The Denver-based integrator looks to spread its success by being the CI industry’s first business franchise.
Move over CertaPro Painters — there is a new home improvement franchise in town, and it is a business that looks very familiar.
SaaviHome is a custom integration company that has served the Denver, Colo., area for close to 20 years. Now, all the cumulative knowledge and experience it has gathered will be offered to qualified people who are looking to start their own installation businesses.
“We have spent the last three years refining, tweaking, and improving our core business with content systems, processes, and training programs to be able to start selling and launching franchise opportunities,” says Gavin Lantzy, owner of SaaviHome. “We think it is a great way to help others share in the success that SaaviHome has had.”
Lantzy has long been intrigued with franchises, having started a painting company that used franchise modeling when he was still in college. When he joined SaaviHome in 2011, which was started by his father in 2004, the two often discussed the possibilities of franchising in the CI world.
“The franchise business model always fascinated me,” says Lantzy. “And it was interesting to take this complex world of audio/video and to try to make it as simple as possible by vetting out the technology products that work together, building out a training program, and get people up to speed that possibly have no previous AV experience.”
Franchise owners would get the benefits of training from SaaviHome and would be required to use the company’s partner vendors, as Lantzy and his team have evaluated the systems and know they work. Showrooms and physical locations are not necessary and would be left up to the individual franchisees, but each would be required to buy a van, which will be outfitted with SaaviHome branding, along with shirts for the employees and other supplied marketing. SaaviHome will provide the marketing and sales launchpad based on the company’s proven model.
“As their businesses grow, they’ll add technicians and people that they need to support their businesses,” says Lantzy. “We’re not looking for the one-person shop. We want that executive leader — someone with a big sales background and who has worked in software sales, or insurance sales…really any kind of sales in the corporate realm. We are looking for people who want to be the leader of the organization. They will hire AV techs and we will require those techs to come to our training center in Denver to go through rigorous platform training.”
In addition to the technical side of the business, franchise owners will also get the benefit of having SaaviHome manage the business side, something that proves to be difficult for many dealers. “We’re providing them with full accounting and bookkeeping services from our central office,” says Lantzy. “We are going to work with them on their profitability.”
Costs of starting a SaaviHome franchise include a franchise fee of $50,000 and an initial capital investment in the $160,000 to $289,000 range (full details on www.saavihomefranchise.com). At the start, SaaviHome is focusing on the Mountain West region, including Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and Colorado, but plans on expanding out across the United States.
The very first franchise owners get the bonus of working very closely with Lantzy himself. “A big benefit of being the first couple of owners is that the founder gets to work directly with you,” he says. “Because if you’re not successful, then I’ve got nothing. Those first couple of locations are critical, and you better believe that I’m going to be working 100 hours a week flying all over the country to make sure they are getting it right and doing everything by the book. I’ll also be refining the process and learning while I do it.”
Having a custom installation company available as a franchise is good for the industry. It raises awareness of its existence, brings more entrepreneurs into the field, and offers those already working in the industry the option of owning their own business. As for why no one has done it before, Lantzy thinks timing and technology played big parts.
“Fifteen years ago, the technology wasn’t there,” he says. “The bidding systems, the office support, the cloud abilities… The way to run a business and support it didn’t exist. Now, having the ability to reboot outlets from the office and, from a business standpoint, having centralized phone and estimating systems. In the last three years, it started to make more sense and got us thinking, ‘We can actually deliver this now.’”
The company’s goal is to grow to 100 units doing $100 million in sales in five years. Lanzty is going all-in with the franchise plan — even bringing in the new franchise owners under the family business name. And, though he lost his father a year ago right around the time they were making the final decisions to franchise, Lantzy knows he has his support.
“As I was growing my painting company, my dad and I would talk every day about business practices and what was going on in his home theater company and my painting company,” Lantzy remembers. “We constantly talked about the franchise business model as a way to grow. And as we move forward with this, I’ve found a way to continue to talk with my dad by building this business. Between that and my personal passion for developing others, which this role as founder and lead trainer allows me to do on a daily basis, I am motivated to pursue this. I am excited to see where it can go.”