Anyone who has been to a government office for any kind of permit knows it can be a maze of rules and regulations to follow. One Florida franchise wants to help lead contractors through that maze so they can concentrate on what they do best: building.
Headquartered in West Palm Beach, FL, Impact Permitting has just started the process of signing franchisees.
Owner of Impact Permitting Nadine Austerfield has been helping contractors through the red tape of all three levels of government — municipal, state and federal — for the past 10 years with IM Permitting.
She decided to start Impact Permitting (a branch of IM Permitting) as a franchise this year.
“We handle anything and everything having to do with the government agencies in construction,” she explained in a recent interview. “Contractors provide us with their plans and we act as a liaison between them and the government agency for the building permit.”
The Right People
Austerfield said she is looking for goal-minded, organized people who can handle several ongoing tasks at the same time.
Running an Impact Permitting franchise is not a difficult job, she noted, but franchisees must be organized and on top of all the paperwork they are handling for clients.
Some knowledge of construction would be an asset, she added, but it’s not necessary.
Austerfield herself actually comes from a hospitality management background. Although that’s what she studied in college and she did work in the field for a while, Austerfield wound up working as a contract administrator for a construction company. Eventually, she began handling the expediting duties for the various permits the company required.
That was the launching pad she needed for starting her own expediting business, IM Permitting, from home in 2006. Ten years later, and the entrepreneur is ready to start franchising the business as Impact Permitting.
“Any construction contractor or builder wants a permit expeditor they can rely on and trust to make sure nothing goes wrong with the permitting process,” Austerfield said. “We know how to be that key person of trust, and how to get the job done right the first time. That is what we will be teaching our franchisees. That is what will make them successful in the world of permit expediting.”
With a prospect in the Tampa Bay region, the business owner is on the cusp of signing her first franchisee.
She wants the first couple of franchises to be within Florida to make it easier to travel to them, but she also has her sights set on opening franchises right across the country.
“Ultimately, we want to be nationwide,” she said.
A Helping Hand
Most contractors find dealing with the government to be difficult and since most of them are small companies, they don’t always have the time to gather what they need for the multitude of permits they have to get, Austerfield said.
Working with Impact Permitting allows, contractors to continue working on their projects while Impact takes care of all the paperwork with the government … and it can be a lot of paperwork.
What makes Impact different than other expeditors out there, Austerfield said, is its dedication to customer service. Right now, in fact, the company is developing its own computer software that will allow contractors to sign in and check the status of their various permit applications.
The company aims to build long-term relationships with contractors through superior customer service.
Austerfield has created a week-long training program that includes classroom work which will teach franchisees how to use Impact’s computer program, plus how to process the mountains of paperwork the company will be handling for contractors. The training also includes hands-on instruction in the field about dealing with customers and the various building departments the company works with.
Training will be done in West Palm Beach, but Austerfield said she also plans to be present for her franchisees’ grand openings and be involved with their development as businesses.
“We plan to be a very hands-on franchisor,” she stated.
This year’s goals are to finish developing Impact Permitting’s exclusive computer program and get at least one franchisee signed and opened in Florida.
The company’s five-year goal is to have 20 franchisees up and running throughout the country.
One of the main selling points about the franchise is that it’s a home-based business since much of the day is spent traveling to see customers and to various building departments.
Franchisees can have offices if they choose, but it’s not necessary to open an Impact Permitting. The business is also relatively recession proof, as there will always be building going on and that building will always require permits.
For contractors who are slowed down by the maze of government paperwork and for entrepreneurs looking for a solid business to open from home, Impact Permitting is the answer.