Dina Dwyer-Owens CEO and Chairwoman of The Dwyer Group – Entrepreneurship & Franchising

Air Date: 8-16-2013| Episode: 296

Dina Dwyer-Owens is the chairwoman and chief executive officer of The Dwyer Group®. America also knows her for participating in CBS’s Emmy-winning  hit reality show “Undercover Boss” and the first-ever special episode “Undercover Boss: Epic Bosses.”…

Full Description:

Dina Dwyer-Owens is the chairwoman and chief executive officer of The Dwyer Group®. America also knows her for participating in CBS’s Emmy-winning  hit reality show “Undercover Boss” and the first-ever special episode “Undercover Boss: Epic Bosses.” A winner of the 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the Southwest Area North, Dina leads by example and credits a growing team for the franchise family she presides over today.

Dina is a certified franchise executive with more than 30 years of industry experience, having grown up in The Dwyer Group. That business now includes seven franchise brands and more than 1,600 locations around the world through direct franchising and master license agreements operating as Air Serv, Glass Doctor, Mr. Appliance, Mr.Electric, Mr. Rooter, Rainbow International and The Grounds Guys. Collectively, those service brands make more than 2 million customer calls a year and account for more than $800 million in system-wide sales.

In addition to being a franchisor in 2010, Dina served as the chair of the International Franchise Association (IFA) in Washington D.C., the world’s largest advocacy group for franchising as a business format. Today we will be talking with Dina about entrepreneurship, franchise ownership as well as her experience on Undercover Boss.


Z-Man’s Blog:


She’s blond, she’s attractive, she’s confident, she’s smart, she’s warm, she’s empathetic, she’s vulnerable, she’s honest, she’s faithful, she’s approachable…she is Dina Dwyer-Owens wife, mother and chairwomen and CEO of The Dwyer Group a franchisor of service businesses.

Nuggets mined from today’s episode:
• Work ethic is something that must be demonstrated, taught and learned.
• We won’t live forever, so it is important to have plans in place for after we are gone.
• The Dwyer Group is focused on teaching the principles of personal and business success to helping both their franchisees and consumers have better lives. A goal of The Dwyer Group is to be the premier provider of specialty home services.
• Life and business is better when you are clear about your values. People should live their values.
• Core cultural and operational values are the foundation of business.
• According to Dina, the core values define: who I am I, who I am going to do business with, and serve as a reminder that we must earn customer loyalty every day. Make agreements that you will keep, be responsible above the line (be accountable), acknowledge the right to have different perspectives. Treat others as you want to be treated, listen and understand, ask clarifying questions, speak respectfully without profanity and sarcasm.
• The result of having happy internal customers (employees) results in having happy external customers.
• Living RICH, isn’t about not money, RICH is an acronym for Respect, Integrity, Customer focus, Having fun in the process.
• Additional takeaways from her RIA Keynote Presentation- Who are we, being our best authentic selves. Surrounding ourselves with people who share our values, systemizing the values, making the values a way of life, measuring the performance of our values. Attracting the right people and giving them the praise that they deserve.
• Women relate well to customers. Women are empathetic. Women are detail orientated. Women collaborate well. Women lead with more detailed style. At least 50% of customers will be women.
•Background on “Undercover Boss”- Dina’s publicist pitched the story of a women CEO in a man’s world curious to learn if her company’s core values worked through to the front lines? The odds to get on the show are 1 in 100. Undercover Bosses risk exposing their companies’ weaknesses and dirty laundry for the world to see. Dina felt that the worst that would happen is company weakness would be exposed which would then be fixable. Dina found the Undercover Boss experience humbling and a reminder of the amazing work done by frontline people in tough working conditions. Frontline workers daily have the opportunity to “fix both the problem and fix the customer.” Dina is a woman of strong religious faith.

• Why buy a franchise? Franchisees have a much higher success rate than starting from scratch.
• Franchises have excellent operational and business systems.
• Franchise branded business typically sell for more than non affiliated units.
• Successful franchise owners follow the system.
• Inherent value of the husband and wife business team.

It’s not unusual for every employee working as beautician, repairman, janitor, carpenter, etc. to be frustrated about working long hours, for little pay and being generally unhappy about their quality of life to feel that they could do it better and yearn to start their own business.

Being technically proficient in a trade and being proficient at running a successful service business are different types of knowledge. Technically proficient people may struggle with knowing where and how to advertise, knowing who and where to find potential customers, what is SEI and pay per click, how to recruit and compensate staff, how to retain customers, etc. this is where operational and management systems of a franchise system can be helpful.
• 60% of The Dwyer Group new franchises are conversions sold to contractors currently working in the trade or their employees or subcontractors.

Giving back-
•Dina persuaded 500 other franchisors to give their best deals to military veterans in the VetFran program.
• The Dwyer Group offers scholarships for women who want to get into the trades.

I had the privilege to both know Don Dwyer, a classy and charismatic guy. Don was a great leader who studied great leaders. It’s profound that Dina’s father wrote a book about how overcoming adversity can lead to success. A man who liked to build people, build business and build buildings.

I’m sure that Don is looking down on Dina and is both happy and proud of what he sees.

Z-Man signing off

Today’s music: “The Newquay Song- The Franchise” by Franchise Band