Got Mold? - President/ CEO, James C. Watson


Feb 12, 2014

Born with entrepreneurial ambition, James C. Watson started his first business in his early 20s. With a small investment, he started a carpet cleaning business. An astute business man, James realized that there was lots of competition in large urban centers, so he focused his efforts on servicing residents in rural areas. This business strategy worked and soon business was rolling in because rural residents appreciated his efforts, service, and focus on getting the job done right the first time. His personal style, strong work ethic, and attention to detail enabled James to build a strong business in a short period of time. Cleaning carpets, however, took a physical toll. After working in one home, James got really sick and was hospitalized. He could not breath and was surprised to learn that mold was the cause. This life experience marked the catalyst for James' entry into the mold remediation business. His passion for mold education and eradication stems from this personal experience he had with mold. As with the carpet cleaning business, James started his mold remediation business with the same passion and the goal to "always do the job right the first time". This passion and his adherence to the Got Mold?™ success equation has enabled Got Mold?™ to experience remarkable growth in a short period of time. Today, Got Mold?™ is a multi-million dollar operation with it's corporate office in Saskatoon, SK, and plans for multiple locations throughout North America.

BeTheBoss:Tell us about the Got Mold? concept.

James C. Watson: Got Mold?™ is a disaster restoration company that specializes in mold remediation. Our objective can be summarized into to two words:

  • Education
  • Eradication

The goal of Got Mold?™ is to educate the world about the harmful effects of mold and most importantly, provide a positive systematic solution to eradicate the mold problem. In short, our objective is to offer Health & Longevity to our clients, their friends, and family.

We are achieving this objective by creating relevant and informative content for our website which we market extensively through social media. Our content marketing efforts create leads and ultimately sales.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with Got Mold?

JW: I started Got Mold?™ in 2009 after getting hospitalized from breathing in mold. This experience drove me to educate myself, get trained, and begin offering mold remediation services because I knew that other people’s health was being compromised by mold and wanted to offer an honest solution to people. I strongly believe that education is the key and that is why we extend so much time and effort into our awareness efforts. Bottom line, most people simply do not understand the negative effects that mold can have on one’s health, not to mention, mold has a destructive impact on the structural integrity of buildings.

BTB: What was your background prior to joining Got Mold?

JW: I have a strong networking and sales background. Prior to starting Got Mold?™ I was involved in technology sales, managed carpet cleaning crews and eventually started my own carpet cleaning business. This business served as the catalyst for my entry into the Disaster Restoration industry as I got personally sick from mold.

BTB: What are some of the advantages in being a Got Mold? franchisee?

JW: Business success is based on leads because this is what generates sales. Got Mold?™ has invested heavily into our marketing presence and overall brand awareness. Since launching our website in March, 2011, we have had nearly 180,000 views to our website. Our website is a go-to source of information for anyone concerned about mold and asbestos because we update it with useful information 5 days a week. The results speak for them self. In 2011, we had about 20,000 views; 2012, we had about 42,000 views and already in 2013 we will have about 115,000 views. Our goal is to create awareness and this goal is being met. The result is leads.

Another key to our website marketing efforts is our strong presence on social media because we promote our blogs on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Of all the Disaster Restoration companies in North America, we are one of the only ones that update our website so frequently to draw traffic and create awareness. The results speak for them self and will prove very useful to existing and future franchisees because we do all of this promotion in-house.

Bottom line, the success of any business is based on marketing and we have developed a system to continue to create leads which result in sales.

In addition to our marketing, our franchisees will gain tremendously from our training, experience and expertise.

BTB: Who is your ideal franchisee?

JW: Our ideal franchisee has a strong leadership background, business development experience is helpful but not necessary. You don’t need to be a sales person or have a huge network, but you do need to have the ability to make new connections and build relationships.

Perhaps, the most important characteristic every one of our franchisees should have is passion, passion to succeed, passion to help people, and passion to always do the job right the first time.

BTB: Tell us a little about the Market?

JW: The market for our services in Canada is substantial. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  1. There are approximately 6.9 million single detached households in Canada (2006 Canadian Census). According to Pollution Probe, approximately 4 out of 10 homes have moisture or mold problems meaning that approximately 2.8 million homes in Canada have issues that need to be dealt with.
  2. Based upon our experience, the average mold remediation project costs about $8,000 meaning the potential market size for the mold remediation business in Canada is more than 22 billion dollars. This number does not even take the value of commercial and institutional business into consideration.
  3. Our franchise program is based upon a market population size of 225,000 people. The average number of single detached households in a market this size is approximately 57,000 (2006 Canadian Census), meaning that approximately 23,000 homes will have some type of mold issue. Since the average cost of a mold remediation project is $8,000, the potential market value of each franchise territory is 184 million dollars. Again, this number does not take the value of commercial and institutional business into consideration.

