DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen is a company that’s all in the name. By operating with a commitment to providing clients with only the highest standard of quality for bath and kitchen remodeling, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen does exactly what that name implies – they make dreams come true.
The company’s dream making efforts can be traced back to the early 1970s, when Don Dwyer first got into franchising. By the middle of that decade, Don had become a partner of a franchise company, and then in 1981 he branched out and started his own business. That company, called Rainbow International, grew rapidly, and by the early 90s it had progressed from one company to six companies, which comprised The Dwyer Group. In 1994, Don passed away and his children took over the operations of the business.
At that point, Doug Dwyer – one of Don’s sons – was devoting his time to running one of the group’s private companies, Worldwide Refinishing Systems. In an effort to expand that company’s services, Doug led the business into full service kitchen, bath and interior remodeling. Soon after, they changed the company’s name to DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen.
Since their foundation as Worldwide Refinishing Systems in 1988, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen has continuously created a vast array of possibilities to turn kitchens, bathrooms, and home interiors into personal reflections of their clients. In the intervening years, they became a recognized leader in their trade.
“The most important thing for us is our Code of Values and focus on the consumer,” Doug says, explaining what sets DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen apart from other companies that do remodeling.
“Our brand position statement is ‘Enhancing lives, and improving homes,’” he adds. “We’re very focused on making a difference in a customer’s life by the remodeling work we’re doing, but also by how we interact with them. We want to give them a world class experience and go the extra mile so that when they think of DreamMaker, they think of an excellent experience.”
DreamMaker is also a full service remodeling company – they take care of everything from the initial design of a project, right through to completion. If there’s demolition work to be done, they will handle it. If subcontractors are required, DreamMaker will coordinate with them. “The customer does not have to worry about anything,” Doug says. “We take care of everything.”
DreamMaker’s process – in addition to being full service – is catered to meet client’s specific needs, and ensures the business is communicating consistently throughout the entire process. The company’s lead carpenters are dedicated to providing superior craftsmanship and ethical excellence, allowing client’s the security of knowing their project will be completed efficiently, and with minimal disruption to their lives.
“Our foundation in honest, ethical business practices and commitment to excellence makes us the professionals people can trust to give them the home of their dreams,” Doug says.
Strong Margins. Quality of life.
DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen has 42 franchisees nationwide, and more than 30 years of experience in taking businesses to the next level of success. At the franchisor level, the company’s brand position is ‘Strong Margins and Quality Life” – a proposition that many find appealing.
“We work with our franchisees on the economic model and we teach them how to structure the business so that it is profitable, and they get paid a fair salary,” Doug explains. Above all, however, their focus is on making sure they support the franchise owner as best they can to enable them to have a quality life. It is that focus that draws franchisees to the brand.
Profits are essential to business, Doug says, but at DreamMaker it’s the people who come first.
Bob Ender comes from an executive position in the automobile industry. When he joined DreamMaker, he had younger children and wanted to travel less and stay closer to home. As someone who ran a remodeling business in college, he made for an excellent DreamMaker candidate. He has now owned a franchise in Ann Arbor, Michigan for more than seven years, and says DreamMaker has delivered on their promise.
“Since partnering with DreamMaker, I’ve definitely been blessed with the growth of a very successful business,” Ender says. “As far as work-life balance goes, that’s been re-established from something I didn’t have in the corporate world. We’ve definitely taken more family vacations than I did when I was in the corporate world.”
“My wife and I are just generally happy with our decision,” he adds.
When it comes to determining the right people to take advantage of DreamMaker’ offering – people like Ender – Doug says there are seven main criteria. The first is they must have ‘drive’ – they have to have the internal motivation to succeed. At the same time, Doug qualifies that they must also have ‘heart.’ “We don’t want people who are going to drive and run people over,” he says. “They need the drive and they need heart to care.”
The second criterion is focus. Third is coachable, fourth is willingness to follow their systems, fifth is the financial ability to set the business up initially, and the sixth thing is they have to have a Code of Values that matches DreamMaker’s – meaning they must have respect, integrity, and a strong customer focus.
Finally, the seventh criterion is support at home. “We want to make sure their spouse or loved ones are behind them,” Doug says.
Once a franchisee is on board, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen supports and trains them in a number of different ways. They have systems in place for them to learn by and fall back on, and they host initial training and further training events to bring franchisees together to collaborate. They also have a number of different committees dedicated to the success of the brand, including their Marketing, Advertising and Promotion Committee, as well as their Franchise Advisory Council.
“We work together and create task forces to help innovate and improve our systems, and support each other to make the brand stronger and provide a stronger customer experience,” Doug says.
DreamMaker also employs franchise coaches – professional business advisors that assist franchisees with implementing their systems and guiding them through their initial challenges.
“It’s those components put together that makes us what we are,” Doug says. “It’s not enough to have systems, it’s not enough to have training, it’s not enough to have a franchise coach – you need to have all those components working together, with peer networking and mentoring to help accelerate the process. And those are all grounded and pulled together with our Code of Values.”
DreamMaker’s efforts have been rewarded with a plethora of industry recognition. Numerous publications, including, Entrepreneur, Franchise Times, Successful Franchising, Remodeling, Qualified Remodeler and Professional Remodeler have all ranked DreamMaker as a top franchise opportunity, both nationally and internationally. Dwyer himself, now 46, also received recognition by Kitchen and Bath Business magazine as one of the five professionals under the age of 35 making an impact on the industry.
According to Dwyer, the brand values that type of recognition for the credibility it lends them, and the confirmation it gives them of their efforts to “elevate the industry.”
Steady, stable, profitable
Moving forward, DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen has a very clear aim: steady, stable and profitable growth. “We’re not trying to grow too fast. We want to grow wisely,” Doug says.
A couple years ago, they created a service brand within DreamMaker called Independence by Design. That brand was created to provide remodelings to accommodate families with multigenerational needs and people with mobility issues, or other such challenges. In the next five to ten years, Doug expects that brand to grow strongly within the parent company.
“We want to see DreamMaker deliver on our franchisor brand position and our consumer brand position,” Doug says in conclusion. “It’s important we deliver on those with excellence. We have growth goals, but that’s not the primary focus. The primary focus is to provide excellent service.”