Meeting Demand During a Natural Disaster

Since Hurricane Irene rampaged up the East Coast last weekend, calls for service have more than doubled at AdvantaClean, the Huntersville, N.C., emergency water removal service Jeff Dudan founded in 1994. The 30-employee business, which Dudan says has revenue of $15 million to $20 million annually, started franchising in 2006 and now has 75 locations in 20 states. Dudan spoke recently with Smart Answers columnist Karen E. Klein about keeping service consistent during weather-related spikes in business. Edited excerpts of their conversation follow.

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