5 Questions with Miracle Method CEO Chuck Pistor
Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Miracle Method is the top refurbishing franchise in the country with 137 franchises refurbishing bathtubs, countertops, ceramic tile and more at homes and institutional locations across the country.
We recently spoke with CEO Chuck Pistor on a variety of topics including what to ask yourself before getting into franchising, his company’s greatest opportunities in the current economy and how he’s increased the number of franchisees by more than 300 percent since buying the company 18 years ago.
Franchise Times: Why restore tubs, showers and tile rather than just replacing new?
Chuck Pistor: The cost savings are incredible over replacement. You can buy a cheap bathtub for $200, but to actually replace it can be at least $2,000-$4,000. We can come in and refinish a tub for $500, and we can change the color, do any repairs and basically make it like brand new to last another 10-15 years.
FT: Who are Miracle Method’s primary customers, and how has that focus changed?
CP: Any property with a bath or kitchen is a prospect. We came up with targeted groups like hotels, colleges and hospitals. We’re right at the point where we’ve seen a dramatic increase in our commercial business. We’ve got the tiger by the tail, as we’ve let these colleges and commercial groups know what we do. There’s so much demand that our challenge is keeping up with it.
FT: How many units do you currently have?
CP: We’re 135 franchises, and that represents about 100 locations, because many franchisees own more than one territory or location. We tend to open offices when we find the right people. We set the bar high—people who want to do it professionally and are going to maintain the brand. We’ll go to any city where we find the right person.
FT: How has the changing economy impacted your business?
CP: We’re a little different. Our business gets better when things get tougher. In good times, people are making so much money, [they will] just rip out fixtures and throw them away.
FT: What do you think people should ask themselves if they’re considering entering the franchise world?
CP: I address it from the franchisee point of view—somebody who’s tired of working for somebody else. Am I tired of working for somebody else and ready to control my own calendar and future? Am I really prepared and able to do this? What’s your competitive advantage? Another is profitability—what are you going to charge, what are the cost of the product and management. A lot of people don’t count the cost of income tax, worker’s compensation, increased health insurance and other expenses that are related to someone’s politics. The other big one is what needs to be done and who’s going to do it? A lot of people jump into business not realizing you aren’t just doing sales. You’re doing HR, production, cleaning up, accounting and everything else. You either have to be somebody who can multitask or smart enough to delegate.