Denis Laroche Interview - RENOBAC Franchise Opportunity

Date: SEP 1st, 2014

Topic: Interview with a CEO

Mr. Denis Laroche started his business career in his early twenties and has been a prolific businessman ever since then.

In 1979, Denis started a security services company that he expanded throughout the country, bringing major innovation to the industry by introducing remote alarm monitoring. Mr. Laroche’s company was quoted when he eventually sold it in 1996.

Denis’s business experience allowed him to develop global vision and orient his decision making process towards building future value and goodwill and prioritizing excellence in customer relation.

In 2003, after offering consultancy services to various companies, Denis started a manufacturing agency that quickly evolved into a countrywide business opportunity, RENOBAC.

Thanks to state of the art roll-off equipment RENOBAC offered aspiring entrepreneurs a chance to get on with their dreams and start their own business. RENOBAC has over 140 operators across the country, servicing the residential and commercial renovation industry with rubbish removal bins and mobile storage containers.

BeTheBoss: Tell us about the RENOBAC concept.

Denis Laroche:RENOBAC operators offer rubbish removal and portable storage solutions to contractors and individuals performing renovation work. Our services also include moving and regular self-storage, depending on each customer’s specific needs. Our operator’s main goals are to provide over the top customer service: timely deliveries, zero damage to lessee’s property and cost-effectiveness. RENOBAC gives entrepreneurs the opportunity of owning an independent business in niche markets with exponential potential and constant growth. Since 2004, we have been most devoted to bringing business value to our operators, by providing them with state-of-the-art roll-off equipment and a complete start-up and ongoing support package. RENOBAC is a network of businessmen who are working together with our central head office to achieve a common goal.

BTB: How and when did you become involved with RENOBAC

DL: After I sold my security services company in 1996, I spent some time working as a consultant for different companies. One of these companies was a trailer manufacturer that was starting-up in the Trois-Rivières, QC area, and one of their products caught my eye because of the versatility that it would allow. I could easily see the perfect match between the Roll-Off trailer and the renovation industry that was forecast to boom in the next few years. I started RENOBAC in 2004, offering entrepreneurs the opportunity to start their own business in the renovation rubbish removal industry. Our Roll-trailer allows for exceptional hauling capabilities and we were quickly expanding throughout Canada as we had operators in most of the Canadian provinces. At that point we decided that we needed to help operators profit more from the multi-functional aspect of our equipment and started developing new accessories like the mobile storage container and the flatbed transport platform.

Despite not being a franchise, the support that we offer to operators is also a major part of the concept along with our equipment. Today, RENOBAC is a network of operators who work together, and the core team of the company is committed to putting everything in place to grow not only the network, but also each and every individual operator. We have a nationwide Web portal to generate rentals in the areas that our operators are servicing and a full blown web strategy that is helping us maintain a leading position in the Canadian market.

BTB:What was your background prior to joining RENOBAC?

DL:I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I started my first company in the security service industry in 1979 and got to grow it across Canada. I have learned a lot along the way on business value creation and growth, and the importance of client relation and customer service. I also worked as a consultant before starting RENOBAC and was always trying to bring the knowledge that I acquired to help different businesses achieve performance and growth goals. I guess I’m still doing the same thing now because RENOBAC’s mission is to offer motivated individuals the chance of owning their business and succeeding at it.

BTB:What are some of the advantages in being a RENOBAC operator?

DL: are three main advantages that make a huge difference in the operator’s start-up process and the growth of their RENOBAC dealership:

- Support:RENOBAC’s operators are accompanied in each step of their venture. We provide assistance with the financing process, marketing and sales development and field operations. We work as a network and make every piece of information, experience and know-how available to operators so they can save money and time and focus on what matters the most: acquiring clientele and offering the best possible customer service.

- The turn key aspect: I might be repeating myself a bit here, but I can’t stress enough how important it is for operators to be focused on customer relation. The amount of experience that the RENOBAC team has in starting these dealerships allows the operator to avoid mistakes and usual start-up trial and error processes, which means saving a lot of time and effort.

- The multi-functional roll-off equipment: In addition to being able to provide customers with excellent service because of how well built the equipment is, there’s so much one can do with the renovation bins, storage containers and the transport flatbed. It’s easy to generate secondary revenue streams that can boost the business performance and fill in potential down-times. Plus, the EXPOBOX containers for the event planning industry and other accessories currently being developed by the team allow for even more diversity and brighter future perspectives.

BTB: Who is your ideal candidate?

DL:The success of a RENOBAC dealership is actually dependent on the devotion of the operator and perseverance that he invests in his business. Despite not being an actual franchise, RENOBAC will provide all the right tools, support and equipment and will give a generous amount of time but the operator still has to do what business owners do: work the required hours and put in the necessary commitment. Other useful qualities are customer service and out-of-the-box mindset. There are many, many ways to serve your customers and keep them satisfied, the operator has to go out there, meet contractors, communicate with people, etc...

BTB: Tell us a little about the renovation and storage Markets?

DL:Renovation has become part of the social characteristics of the Canadian population. The do-it-yourself culture has spread amongst Canadians and the market statistics confirm this trend. The percentage of Canadians renovating each year increased from 5% to 38% between 2004 and 2012. The average household expenditure on renovations also grew from $2500 to over $13000 in the same time frame. The need for rubbish removal containers and temporary storage also grew accordingly.

Those statistics translate into a 90% equipment rental rate in our operator’s businesses. Around 60% of our operators actually purchase additional equipment only three to six months after their start-up, to be able to keep-up with the demand.

In addition, even if the temporary storage is closely related to renovation, it’s also an industry on its own. Self-storage facilities have always existed, but now RENOBAC is innovating by bringing mobility into the mix. The need for storage space is an existing need but we’re providing a more convenient and cost-effective solution to it.

One last thing that I have to say is that these industries have a very wide range of related needs in terms of transport, which can represent consistent and lucrative revenue streams. Again, the multi-functional aspect of our Roll-Off equipment is a key factor, because our operators can cater to all those specific needs.

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

DL:Everything is possible if you’re prepared to do what it takes to succeed. It might seem cheesy and cliché but it’s still the true secret of entrepreneurship.

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

DL:Find the opportunity that is right for you. As an entrepreneur you have to look for an opportunity that keeps you motivated, with a noticeable track record and a support package that fills in for your weaknesses and lets you focus on your strengths.

It has happened in our history to turn down applications from individuals who had the financial capacity but not the right profile. Owning and running a business is certainly one of the best experiences in life, but one has to be prepared. Our business presentations after an application can take several hours and the decision making process can be a quite long one. That’s because it’s not only the entrepreneur assessing the RENOBAC opportunity, but also the opportunity assessing the potential operator. It’s a perfect match kind of thing.

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

DL:RENOBAC is a great opportunity because it has all the ingredients to help an operator succeed:

- The industry is favorable and demand is really huge for these products

- The equipment is extremely versatile and provides a lot of ways to generate profit and increase customer satisfaction and fidelity

- The start-up package is complete and consistent

- The support is tremendous, during start-up with all the training, marketing set-up but also later-on with the growth of the business

- The team is passionate and its highly motivating to be part of the RENOBAC network