Dynamic Speakers Fire Up Chem-Dry Owners’ Convention

From sound business practices to making the most out of difficult situations, a powerful slate of speakers put forward the power of positive change

When Chem-Dry cleaning franchise owners meet up for their annual convention, they know there’ll be plenty of great information about new equipment and services. That’s all well and good, but they get really excited about the speakers and general information sessions. In Nashville this year, they had good reason.

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“I know we say this every year, but we had some of the most amazing people come and speak with us,” says Doug Smith, Senior Vice President of Franchise Development. “We work hard to find people who have compelling stories of business success, but also who have a shared, positive vision about how to operate a high-quality company that people want to work for, and that consumers want to hire. We hit all the marks this year.”

Resilience and adaptability were key messages

In her remarks, Alison Levine shared her story of multiple attempts to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Those journeys aided her in many ways as she pursued growth and success in other areas of her life, and were a powerful message for small business owners.

“So much of what she shared was about persistence, and not giving up,” Doug says. “The first time she got within 200 feet of the summit she had to scrap it. We learned a lot of lessons from her about not initially getting what you want, but not giving up. That really tied well into entrepreneurial ventures, because sometimes there are setbacks, and you must find ways to work around, or through, them.”

Setting actionable goals vital to success

Other speakers included Kevin Harrington, whose business successes have been highlighted on television’s Shark Tank, along with Google’s Sheldon Bernstein, who provided actionable insights on how to maximize online searches to grow business.

“Kevin talked a lot about not just setting goals, but how to go after them,” Doug says. “He talked about the need for efficiency, and how you have to adapt your business even after achieving a set of goals so that you can have continued success. He was able to craft a message that was specific to a Chem-Dry cleaning franchise owner, even though he’s had many other types of businesses. He talked about the need to outsource to experts when you can, so that you can focus on the core things you need to be doing every day to grow your business. A lot of small-business owners don’t do that, so it was good for all of us to hear.”

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Bernstein’s insights on online marketing also played well to the group, because in addition to capitalizing on Chem-Dry’s national marketing, most if not all of them are engaged in local online efforts through social media and websites as well.

“What we do every year is bring in people who can talk about running a business from every angle,” Doug says. “At the same time, we want to have speakers who have an amazing story to tell in their personal lives. Chem-Dry cleaning franchise owners are well-rounded people who have outside lives, but also are laser focused on their businesses. We give them speakers who are the same kind of people, and it creates an amazing energy.”

Chem-Dry is the world’s largest carpet and upholstery cleaning franchise with nearly 3,500 franchises in 51 countries, serving 10,000 homes and businesses a day. Chem-Dry has been Entrepreneur magazine’s top-rated carpet cleaning franchise for 29 straight years. The Chem-Dry Hot Carbonating Extraction process delivers a faster-drying, deeper and more environmentally friendly clean that appeals to both home and business owners. In addition to carpet and area rugs, Chem-Dry provides tile and stone, granite countertop, leather and upholstery cleaning.

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