Well, I?m 34, so I wasn?t out of school too long before I started my business. I bartended for a little while, which is a fun thing to do when you?re in your early 20s. I was having a blast. But my wife wasn?t having fun. She was a teacher, and during the summer she would watch kids at a daycare. She came home every day crying because the kids could just be little demons. I told her I?d get something else so that she wouldn?t have to work there, and I got a job doing estimates with a flooring company.

I?m good at it, and there was a struggling installation business in Nashville that was a great opportunity for me to invest in and turn it around. We have grown to become a premier installer, growing from handling installations for three Lowes locations to now taking care of orders from more than 20 stores, as well as handling installations for nine different home builders.

Why did you decide to add another business?
We?re at a point where my thought was, either I need to find another business I can operate here in the Nashville area or I?m going to need to expand to East Tennessee or Alabama to continue to grow. And I didn?t want to be making that drive every week. My children, Benjamin and Jackson, are 6 and 3. I wanted to be able to see them. I liked that I didn?t have to maintain a storefront or work long retail hours. And I can take Sundays off.

Why did you buy a Chem-Dry?
I looked at a lot of different companies ? mom and pop places with their own van ? but I don?t start off with years and years of carpet cleaning experience, and I didn?t expect to become an expert overnight. Being able to talk to experts and go to training, that made it worth the franchise fees. And it wasn?t much more than just buying my own mom-and-pop type business.

How has the support helped you?
I was at a house one recent Saturday. This place was in bad shape, and they weren?t sure if the carpet was salvageable. I told the owner that I would like to demonstrate the cleaning, and if she decided that she needed new carpet, I?d cut her a deal. Then I put the system to work. I went into the worst room and identified stains, pre-treated, treated, cleaned ? what I was trained to do. The I invited her back into the room and she was stunned by how much cleaner the carpet was.

I was in multimillion dollar house just the other day, which was a very different experience from the other house, but I used the same principles and the right products and the owner couldn?t have been happier. Because there?s a system, it gives me the confidence to be able to do things. The nice thing about the franchise, and having people I can call with questions, is there is a net under me if I need it.

What do you like about your new business?
I enjoy going out and doing the work myself, meeting people in their homes and making them happy. Now that we have the other company staffed up, I can really concentrate on this one. I really enjoy the process of growing a company, and this gives me the opportunity to start basically at the bottom and do it again. It?s great because the businesses are so complimentary to each other. Every time I go out to give an estimate for carpet cleaning, I can leave a business card for both businesses, and every time I do a carpet installation, I leave a business card for Chem-Dry. I?m planning to hand out refrigerator magnets, and also give a bottle of spot remover to anyone who spends above a certain amount on carpet cleaning. There are a lot of little things we plan to do, and the things we?ve done so far have been successful.

One of the other things I like about Chem-Dry is that, for me, with my other business, I?m not completely reliant on it and it?s a small risk. I expect to grow, but worst-case scenario, I?ve spent money for a van and some equipment, all of which I can resell. It?s not like some businesses where you spend $50,000, and if it fails, you?re out $50,000.

Looking at option for expanding your business?

Chem-Dry is looking for new franchisees who can benefit by adding a carpet cleaning franchise to their existing business. Chem-Dry has been recognized by Entrepreneur magazine as a top franchise opportunity for 25 consecutive years. To learn more about the training and support, professional approach, and technology that sets Chem-Dry apart from the competition, download our free franchise report and start a conversation with us!

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