Pittsburgh - Mr. Waterheater National Inc. has announced that it will begin the franchise process.

The company is looking to strategically grow the business from its headquarters here, with opportunities in Pennsylvania, Ohio and surrounding states.

Franchise opportunities became available earlier this year, and the first two franchisees come to the water heater business via two different paths. Joe Raimondi had been in information technology since 1980. A resident of Hampton, Pa., Raimondi began his career at the former St. Francis Health System. He eventually joined the former Thrift Drug Co., went through a series of corporate changes there and eventually became the vice president of applications development. Earlier this year, downsizing left him thinking for the first time that he might want to own and operate his own business. After researching franchise opportunities, Raimondi chose the Mr. Waterheater business. Raimondi will be servicing the Butler, Lawrence and Mercer county areas.

Todd Rhule, also a franchise owner, is a resident of Franklin Park, Pa., and has had his own heating and air conditioning business, A-Comfort Service, since 1988. When he heard about the Mr. Waterheater franchise opportunity, Rhule said he saw it as a way to expand his already growing business. He said installing water heaters is a nice addition to the service he provides. Rhule will service the Beaver County area.

Franchise development consultant Jeff Young said Mr. Waterheater has the best return on investment.

“The key to the business is the marketing, TV, radio, billboards, yellow pages and now optimized Website and keyword buys,” he said.

Young said to qualify for a Mr. Waterheater franchise, basic business skills are needed along with the ability to invest a minimum of $50,000.

Franchisee training includes a week of Mr. Waterheater University. Classes include product information, installation, business systems, marketing and office software. Also included are

Additional information is available at www.mrwaterheater.com or at 866/647-8379