Here, There, Everywhere: The Beauty of Mobile Franchises

Among the many benefits of mobile franchising, there is one benefit that stands out the most: the fact that it’s mobile.

To many, the idea of bringing your product or service right to the customer’s door, or providing them with supreme convenience in an area of expertise that you’re genuinely interested in, sounds like a dream job.

There are no building codes to follow and no leasing expenses, you can bring your business wherever you need to, whenever you need to. Whether you’re working out of your home or a vehicle, it keeps your overhead low and your profit margin high.

With an endless list of investments available, the mobile franchise industry is a growing phenomenon. The concept of offering highly desired services or selling appealing products has sparked interest in American business owners and potential franchisees nationwide.

While the franchising industry is naturally rather flexible in terms of independence and scheduling, mobile franchising takes this flexibility to new levels. Providing employment and services to even those in the most remote locations, mobile franchising opens up doors to a whole new world of possibilities, clientele and even new markets.

Available in all different shapes and sizes, franchise owners have the option to explore niche markets that would not be available in an office setting. Between mobile food and beverage services, to cleaning services, pet services, and even spray tan services, there are infinite possibilities.

Mobile franchises are often divided into nine major franchise categories; courier, automotive, business, food and beverage, cleaning, car hire and taxi service, home services and maintenance, pet services and other. The diversity of mobile franchises should not be understated, this article highlights are few available on the market today.

The Glass Guru

Total Investment: $27, 690- $117,490

Founded in 2004 by Dan and Joy Frey in Granite Bay, CA, The Glass Guru has since become one of the fastest growing franchise organizations in the home services industry today.

Franchise fees are based on territory size, ranging from $12.5k to $65k. Franchisees can start from home or a commercial location, and no industry experience is required. The Glass Gurus provides full training, protected territories, a custom start-up kit, vendor discounts, exclusive use of our trademarked brand name, proprietary parts and equipment, and ongoing technical, administrative and marketing support to their franchisees.

The first company in the United States to offer moisture removal for failed thermal pane windows, the Glass Guru still remains the only US based national company that offers the service.

Merry Maids

Total Investment: $55,350 – $73,850

Founded in 1979 by Dallen Peterson in Omaha, Nebraska, Merry Maids is the result of Peterson’s family efforts to build a maid service company.

With nearly 35 years of experience, Merry Maids has become a world leader in the residential industry. In 1988, Merry Maids joined the ServiceMaster family of home service companies and now have more than 900 cleaning franchises in the U.S. and Canada.

The initial franchise fee of $33,500 – $43,500 also includes the equipment, supplies and exclusive Merry Maids products to the franchisees equip two cleaning teams. Merry Maids supplies equipment and cleaning tools are available from the Merry Maids Resource Center, which inventories and distributes more than 300 professional-quality home cleaning products.

NaturaLawn of America

Total Investment: $107,000 – $144,000

Founder and President Philip Catron’s qualifications as an agronomist were the driving factors behind him starting the nation’s first natural and organic-based lawn care company, and since 1987 the company has used a unique and proprietary line of products.

With a total of 65 service locations in 23 states and growing, NaturaLawn of America franchisees are trained and provided with programs built on over 100 years of combined lawn care experience. The company also offers an exclusive line of do-it-yourself retail products through their website.

Maui Wowi Total

Investment: $70,000 – $250,000

Founded in 1982 by Jeff and Jill Summerhays, Maui Wowi Hawaiian was built to provide their family with healthy alternatives to the sugar and fatty foods that seemed to be everywhere.

Since then Maui Wowi has been growing steadily for over 30 years. They have 450 locations across nine countries, with an ability to profit in all locations due to their variety of business models.

Customers around the world can count on Maui Wowi’s commitment to offering only the highest quality products, brewing the finest Hawaiian coffees and serving smoothies made only from all natural-ingredients. “Our people are the cornerstone of our success, and we know that their commitment and connection to our family and to our customers are truly the essential elements of the Maui Wowi Hawaiian Experience,” said Michael Haith, Maui Wowi Hawaiian CEO.

Bark Busters Dog Training

Total Investment: $69,100

In 1989 by Sylvia and Danny Wilson, both expert dog trainers, founded Bark Busters in Australia. Moving to U.S. territory in June 2000, today Bark Busters has offices in 40 states with more than 400 franchise locations worldwide. Bark Busters requires all new franchise owners have a net worth of at least $100,000 to ensure they are building a business from a strong financial foundation.

