Nick-Anthony Zamucen Of Best Option Restoration: Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Opening a Franchise

An Interview With Cynthia Corsetti

Maintaining brand consistency across all locations is more challenging than I initially thought. Each franchisee brings their own personality and ideas, which is great, but can sometimes stray too far from the brand. We learned this the hard way when a franchisee decided to implement their own marketing strategy, which was off-brand and led to customer confusion. This taught us the importance of clear brand guidelines and regular audits to ensure brand consistency.

The world of franchising offers a unique blend of entrepreneurship and established business models. However, navigating the franchise landscape can be daunting, especially for those embarking on this journey for the first time. There are lessons to be learned, pitfalls to avoid, and success stories to be inspired by. As part of this series, we had the pleasure of interviewing Nick-Anthony Zamucen.

​​Nick-Anthony Zamucen is the Founder of Best Option Restoration (B.O.R.) & Bio-One Inc., the only successful franchised crime scene cleaning company. Awarded Top 40 CEO Under 40 from Business Diversity Magazine 2013. He is also a 4x published author, business strategist, and an award-winning serial entrepreneur who has had tremendous success in various business ventures.

Zamucen has really changed the game when it comes to the service franchise industry. Simply put, Nick-Anthony is the best in his industry, and while many claim to be, he’s the only man who has proven results in the business world. His franchised company Bio-One Inc. dominates in 46 different states and continues to grow at an exceptional rate.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series. Before we dive into our discussion about succession, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

My journey into entrepreneurship was fueled by a realization early on that I was ‘cut from a different cloth.’ Traditional employment never seemed to fit my aspirations or work style. I’ve always had an inherent drive to lead and innovate, which naturally steered me towards entrepreneurship, specifically in franchising. Diving into this realm allowed me to leverage my skills in identifying industry gaps and implementing effective solutions, particularly in fields ripe for innovation, like the restoration industry.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

One of the most memorable moments since starting my career was the initial launch of Best Option Restoration franchises. Despite the overarching success, the early days were filled with trials and errors. Each mistake, while challenging, taught me invaluable lessons that significantly shaped my approach to business and franchising. This journey of continuous learning and adaptation has been incredibly rewarding, reminding me that the path to success is often paved with setbacks and learning opportunities.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“A Closed Mouth Doesn’t Get Fed” I love that sane because it’s true for so many things in life, not just business. When I met my beautiful wife, Molly, I told her on our second date that I wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and I planned on marrying her. Yes, we had some good rapport; however, most would agree that would be a bold statement on date two. Fast forward fourteen years and three children later, we’ve continued to thrive as a couple and she’s been by my side every step of the way from that second date. In life and in business, you have to make decisions, the right one and sometimes quickly. You also have to be extremely clear with people and yourself about what you want, what you’re looking for, and how you see the outcome of the decision. Things don’t always workout, however, you have a greater chance of them working out if you have clearly communicated your thoughts, needs, and wants.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

What sets Best Option Restoration apart is our unwavering commitment to professionalism, innovation, and efficiency, coupled with a deep commitment to our franchisees and clients. A defining moment that illustrates this was when we launched our thermal drying technology, revolutionizing the restoration process. This innovation not only set us apart but underscored our dedication to providing superior service. Beyond the technological advancements, our company culture plays a crucial role in our distinctiveness. I have always insisted that our team members uphold the highest standards of professionalism, from their appearance to their interactions with clients. This emphasis on professionalism extends to the entire customer experience, ensuring that every client feels respected and valued from the moment we step into their homes.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. What factors did you consider when selecting your franchise, and how did you determine it was the right fit for you?

When selecting the right franchise, I delved deeply into identifying a market with a clear and unmet need where I could leverage my skills and experience to make a significant impact. The restoration industry, with its lack of innovation and customer-focused service, stood out to me. I assessed the potential for growth, the competition, and the level of support I would provide to the franchisees. The right fit was determined by aligning these factors with my vision for business transformation and community impact. It was crucial that the franchise not only offered financial viability but also resonated with my core values of excellence, integrity, and innovation.

Can you share a significant challenge you faced while establishing your franchise? How did you overcome this obstacle, and what did this experience teach you about running a successful franchise?

One significant challenge was confronting the restoration industry’s resistance to change. This sector was deeply entrenched in outdated practices, with a glaring reluctance towards innovation and modernization. The major hurdle was not just about introducing new technology but also changing the long-standing mindset of an entire industry that had grown accustomed to conventional methods.

Looking back to when you first started your franchise, what was one aspect that completely took you by surprise? This could be related to the franchising process, customer interactions, or day-to-day management that you hadn’t anticipated.

Looking back, one aspect that took me completely by surprise was the emotional investment required in franchising. I anticipated the financial and operational challenges, but I didn’t fully grasp the depth of relationship-building needed with each franchisee. It was more than just business transactions; it was about fostering partnerships, understanding individual motivations, and supporting their journeys. This realization shifted my approach from purely business-focused to a more holistic, people-oriented strategy. To overcome this, we introduced advanced thermal technology to streamline and enhance the drying process, significantly reducing the drying time and thereby increasing operational efficiency. This not only improved our service delivery but also allowed our franchisees to handle more jobs, boosting their profitability. This experience taught me that innovation is not just about having new ideas but also about effectively implementing them and convincing others of their value. Running a successful franchise hinges on the ability to navigate industry challenges, drive change, and maintain a relentless focus on improvement and quality service.

In hindsight, what advice would you give to potential franchisees about selecting a franchise that aligns with their personal and professional goals?

