Top Players in Franchise Development: Erin Gilliam
Top Players in Franchise Development: Erin Gilliam

Miracle Method’s marketing manager explains what’s next for the brand as it continues expanding both domestically and internationally.

The franchising industry is something Erin Gilliam has always felt passionate about. Its ability to provide a pathway to entrepreneurship for people who desire to open their own businesses with the support of a proven system and model has always stood out to her as a valuable opportunity and essential part of the business economy. So Gilliam decided to break into the industry for herself.

After owning and operating a marketing research firm in Colorado, Gilliam moved to Seattle to open a Pirtek franchise. But last year, she successfully sold it in order to return to her home state. That’s when she came across Miracle Method, the nation’s largest professional bathroom and kitchen refinishing franchise. Her experience as a franchisee—combined with her degrees in marketing and management—were a great fit for what Miracle Method was looking for in a marketing manager. Now, having been with the company for just under a year, Gilliam drives the brand’s successful marketing efforts as it continues to expand at a rapid rate.

1851 Franchise recently spoke to Gilliam to learn more about Miracle Method’s impressive franchise development efforts and to discover what’s next for the brand in both the months and years to come.

What makes Miracle Method's franchise development process tick?

For Miracle Method, successful franchise development requires a strong alignment between our VP of sales and our entire marketing team. We want to ensure that our sales and marketing messaging is consistent, and that our marketing efforts support and create effective campaigns for the entire sales cycle. This means opening the door to communication and feedback as well as monthly alignment meetings to understand what is working and what adjustments need to be made.

What have been some of Miracle Method's major milestones?

Our high quality standards are consistently upheld system-wide because of our incredibly talented network of franchisees. That’s why we tend to be pretty selective when we’re considering partnering with local business owners. They’re the people who ultimately drive us to reach major milestones.

One of Miracle Method’s biggest accomplishments has been successfully breaking into the Canadian market in 2012 with the help of those dedicated and passionate franchisees. We also reach a new milestone every time we open a franchise in a new area where there is a really strong demand for our service. For example, we opened a franchise in Little Rock, Arkansas in May after other teams were traveling outside of their territories to service the area. We’re hoping to experience that same type of milestone by adding another franchise to the Florida market, where we have some very strong prospects.

What are you most proud of in terms of Miracle Method's development efforts?

We take a lot of pride in every new franchise that opens up its doors for business. When you have a strong business concept that’s proven to help people achieve their entrepreneurial goals, it feels like adding a new member to the family every time a new franchisee is brought on board. We work diligently to find the right people, which is no easy task considering there are many competing brands and opportunities targeting the same type of business owners. At the end of the day, we have to be a little smarter, be creative and not be afraid to try strategies that are outside of the box.

What specific steps do your most successful franchisees take in order to build and grow their respective businesses? And what do you do to set them up for success?

Miracle Method has an unparalleled, extensive training program in place not just for our franchisees, but also for their entire team of technicians and front office staff. We know that solid training from the start makes all the difference in how comfortable a franchisee feels and performs early on. In fact, we start scheduling estimates for them during their last week of training so that when they return home to their market they’re able to hit the ground running. Our business is marketing driven, so we equip franchisees with ad plans, ongoing training and marketing guidance as well as full in-house advertising and marketing support for both traditional and digital platforms.

We’ve found that the franchisees who are the most successful are the ones that develop consistent, diversified and well-branded marketing efforts that they then track. Monitoring campaigns is a crucial part of making marketing decisions because there are always local market variations. Franchisees that track their efforts are better able to ensure that their approach works.

What are your goals for Miracle Method in the next few years and how do you plan to grow the brand?

This year, we’re aiming to add 15 franchisees in select markets. Going forward, we will continue to focus on presenting a proven business model that is strongly validated by existing franchisees who continue to expand their territories. We’ll also continue to align our sales and marketing efforts while staying flexible in order to quickly adjust to changes in the market. Most importantly, Miracle Method will continue to help franchisees reach their full potential. Their success drives the entire brand’s franchise development process forward.