In this exclusive Q&A with Dave Thrasher, founder of Hello Garage, we explore leadership tactics and strategies that have led to the booming success of an emerging home service franchise.
Franchise Chatter (FC): We appreciate you taking the time to speak with us, Dave. Can you share a little bit about Hello Garage?
Dave Thrasher (DT): Of course, happy to be here. We launched Hello Garage in July 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, as a subsidiary of Supportworks which was founded in 2008. Both are family owned and backed by industry leaders with decades of experience. We’re proud to be a purpose-driven company, constantly aiming to improve and redefine success for our franchisees and their customers.
A garage is such a vital part of the home but unfortunately so many aren’t usable and as efficient as they could be. That is where Hello Garage steps in. We were founded with a mission to elevate garages from cluttered junk drawers to America’s true front door, as many people use their garage as the front door and entrance into their home.
Our services range from helping homeowners organize and personalize their space with customizable storage systems to transforming floors into granite-like masterpieces with high-end polyaspartic coating – which is proven to outlast the typical epoxy used by other contractors.
Of course, we work toward offering top-of-the-line services for homeowners, but we don’t stop there. Hello Garage is centered around providing a redefined experience for the customer from start to finish. We’re raising the bar for what it means to work with a home services contractor through large and small efforts – from standing behind our prices and warranties to arriving to appointments on time.
FC: Hello Garage recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. Tell us what the first year has been like.
DT: With one year under our belt, the entire Hello Garage system has grown immensely and even doubled our sales performance in Q1 and Q2. In 2021 to date, we’ve expanded into five new states bringing our total territory units to 59, and expect to continue to build off this momentum for the remainder of the year.
Innovation is truly at the core of our brand and everything we do. We’re always looking for ways to continue to redefine the industry and meet consumers’ wants and needs. In doing this, we recently launched two new supplemental products to serve as added benefits for homeowners, floating shelves and overhead storage. I’m excited about how far we’ve come in just a year and where we can go in the next 50.
FC: What types of tactics and leadership strategies did you use during that time that may have contributed to the success Hello Garage has seen so far?
DT: We are proud to be certified Evergreen by the Tugboat Institute. That means principles such as paced growth, pragmatic innovation and people-first mentality, have played a key role in Hello Garage’s success.
We’re proud to operate under the EOS Model (Entrepreneurial Operating System) which enables us to say laser focused on short-term goals we need to accomplish while still focusing on the larger picture. This model has been used in our parent company, Supportworks, for years and it has drastically improved employee satisfaction, efficiency and operations while giving us great visibility into our key performance. While we had long-term goals lined up when launching Hello Garage, we broke it down and selected a handful we could achieve within our first year that ultimately served as stepping stones.
Our brand also makes it a top priority to put people first and include employees on all efforts and especially when planning 1-year to 20-year goals. In fact, about 90% of our employees say they know their individual contributions make a difference in the overall company goals. Everyone is held accountable to not only their individual goals and markers, but to the goals we have for that quarter, the year, etc.
A crucial component of our success is not only dreaming big, but actively working to make those dreams a reality.
FC: Are there any leadership principles you feel are essential for the success of any business, but also specifically for the franchise world?
DT: I think providing transparent leadership is a key to our success. A leadership team should be built of like-minded individuals who know the industry and want to evolve alongside it. During quarterly meetings, we review the company’s Vision and are open with sharing all metrics. Are we on pace to achieve goals for the year? If so, how did we achieve this and what’s working for us? If not, what’s the problem and how do we fix it?
Leaders should always remain open as this will reap benefits for the entire company. Relationships are able to grow more authentically, employee performance improves and employee morale is boosted through higher job satisfaction. Leaders may also want to consider incorporating “fire side chats” or Q&A-style meetings with employees so they are able to ask questions and be heard.
Companies that have been around for generations and provide great jobs are beacons in their communities. Hello Garage, alongside other national companies who are Certified Evergreen, continue to strive toward that – servicing customers through valuable work and providing great jobs for generations to come.
FC: If people are interested in learning more about Hello Garage, where can they find more information?
DT: They can go directly to hellogarage.com to learn more about our services and find their nearest location throughout 18 states. We’re also actively seeking franchise partners to join in our growth and expansion as we look to break into new markets. If you’re interested, head to https://www.hellogarage.com/about/franchise-opportunities.html.