Franchise FunNovember/December 2022Previous Issues

Franchise Fun: Meet the New Neighbour

Brian Woods of Neighbourly is all about brand building and working toward his passions (in between downs of college football, of course)

Neighbourly is the world’s largest home services company with more than 30 brands and 5,000 franchises collectively serving 12 million+ customers in six countries, providing services from plumbing and restoration, to cleaning and painting. So how does group vice president Brian Woods keep it all straight?

The former investment banker and corporate strategist takes a firsthand look at the brands he oversees in the repair sector, even going as far as to ride along with plumbers and meet customers face to face.

Unfortunately, there aren’t enough hours in the day to meet each one of Neighbourly’s 12 million customers, especially as new brand acquisitions bring more customers into the fray, but Woods’ ability to provide passionate support to new franchise owners along their path to business ownership certainly makes up for it.

Here, Woods imparts wisdom from his elders, delivers his keys to success, and reveals his bucket-list vacation destinations.

The most interesting thing I’ve done recently is… Attend a “ride-along” with our Mr. Rooter franchise in Austin, TX. I had a firsthand look at how our franchise business serves the customer with professionalism and high customer service.

In its best form, work is… Truly rewarding because I get the opportunity to work with business owners and entrepreneurs to successfully start a business and help them reach their goals.

A good franchisee… Is a great leader who knows how to inspire a team, understands the numbers and key performance indicators, and is effective at working on the business, not in the business. Someone who is willing to adopt the franchise system’s model and not deviate from the standards. 

A good franchisor… Provides a strong support model for its franchisees. This includes proven successful systems, operational coaching and mentoring, marketing, and a strong franchise owner network to learn from.

My top advice for prospective franchisees is… Do your homework and conduct thorough due diligence on the franchise brands of interest. This will help a prospect make a well-informed decision. 

My top advice for new franchisors is… Continue to listen to the franchise owners and always look to improve and enhance the franchise model. Be active in the franchise community by partnering with the International Franchise Association (IFA), the Canadian Franchise Association (CFA), and others. 

The most important thing in life is… To find your true purpose and strive for happiness, because good things happen when a person is happy and is working on their purpose/passion.

One of the most enjoyable things to do is… Watching a victory by the University of Michigan or the University of Texas at Austin football teams!

The hardest thing for me to do is… Travel often for work and miss out on family events and my kids’ school functions. 

My favourite drink is… Lemonade.

If I could change one thing… I would change some of my work background to gain experience as an entrepreneur and small business owner. 

If I could meet anyone… I would like to meet Barack Obama.

The person who has had the most positive influence on me as a businessperson is…My boss, chief development officer Brad Stevenson. His leadership and guidance have been very impactful to my development at Neighbourly and as a professional overall. 

Canadian franchising is… Very attractive and a great growth opportunity for Neighbourly.

My franchise system began because… There was a need to create a consistent model around servicing the home across various needs of the homeowner. 

The most positive influence on my life as a person is… My mother. She has taught me so much and still imparts wisdom to this day. 

The key to success is… To follow your passion—the money will follow. Strive for happiness in all that you do because success will come from that, not the other way around. 

I’d like my friends to describe me as… Easygoing, funny, wise, insightful, and fun to be around! Someone they can depend on in a time of need. 

The accomplishment I look forward to the most is… Watching my daughters grow up and live lives that are fulfilled with happiness, joy, and purpose. 

My personal motto is… Protect your peace and good things will follow!

One necessary item on my life’s “to do” list is… Travel to Australia, Maldives, and Paris! I love travelling and experiencing new things, and these locations are high on my list.