Franchisees Who Give Back: Bryan Lester of Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage, and Lighting
Franchisees Who Give Back: Bryan Lester of Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage, and Lighting

The VP of marketing for the brand’s Dallas division says community involvement is crucial for any service business

True to its name, Andy’s Sprinkler, Drainage, and Lighting has been providing a variety of home and commercial services to families and businesses in the Dallas area for more than 30 years. In the 2000s, Andy’s Sprinkler began expanding throughout Texas, eventually establishing locations in Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio. At each of its locations, Andy’s Sprinklers owners are committed to becoming pillars of their communities.

Bryan Lester is the franchise’s VP of marketing for the Dallas division. We talked to Lester to learn how and why Andy’s Sprinkler has integrated community involvement into its core philosophy. Here’s what he had to say.

How important is it to give back to your local community as it relates to growing your business?

Lester: Local community involvement is a critical component of any service-based business. When a business is first starting out, it’s typically not possible to spend much money on marketing and advertising. Local opportunities, such as various high-school program sponsorships, community events and networking groups, are great ways to connect with the community and begin building your customer base. As you build customer trust, those people begin creating an invaluable referral network. It’s an organic process that takes a little time to establish, but once it’s there, it will help establish you as a trustworthy service provider in the community.

What local charitable efforts have you pursued to connect with your local community?

Lester: Our charitable efforts have been a mix of donating our time and money, but they have always centered around causes we believe in. From our perspective, it’s more important to devote your energies to a single cause that you’re passionate about than to multiple charities for the sake of branding exposure. The people who work for and with charities and nonprofits have a passion for what they do, and connecting with those people in a real, honest way will gain your business far more advocates than a logo on a t-shirt ever will.

What are your best tips for marketing a local business?

Lester: When starting out, it’s critical for any new company to establish itself online. A simple website, listings on major online platforms and directories — Google Business, Bing, Yelp, etcetera — are key. You will never know exactly when and how customers will be searching for a business like yours, so being found when those searches occur is key.

Outside of the digital space, we believe in focused efforts to begin your growth. Don’t expect to be a million-dollar business overnight; determine realistic growth and what you can actually handle and go from there.

How effective are charitable efforts in growing your business?

Lester: In our opinion, the moment you begin to expect a measurable return from charitable donations is when that effort has failed. Again, don’t dedicate your time or money to a cause you don’t personally believe in. Be truly passionate about the cause you choose, and whether in business or personal fulfillment, you’ll be rewarded.

What advice would you give to other franchisees who are just starting their businesses to best set themselves up for success on the local level?

Lester: Focus on a few efforts at a time, and don’t overextend yourself. Time and consistency are key to succeeding at the local level. If you want to be a part of the community, figure out what part and stay with it. And most importantly, be patient; it takes time to grow roots, but once you have your business will flourish.