How a Lost Contract Launched a Franchise Model for NextGen Great Sealcoating
- May 25, 2019
- By: Vonigo
Tim Smeltz hadn’t planned on starting a sealcoating installation franchise.
But when he lost a key contract, both his ambition and the direction of the company took a dramatic turn.
The business started inauspiciously enough. “Quite simply, I realized my driveway needed sealcoating and couldn’t find anyone to do it, so I started my own company,” says Tim Smeltz, President of NextGen Great Sealcoating. “My original vision was to be my own boss. But it began to change when we lost a job at a preschool because we were using coal tar-based sealer.”
A Market Opportunity
“After some thought, I realized that the asphalt maintenance industry was antiquated in its present form (this was 2008),” says Tim.
He set about enacting a two-step plan:
- To develop a safe, non-toxic sealcoating alternative (“This took six years to get right,” says Tim) and
- To franchise the business (“This took four more years to develop systems, infrastructure, and legal.”)
Leaders Focused on Growth
Since the launch of their franchising model, the company continues to expand into new regions, thanks in large part to the company’s leadership, according to Tim.
“Doug Eagan, our sales director, Karen Lopez, our office manager and Aristeo, our operations manager — all three have been and continue to be integral cogs in our growth machine,” says Tim. “They exceed their titles by being sounding boards and offering input where needed, all while maintaining sunny dispositions.”
Company-wide Systems and Franchise Management Software
To help with the management of their company and their continued expansion, NextGen Sealcoating chose Vonigo’s franchise management software. “We are a service business (a Vonigo niche) that was beginning to offer franchises (a Vonigo specialty) so using Vonigo is a natural fit to streamline the business,” says Tim. “More specifically, since we supply a call center for our franchisees, we needed software that could handle every aspect of our industry.”
They are already feeling the impact of franchise management software and centralized booking. “We are beginning to see some streamlining and quickening of some of our processes,” says Tim. “Over the next year, I expect to see more and more.”
Paving the Way for a Bright Future
“The multi-billion-dollar asphalt maintenance industry is ripe for disruption and I see us doing exactly that with strong, measured growth,” says Tim, “With 15 franchises in five years and 35 franchises in 10 years.”
The reviews from customers have been overwhelmingly positive, a fact that Tim says is a credit to both the team and the product. “Consistent customer service coupled with eco-friendly, non-toxic materials,” says Tim of why NexGen is so popular with customers. “Our A+ Better Business Bureau rating doesn’t hurt either.”
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