Joel Dagenais knows how to build businesses. He began his career in the restoration industry in 1989 by doing it all for a small insurance restoration firm in Ottawa, Ontario – marketing, estimating and project management – helping to double the company’s volume during his three-year tenure. In 1992, he and a partner purchased a First General Services franchise. Having developed plenty of contacts in the insurance industry from the prior company, he was able to secure an exclusive relationship with a large insurer within two months. Selling his ownership interest to his partner that same year, he opened a First General Services office in Hull, Quebec, and grew that to the largest restoration contractor in the area.
One day a young man named Bill came by the offices of a cleaning and restoration contractor to apply for work. Tom, the general manager, was impressed with Bill’s carpet cleaning experience, and was glad to get his application. Bill said he didn’t have time to complete the application on the spot and asked if he could fill it out at home and bring it in later. They scheduled a full interview for the following morning. At the interview, Bill answered all the questions, demonstrating that he had sufficient knowledge to qualify for a position.