Resch Enterprises, Andy Resch
Honored to be a Veteran owned and family-owned business waterproofing basements since 1967, Resch Enterprises is growing revenues and new jobs.
Fixing basements has been in the Resch family since 1967. With hands-on experience dealing with wet basements, Gary Resch, the patriarch of the family, invented and improved many of the company’s quality basement waterproofing products and specialty tools that are offered today. Always the inventor, Gary also designed and patented Gorilla Wall Braces® - a unique product to straighten and stabilize bowing basement walls. Resch Enterprises is proud to continue its mom and dad’s legacy by providing contractors wholesale pricing with personal service on its time-tested products, now available since early 2020 to DIY homeowners with instructional videos, expert customer service, and online ordering. The traditional Resch customer is a professional independent contractor in the Midwest. This consumer expansion complements the professional market and has shown rapid growth despite COVID-19.
In 2018, it was the right time to transition the business to Gary Resch’s two sons: Andy and Greg. After serving 25 years combined in the United States Army & United States Air Force, Andy took over the business as co-owner with Greg to retain the family legacy. Andy grew up working alongside his Dad and brother, Greg, fixing leaky basements before his military service and while home on leave. The same dedication Andy had in serving his country is applied to serving Resch Enterprises’ valued contractors build their businesses. Andy serves as the President and CEO of Resch Enterprises.
Greg also grew up fixing wet basements with his dad and has decades of experience. His hands-on involvement with the product line provides impressive in-depth knowledge. He is the resident product and installation expert. Greg is the Vice-President and COO of the business.
In 2019, as part of his transition into the business, Andy attended a Veteran’s Entrepreneurship Boot Camp at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and was introduced to SCORE and his SCORE mentor, Mike DiLeo.
The Path to Success
Andy has deep professional expertise in military security but not business management experience. He faced challenges to integrate himself into business management as his Parents withdrew, stabilize the business and then figure out ways to grow it.
Over the past two years, Andy has made significant progress to learn how the business works and address a myriad of issues from tight cash flow to managing a large independent contractor sales network.
As Andy began to learn the business, he found he could apply many leadership lessons he learned from the military. Two of these lessons strongly aided him in working in Resch Enterprises as he stated, “First, focus on the priorities (that will advance the business) and second, strive to improve your existing position.”
As a leader in charge of protecting entire Air Bases both home and abroad, he explained, “I focus every day on the little things that can make a difference.” It is also very important in this family-owned business working alongside his relatives that “Family is always first.”
Initially, Andy concentrated on stabilizing operations and cash flow/profitability but soon realized that the focal point should be on the customer. Again, it was the small everyday details that needed to change. By switching terminology within the Resch team, and emphasizing customer wants and needs, the business perspective changed. It became “Because of the customer, we exist” as the new focus which significantly helped the business grow. For Andy, “It’s been rewarding to help so many contractors and homeowners reclaim basements and gain livable space in their homes again.” He feels that the company’s personalized approach is its differentiating feature.
To illustrate this change, Andy related a story that was a defining and gratifying moment for him. A customer with whom Andy had spent many hours on the phone trying to help to determine the best approach for waterproofing his basement, ended up not buying any product directly from Resch Enterprises. But because of his experience working with Andy, the customer wrote a glowing review on the company website as well as sent Andy $100 to treat his employees to lunch. Later, the same customer did end up buying Resch products when he worked with one of the company’s contractors to straighten his basement walls.
Andy’s brother Greg is very grateful that his brother came back home to lead the family business. He is also grateful for his other family members and their contributions. “It’s a team, effort and everyone excels in their own individual role and helps out when needed—we’re all working for a common cause that we believe in.” Greg has a heart for serving others and can often be found helping his neighbors and friends with farming or home repair projects. It is this attitude of service that makes him a masterful resource to all their customers.
When Andy Resch attended the 2019 St. Joseph’s University Veterans Boot Camp, he met Mike DiLeo, SCORE Mentor, who helped Andy prepare his Pitch presentation about Resch Enterprises to share at the final session with the event participants and judges. Following the Boot Camp, Andy spoke with Mike monthly to discuss all aspects of the business including expanding the business and adding roles for family members.
Andy felt Mike helped him make “wise choices” with the support of Mike’s business experience and ability to serve as a sounding board. Mike’s advice and point of view were particularly valuable in negotiations with another company. Andy had developed a distributor relationship with another privately owned company with related basement repair products. Andy spent time considering the fit, both on a product line and business practices of the other owners. After careful due diligence, Andy concluded that he was not comfortable with the overall fit and concluded the discussions on good terms which proved to be an important strategic learning experience for Andy. According to Andy, “Mike gave us a different perspective, he pointed out things that weren’t in the best interest for our business.”
Mike also brought in a SCORE subject matter expert with digital marketing experience. Like many businesses the face-to-face encounters stopped suddenly; Resch Enterprises had to find another way to succeed. Its focus turned to online sales and that has grown tremendously. Bill Vallee from the SCORE Rochester Chapter was able to provide guidance to help Resch Enterprises with some website improvements and maximize its search engine optimization (SEO).
Mike continues to work with Andy on an as-needed basis. Periodically, Andy will call Mike to check in or ask his advice on a specific business issue. From Mike’s perspective, “It’s been very rewarding to work with Andy over the past two years and watch his personal growth of learning business management as well as positioning the company for sustainable success and future generations.”
Andy Resch is very proud of the business, especially how family members have excelled in their roles. The sales of Resch Enterprises have grown significantly since 2018. Incremental product improvements as well as streamlining the warehouse process have been made. A checklist now exists to both ‘visualize and verbalize’ when packing items, resulting in a reduction of the error rate to less than 5%. Prepacks of parts are now available and ready to ship quickly, resulting in expedited customer service.
Andy has also pursued several areas of growth. One was to attract new business from the DIY Market which is now their fastest growing market despite the pandemic. As the company looks forward, it plans to capitalize on virtual training opportunities for its contractors that will be beneficial during the pandemic and moving forward. This will increase the nationwide reach by reducing travel expenses, standardizing training, and increasing its capacity for training.
Andy and his family continue to review their long-term business plans to grow the business and support it with the best talent, providing opportunities for future generations.
And, there’s more. In the near future, Andy wants to share his expertise with others with a plan to create a business opportunity for military veterans to help guide them in creating a business by using Resch Enterprises products and methods to help homeowners fix their leaky basements and bowing basement walls. This business opportunity for veterans will provide a “plug-n-play” concept so veterans can quickly get their business launched with minimal start-up costs.
The training program will include: 1) supplying marketing materials, 2) conducting ‘hands-on’ workshops in their warehouse, and 3) providing education on how to bid on jobs and successfully run a business.
Paying it Forward
Andy has wise advice for people considering a business transition:
- “Have patience. Realize it will take time to make changes.”
- “Hone in on a process and focus on fixing the process, not the end result.”
- “Focus on the customer and their needs.”
I have many years of business experience with focus on strategic and financial management in...