5 Advantages of Owning a Mobile Franchise
- May 10, 2018
- By: Vonigo
When starting a new business, one of the considerations some entrepreneurs have is whether to start fresh or buy into a franchise. In addition to the usual benefits of buying a franchise business (established systems, name recognition, and more) here are five advantages to owning a mobile franchise.
1. Lower Barriers to Entry
No matter what kind of business you start, your startup costs are almost certainly going to be your primary concern. Brick-and-mortar franchises carry a large initial investment. McDonald’s tops Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list but also starts at a minimum investment of $1M USD. Even a Smoothie King location will cost a minimum of a cool quarter-of-a-million.
With mobile franchises, however, the initial investment is much lower. Franchisees typically need an approved and decorated (the industry jargon is “wrapped”) vehicle, but can otherwise operate out of a home office. Even when a physical location is required, that location doesn’t need to be too central, which saves a lot of commercial real estate costs.
For example, Velofix is now at #106 on the Franchise 500 list (and #2 on the “Best New Franchise” list) and has an initial investment that starts at $163k USD. On that same list are home cleaning, home care, and home inspection franchises with startup fees of less than $50k.
2. Easy Expansion
Once you’ve invested in a mobile franchise and seen some success, the cost of expansion is also less cost prohibitive. Another vehicle and a few more key hires, and suddenly you’ve expanded your business by 100%, without having to invest the same amount of capital as you did at startup.
Aussie Pet Mobile franchisee Emmy Letourneau saw such huge success in her first year that she had expanded within months. “I started in January of 2017 after purchasing an Aussie Pet Mobile franchise based in Maine,” says Letourneau. “Business has been phenomenal — in our first 8 months, we have 2 vans and 3 full-time groomers grooming six days a week.”
3. Life on the Open Road
Some people don’t want to be tied to an office (or a hot kitchen) all day. The idea of a driving from place to place — the variety and flexibility of it, appeals to a certain kind of entrepreneur. You get to meet new customers on their home turf, and every day is a new adventure.
4. Marketing on the Go
With a mobile franchise, you are taking a billboard with you everywhere you go. Often times, the best marketing you have is your branded truck or van, parked in front of a customer’s house. It’s a great way to get the neighbors talking and to close more new business from curious onlookers.
Getting more customers near your existing ones can be hugely beneficial. When you can reduce travel times and group several stops together, costs go down and profits go up. For this reason, a lot of mobile franchises will also put out yard signs, sandwich boards, or even door hanging brochures on the neighbors’ doors whenever they make a stop.
One franchise that takes this mobile marketing concept to new heights is Men In Kilts. Not only does the Tartan design of their vans stand out, but their trademark uniforms are a conversation starter as well. They celebrate the concept (“No Peeking!”) on all of their signage, and the word-of-mouth they generate is the envy of the industry. For a service like window-cleaning, that structures its business around regular visits at specific intervals, grouping customers together by neighborhood can be an excellent profit-booster.
5. Easy Administration with Mobile Franchise Software
Mobile franchise operations benefit from a reduced requirement for office space. Mobile franchise software can make it even more cost-conscious. Tools like online booking, scheduling that syncs to mobile devices, paperless invoicing, and mobile payments make administration a breeze. Often times, the franchisor even handles booking and scheduling. This relieves even more of the burden of administration from the franchisee.
Franchises like Sir Grout use franchise management software to handle booking and scheduling centrally for their franchisees. It has the effect of keeping things organized, consistent, and best of all, easily trackable. “Potential franchisees see that (it) enables you to run your business almost automatically,” says Sir Grout President Jeff Gill. “Our call center puts the estimates on the calendar, the managers and sales guys check the calendar and get the information they need instantly, the service guys do their job, we collect the money – and no one needs to say a word to coordinate it all. That is a huge selling feature.”
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