When considering a franchise, it’s crucial to look beyond the surface. Don’t just focus on the financial aspects or the immediate success stories. It’s essential to delve deeper into what the franchise stands for. Look beyond the financial aspects and consider the company’s values, culture, and the industry’s future. It’s crucial to choose a franchise that not only promises profitability but also resonates with your passions and strengths. Evaluate the support system the franchisor offers and talk to existing franchisees to understand their experiences. Ultimately, success in franchising comes from a deep commitment and alignment between your goals and the franchise’s mission.

How do you balance adhering to the established systems of your franchise with the need to innovate and adapt to your local market? Can you provide an example of a successful adaptation or innovation you implemented in your franchise?

In franchising, adherence to established systems is fundamental for maintaining brand integrity and service quality across all locations. However, the ability to innovate and adapt to local market conditions is equally important. In our franchise, we maintain a delicate balance between following proven protocols and embracing new ideas. For example, our introduction of advanced thermal technology across our restoration services wasn’t just a leap towards efficiency; it was a response to a specific market need for quicker, more effective drying solutions. This innovation, while initially a local adaptation, proved so successful in reducing project completion times and increasing customer satisfaction that we rolled it out across all franchises. We always encourage our franchisees to communicate their insights and ideas. By fostering a culture of open dialogue and continuous improvement, we ensure that our franchise system not only adheres to established standards but also remains at the forefront of industry advancements.

What are your “Five Things I Wish I Knew Before Opening a Franchise”?

  1. Understanding the importance of comprehensive market research. Before diving into franchising, I wish I had understood the depth it required. It’s not just about understanding the demand but also about the intricacies of the local market, competition, and customer behavior. For instance, when we first expanded into a new region, we underestimated the local competition and overestimated demand, leading to initial setbacks. This taught me the value of not just surface-level research but a deep, analytical understanding of each potential market.
  2. I underestimated the necessity of having a solid support system in place for franchisees. In the early days, we provided basic training and operations manuals but soon realized it wasn’t enough. One of our first franchisees struggled significantly with customer service, which reflected poorly on the brand. This experience led to the development of our comprehensive training programs and ongoing support systems, which have become the backbone of our franchise success
  3. I wish I knew more about the legal and regulatory hurdles involved in franchising. Each state has different laws and requirements, which can be a minefield for new franchisors. We faced a significant challenge when we expanded into a state with stringent franchise regulations, which we hadn’t fully anticipated. This resulted in delays and additional costs. Now, we prioritize legal compliance and consult with experts before entering new industries.
  4. Maintaining brand consistency across all locations is more challenging than I initially thought. Each franchisee brings their own personality and ideas, which is great, but can sometimes stray too far from the brand. We learned this the hard way when a franchisee decided to implement their own marketing strategy, which was off-brand and led to customer confusion. This taught us the importance of clear brand guidelines and regular audits to ensure brand consistency.
  5. Early on, I initially underestimated the continuous nature of training and development needed for franchisees. We provided initial training but didn’t focus enough on ongoing education. This gap became evident when one of our franchises struggled to keep up with new industry standards and technologies, impacting their competitiveness and service quality. This situation taught me that initial training is just the start; continuous learning and development are crucial for keeping franchises at the top of their game. We now have regular training updates, webinars, and annual conferences to ensure our franchisees and their teams are always current and competitive.

As your franchise has grown, what have been the key drivers of its success? Looking forward, what strategies do you plan to implement to ensure continued growth and sustainability in an ever-evolving market?

The success of our franchise has been underpinned by relentless innovation, a steadfast commitment to quality, and robust support for our franchisees. Staying at the forefront of the restoration industry through continuous technological advancements has allowed us to meet and exceed market demands. Our dedication to excellence in service ensures high customer satisfaction and loyalty, while our comprehensive support system empowers franchisees to achieve and maintain high operational standards. For the future, we aim to expand our educational initiatives, extending beyond technical training to include leadership and entrepreneurial development for our franchisees. Additionally, we aim to foster stronger local community ties and build enduring relationships.

Off-topic, but I’m curious. As someone steering the ship, what thoughts or concerns often keep you awake at night? How do those thoughts influence your daily decision-making process?

Late nights for me often involve lying awake, pondering the lives and well-being of our franchisees. They’re the real heartbeat of this business, and their concerns become mine. I often find myself thinking, ‘Are we doing enough? How can we make things smoother?’ It’s these thoughts that shape my day-to-day decisions and push me towards fostering a more supportive and understanding environment. It’s not just about the bottom line; it’s about building a community where everyone can thrive and feel supported

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

If I could start a movement, it would be ‘Restoration for Humanity.’ This movement would not only focus on restoring homes and businesses after disasters but also on rebuilding lives and communities. It would involve mobilizing teams to provide essential services and support to underprivileged areas hit by disasters, ensuring they have the resources and assistance to recover and rebuild stronger than before. The goal would be to create a global network of volunteers and professionals dedicated to making a tangible difference in the lives of those affected by calamities.

How can our readers further follow you online?

Readers can follow me online through my LinkedIn profile. Additionally, updates about my initiatives can be found on my website and through my social media channels on Instagram and Twitter.

Thank you for the time you spent sharing these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

About the Interviewer: Cynthia Corsetti is an esteemed executive coach with over two decades in corporate leadership and 11 years in executive coaching. Author of the upcoming book, “Dark Drivers,” she guides high-performing professionals and Fortune 500 firms to recognize and manage underlying influences affecting their leadership. Beyond individual coaching, Cynthia offers a 6-month executive transition program and partners with organizations to nurture the next wave of leadership excellence.