The Brothers That Just Do Gutters
Our Entrepreneurs Building Great Businesses videos are about entrepreneurship, the path that some of our clients have taken, their story and most important lessons that we can all share and benefit from one another. Well, I am pleased to share with you the story behind The Brothers that just do Gutters and if you haven’t seen the video they definitely have a compelling story.
Who Are the Brothers?
Well to be precise, "The Brothers that just do Gutters", are Ryan Parsons and Ken Parsons and I am glad that we have had the opportunity to work together.
What Is Their Business?
It is residential gutter installation.
What Is Their Story?
They have a great story and one that many of us can appreciate. Because it is a story of constantly adapting, learning, building business systems and using setbacks or "perceived" failures and turning them into strengths. Some highlights from the video, for me, include:
- Did Ken Parsons really throw his college degree "…in the gutter" ? (Video 1:21 mark);
- Vision. Ryan does a great job at explaining what motivated him and Ken and part of it had to do with building an organization that was much more than the two of them. From a mindset standpoint, Ken says it really well, you become a business owner "…when you can walk away from the business and it can run without you". I am certain that neither Ryan nor Ken have walked away from their business for 6 months (in fact I doubt that they have done it for more than a week or two) but the point is critically important – a business must be built on well developed marketing and business systems.
- A Team Culture Focused on Learning. This point is probably my favorite point from the video and one that I firmly believe in. Ryan and Ken point out that a big turning point in The Brothers that just do Gutters had to do with adopting a mindset of learning (something we must all constantly do) and how this mindset is shared with their team of employees and how they share books on customer service (like one of my favorites "Raving Fans" by Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles) and how from office staff, gutter installers and team members give reports to their peers where they talk about these lessons. This culture is critically important and as Ryan points out the lessons that we all learn in our entrepreneurial journey not only improve our business lives but they also improve our personal lives. Team culture and mindset of business and personal improvement is critical.
- The Power of a Brand and Specialization. Their brand says it all – they are family and they specialize. "…They just do gutters". From a business standpoint there is so much power in that message. Specialization is critical for providing exceptional customer service and for developing a powerful brand and marketing message. Ryan and Ken do a great job of point this out and if you watch the video you will learn that this was not always the case. They started out as "Waterfall Seamless Gutters" and at one point they did more than gutters – watch the video and hear how they describe the lesson they learned.
Some of My Favorite Quotes from the Video
"…I took my degree and threw it in the gutter…" (Video, 1:21)
"…If you chase after too many rabbits you can end up with none…" (Video, 5:22)
"…I am still looking for a real job…" (Video, 1:47)
"…stay small, keep it all…[is a lie]" (Video, 11:50)
During the past year, I have had to benefit of working with both Ryan and Ken in the development of The Brothers that just do Gutters franchise system. Their FDD has been registered and they are on track for their national franchise rollout. Best of all they have the right mindset for franchising which for Ken requires a win-win relationship with their franchisees and is all about building relationships with franchisees who are interested in "building a business and not buying a job".
All great stuff!
To Learn More About The Brothers That Just Do Gutters, visit: www.BrothersGutters.com
"We were constantly pushing forward and we didn’t realize until years into it that we were actually developing a franchise model. We didn’t know anything about franchising but we knew systems worked."
– Ryan Parsons, Franchisor
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