AdvantaClean Franchise Review: Meet Dan Derbes
How a retired military professional became a multi-unit owner
with the AdvantaClean franchise
The majority of AdvantaClean franchisees join us without any prior experience in the $210 billion restoration industry. The reasons are simple: AdvantaClean can help any driven entrepreneur with a passion for helping others and a drive to successfully own a business that is both personally and financially rewarding.
Because core values guide AdvantaClean, our franchisees share not only a mission to deliver the best service to their customers; they also are united in how they conduct their businesses and place special emphasis on giving back to their communities.
This is much the case of Dan Derbes, who owns four AdvantaClean franchise territories in Northern Virginia. As a retired military professional, Derbes did not have any background in the restoration industry but jumped at the chance to become a part of our franchise family when he discovered that the core values AdvantaClean holds are the right way to do business. Two and a half years later, Derbes is succeeding in his rapidly growing business and is excited about the future.
This is his story:
What did you do before you became an AdvantaClean franchisee?
Derbes: After I retired from the military, I went to work as a defense contractor for nine years. That’s what I did before I came to AdvantaClean.
Why did you choose to franchise with AdvantaClean?
Derbes: I looked at 15 different concepts. I was very interested in having my own company, and I wanted a franchise because there’s a structure I can follow. Of all the 15 concepts I was investigating, AdvantaClean was always at the top of the list because of the high return on the investment and the type of work that they do. When I had the opportunity to speak to the franchisees, I couldn’t believe their positive attitudes and how consistent they were in their love of the brand. I made up my mind on Discovery Day, when I met Jeff (Dudan, CEO, and Founder of AdvantaClean) and the other members of the executive team at the home office – it sealed the deal for me.
Did you start out with multiple territories? Why did you decide to scale your business?
Derbes: I started off with three territories, and I only recently bought the fourth territory a few weeks ago. The business has been doing incredibly well, which made me continue to think that continuing to scale up is a good investment with lots of opportunity.
How much demand is there for AdvantaClean in your area?
Derbes: I live in a densely populated area, and there’s both a lot of need for the services that we offer and a lot of competition. We’re competing against some of the larger companies, but there’s still plenty of demand for us to deliver services to customers. That’s the strength of AdvantaClean – we focus on the customer. We can build meaningful relationships, we can be trusted and relied upon, and we deliver a good service.
How important is giving back to the community?
Derbes: I love giving back to the community. It’s always been part of who I am. Last year, we had the opportunity to give back to a couple in our community. They had a young child and one more on the way – and they discovered mold growth. They didn’t have the money to pay us but they were deeply in need. We did a pro bono project for them, and they now have a new baby girl, and everyone is healthy. We hear from them regularly. That’s a big part of what we do – helping people with indoor air quality, so it was nice to give back and take on a project like that.
Business that helps people, that provides a needed service – we do that. It’s something that can’t be exported, we have to be there to do it. I like the connection with customers that we have with AdvantaClean.
How is the support that AdvantaClean provides?
Derbes: It’s excellent. I really enjoy the call center, they really take care of us, I enjoy the coaches, who help us on an ongoing basis. I’ve been on the Franchise Advisory Council, and I have really good relationships with many of the staff. I love working with them. I know they have my best interest at heart, and that is why I bought into the franchise at the very beginning.
Our CEO broadcasts the vision of AdvantaClean extraordinary well. We all share the vision. We believe in it. I strive to make AdvantaClean successful and myself successful as well.
What kind of support do you get from other franchisees?
Derbes: It’s one of the things that attracted me to the franchise and that has not changed. I’ve really learned a lot from owners who have been in the system – in fact, just last week I reached out to an owner for advice on a project. It’s one of the strengths of our system. Hopefully, I’ll be able to pay it forward and help out new owners as well.
What are your hopes for your business?
Derbes: I want to continue to grow and make it into a $1 million-plus business. Not only to reap the benefits but also to create an environment where my employees can continue to develop as well. It’s all part of a plan to establish a business that works for the long term.