The goal of the company is to teach dog owners how to train dogs using voice control and body language, while also putting these owners in control through effective leadership.

Bark Busters has been ranked the #1 Pet Service Franchise in American by Entrepreneur, and #1 Pet Services Company in Franchise Business Reviews’ Franchisee Satisfaction Awards.

Tap Snap

Total Investment: $32,000 – $163,000

Founded in 2012 by CEO Scott McInnes, TapSnap was created after years spent working in the self-service and kiosk industry.

Based on the photo booth concept reinvented for the social media age, TapSnap features a sleek, 42” interactive touch screen device designed to ‘tap, snap, draw, and share’ photos in real time to Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

TapSnap franchise owners attend corporate events, weddings and parties and are responsible for their own promotions and bookings. Franchisees will deliver and set up the machine, and then cater to guest’s questions and needs as they play with pictures and video.

TapSnap has a proven business development program that helps franchisees build their own successful businesses. With 64 franchisees, their national marketing program generates new costumers and helps to ensure that they are already familiar with the brand.

The Pros and Cons

Whether you’re a photographer or cook, enjoy being outdoors or on the road, mobile franchising has opportunities for just about everyone. The diversity of existing mobile markets makes it easy for potential investors to find an area suited to their needs and capabilities, while the vast range in franchising options connects financial needs with personal interests, making your career an enjoyable one.

Catering to and building off the everyday needs and novelties of potential customers, the average mobile franchise has an initial investment of under $100, 000. This low start up cost and quick turn around are bonuses for those just getting their feet wet.

As with most franchises, the mobile franchisor offers assistance with marketing and advertising, public relations, training and ongoing support. These benefits along with the low start-up cost and overhead, flexible hours, access to a wide number of customers and job stability in an area of interest is making the mobile franchise industry more appealing and less of a risk than other business opportunities.

However, as perfect as investing in your favorites hobby and working from home may sound, there are still costs and reliable financial obligations required by the franchisee.

When you think of the costs involved with mobile franchising, there are a few hidden ones that may not come to mind right away, but are important to be aware of and prepared for. Marketing, for instance.

Marketing plays a crucial role in any kind of company, and this is no exception. While some franchisees may think that touring the town in the company vehicle sporting a flashy logo will grab all the attention they need; this usually isn’t the case. Yes, your car will be noticed, but the chances of potential customers remembering your name, or being able to find you in their times of need isn’t so likely.

While other franchises have the luxury of a stationary storefront, this is where the mobile franchise industry falls short. Without a constant presence it is harder to remind your customers that your business does in fact exist. This is why it is important to do your homework before investing in a franchise where you will go unnoticed. Research the company and find out what kinds of alternative advertising they offer. And be vocal. Making people aware of your business and services is key to generating revenue. Ask the franchisor about newspaper ads or radio commercial opportunities because this type of advertising will take you miles further than your stickered car.

The Future of Mobile Franchising

The future of mobile franchising is looking bright. With the franchising industry becoming an economic powerhouse, the marketing possibilities are endless.

Today mobile franchising, along with home-related franchises, is the fasted growing sector of the franchising market. With the initial risk significantly lower than storefront locations, and the ability to start out at a comfortable size, mobile franchising is more appealing and accessible to a higher portion of the population.

Whether you are interested in food services, home care, auto care, or something completely obscure, it is likely that there is a mobile franchise opportunity out there for you. Offering more franchisee freedom than ever before, these business opportunities are rapidly growing.

Other franchise companies are also turning to out-of-the-box initiatives. Take The UPS Store, Inc., for example. With a similar motive, to reach an untouched market, the company launched a new program called “Main Street” last April. Offering small towns and rural markets a reduced franchise fee of $20,000 and lower start up costs saving franchisees an additional $40,000-60,000, the concept behind the program is to make their business more accessible to people in these smaller communities.

And it won’t be long before a fresh new market is tapped into through the franchising world, providing new services to new customers because if there is one thing the franchising industry is good at, it’s growing with the times.

What it comes down to is that as time goes on, and technology evolves, the franchising industry will continue to evolve with it. As long as there is a demand for services, and the means available to provide it, franchising will continue to lavish.

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