  4. The market for Got Mold?™ franchisees is limitless! Your business can target the following market segments:

  • Residential homeowners.
  • Health care.
  • Child care.
  • Construction companies and contractors.
  • Real Estate Agents
  • Home and Building Inspectors.
  • Insurance Agents.
  • Hospitals.
  • Doctors.
  • School Boards.

This is just a partial list of residential and corporate market opportunities.

BTB: What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learned in growing this franchise?

JW: Patience is the key. We are looking for business partners and as such are very careful about who we chose to appoint as a franchisee.

BTB: Do you have a mentor and is there someone you use for inspiration?

My biggest influence has been Og Mandino and his scrolls. This has helped me tremendously on a personal, spiritual and business level. I have been coached by Dave Blanchard and also am a Certified Og Mandino coach. In addition, I am an avid reader of business books and am constantly investing in educating myself.

BTB: What advice do you have for someone looking to acquire a Franchise?

JW: Due diligence is a key. Ask questions and thoroughly research the prospective business franchise. In addition, don’t invest in a franchise thinking that you will get rich quick. Business success requires hard work, dedication, passion, commitment, and working capital.

BTB: In your opinion, why do you think that Got Mold? would be a great opportunity for someone?

JW: There are over 100,000 types of mold with at least 1,000 types found in North America and live in colonies growing on food, fabric, bathroom walls, construction materials, and soil. Mold proliferates through the release of spores into the air we breathe and are not visible to the naked eye.

Indoor molds cause two key problems.

  1. They destroy the material that they feed on, including bathroom walls, carpets, insulation, and ceilings.
  2. Exposure to high concentrations of certain types of mold creates health problems. For this reason, materials that are infected with mold need to be replaced and this is why the mold remediation business is growing and will continue to thrive.

Most homes and buildings have mold because they offer the three ingredients mold needs to grow:

  1. Food, which includes materials high in cellulose content such as paper and wood. Drywall, wallpaper, carpet, ceiling tiles, dust, and dirt, are also food sources for mold.
  2. Temperatures of 5 degrees to 38 degrees present the perfect environment for mold.
  3. Finally, water is the key ingredient. Mold can not grow without moisture. Where there is moisture, you will find mold. This is one of the reasons that leaking pipes, roofs and ceiling, sewer backups, floods, and condensation end up causing mold issues.

One of the major reasons that the mold remediation business presents such great opportunities is because we spend up to 90 percent of our time indoors, creating a situation ripe for health issues.

In fact, exposure to mold causes allergic symptoms—hay fever, nasal congestion, cough, asthma—and can even cause more intense immune responses such as burning eyes, sore throats, headaches, and cough.

Some molds are toxigenic and produce mycotoxins that cause serious breathing difficulties, memory and hearing loss, dizziness, flu like symptoms, and bleeding in the lungs. Exposure to toxic black mold also known as Stachybotrys and Aspergillus have been linked to cancer, multiple sclerosis, asthma, and SIDS.

The mold remediation business is essential to creating healthier indoor climates and thus is a critical issue.

Growing public awareness of mold simply means that the market for our services will continue to grow, meaning entrepreneurs with vision that invest in this type of business will always be busy.

As with any business opportunity, there are inherent risks which must be accepted. It is important that you be sufficiently capitalized to plan for contingencies in your business.

The key to the Got Mold?™ business is that we offer services and solutions to help homes and businesses experience better health and peace of mind. Our goal and business philosophy is simple: we do it right the first time.

The role of the Got Mold?™ franchisee requires the entrepreneurial vision of an individual who is self-motivated, persistent, and energetic. It requires the management capability to operate and manage a business, train staff, and commit to ensuring that all work lives up to the standards set by Got Mold?™

Considering that mold has been an issue since before biblical times and that mold will consistently be a growing concern, it is clear that this is a business that all serious entrepreneurs will want to consider.

Mold is a growing concern and it does not appear that the market for mold remediation will decrease in the near future. Indeed, this business is recession proof! As with any business, timing is everything. The time is now to align yourself with the right mold remediation company, Got Mold?™