Z PLUMBERZ Franchise Review: Q & A with Joe & Beth Sparks

Z PLUMBERZ franchise owner Joe Sparks knew long ago he wanted to run his own business.

“I was working in a factory, and just wasn’t happy clocking in and clocking out, doing the same thing every day,” Sparks said. “So, I found an opportunity to start off as a plumbing apprentice and took the jump, and I fell in love with it.”

Sparks started his own plumbing company, but soon ran into the hardships that come with an independent business. Eventually, he came to realize those challenges and obstacles could be avoided by starting a franchise, and he landed on Z PLUMBERZ, opening a location in Indiana with his wife, Beth.

In this wide-ranging interview, we talk to Joe and Beth about why franchises give business owners a significant advantage for success, what demand is like in the plumbing industry, and plans for the future.

Q: You have significant experience running your own plumbing company. What made you seek out Z PLUMBERZ?

Joe: I had my own business for quite a while, but I just realized it wasn’t doing what I thought it would do. After meeting with Z PLUMBERZ, I just realized they had a lot to offer, to teach and help manage the business, instead of just being out there working every day. I wanted to work on the business and not just in it.

Q: What are the advantages with Z PLUMBERZ?

Beth: The support and the backing if we need help. We are a lot busier and we’re having trouble finding plumbers to come work for us. But he knows if he has a problem, there are other people he can fall back on for help. When you have your own business and you’re not part of a group, you can’t just call a random plumber and ask for help. They’re not as willing to help, as they are when you’re part of a group that functions like a family.

Q: Has your work-life balance improved since starting with Z PLUMBERS?

Beth: The whole time Joe was in business for himself, I think he took one vacation. If we want to go on vacation now, we can have other people step up and help us and have time for ourselves to enjoy life. And now we can vacation together. We have a lot more work-life balance now.

Q: What are your current biggest challenges?

Joe: My biggest challenge since day one is finding plumbers to work for us. The skilled trade shortage is real and it’s huge. That’s been one of my biggest choke points. There’s more work out there that could be gotten than what I can handle. If I could get 100 guys, I could keep 100 guys busy.

Q: What are your hopes for the near term?

Joe: We intend to buy more territories and grow, and even possibly look to open another location, maybe in Arizona. We want to grow it to a point where we can step away and know it’s being run efficiently. So, if I want to take a vacation or spend time with family, I don’t have to sit around and worry.