With people’s lives becoming increasingly busy, home services and mobile franchises are in a unique position to promise something few other businesses can: the impossible.
In this case, the impossible they can give to customers is more time.
People who value their free time (and who can afford it) will gladly pay someone else to take care of mundane chores so they can spend their time doing something else. With the last big recession firmly in the rearview mirror, people have loosened up with spending their disposable income and are more open to the idea of outsourcing some of their household duties to people who are willing to make a buck doing them.
What is a home service or mobile franchise?
Putting it as simply as possible, a home service is virtually anything that you would see on a list of chores that need to be done around the house. If you can find it on someone’s to-do list, then it’s probably a safe bet that you can pay someone else to do it instead.
- house cleaning,
- carpet cleaning,
- pool cleaning
- home repair,
- pet grooming,
- junk removal,
- home security,
- pet waste removal,
- home care for the elderly,
- computer support,
- home inspection,
- home delivered pet food,
- home moving,
- landscape maintenance,
- pest control,
- party planning, and
- interior decorating service.
Basically, anything that people would be willing to pay to have done, they will pay to have done if they deem it to be worth spending a reasonable amount of money on.
Because home services franchises are associated with houses, they can be affected by the real estate market. When the market is doing well, there is a need for these types of services, but when the real estate market slows down, business for these types of franchises can see a drop. More homeowners, means more opportunities for home services franchisees.
Mobile franchises, of course, are ones that provide a service and are completely portable. They often overlap with home services.
Among the best reasons to explore the home services and mobile franchise industry is the sheer amount of variety you can find. The types of businesses you can open range from the common like home painting to extremely niche services like barbecue cleaning or lice eradication.
You must first choose the home service that fits in with the kind of lifestyle and earning potential you want. Concentrate on picking one that you are passionate about so it motivates you to put in maximum effort, but also keep in mind that if you fill a niche that hasn’t been filled in your community, you’ll have a better chance of success. Many of the available home service franchises in Canada are seasonal in nature, so also keep that in mind.
Even if you choose a type of business that already exists in your community, if it’s different enough to other businesses of its type, it will still have a good chance to succeed.
Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control of Hamilton, for example, doesn’t trap or kill the animals that it removes from people’s homes. It simply takes them out of the home and then animal-proofs the house and gives clients a lifetime guarantee for the work done.
“We provide hands-on removal, so we don’t use traps,” owner Bill Dowd explained to Canadian Franchising. “We go right into the animal’s living space, whether it’s in an attic, a chimney, underneath a deck or a porch and humanely removing the animals, keeping family units together.”
Dowd started the business in 1989 when he realized nobody was doing wildlife control in Hamilton, therefore filling an existing gap in the local economy.
Another franchise that puts a lot of effort into differentiating itself is the Vancouver-based Men In Kilts window washing and exterior cleaning service that has its employees wear kilts while on the job.
Although the differentiator in this case is a gimmick, it’s the stellar customer service that has helped the company become Canada’s largest window cleaning franchise. It’s now working on expanding further into the United States with an eye on being in the 50 largest North American markets by 2017.
“Men In Kilts is unique not only because we wear kilts, but also because we offer professional quality service across the board,” CEO Chris Carrier said in a news release. “With our company you get the quality of a name brand with the value and friendliness of a small business.”
WOW 1 Day Painting, also based out of Vancouver, puts a twist on the traditional residential painting franchise and it’s right there in the name. Whereas other painting companies will send a small team and paint a space over several days, WOW sends a large team to paint over just a single day.
WOW is owned and operated by O2E Brands, which is run by Brian Scudamore, the visionary entrepreneur behind the wildly successful and ubiquitous 1-800-Got-Junk?, meaning WOW has a well-established and robust support network behind it. Strong support is imperative for franchisee success.
When deciding on a franchise to buy, the support offered is one of the most important items to consider. Solid support is an indication that the entire franchise system in place is healthy and that the franchise has everyone’s best interests in mind.
The International Franchise Association recommends delving deep into all aspects of the franchise system when researching it, paying particularly close attention to the support a franchise offers its franchisees. The association has a checklist of over 50 questions available on its website that a potential franchisee should ask a franchisor while performing research.
Award Winning Support
Offering stellar support is one of the criteria for the Canadian Franchise Association’s (CFA) 2016 Awards of Excellence in Franchising. Winning franchise systems must demonstrate a dedication to:
- superior franchisee relations,
- business planning,
- training and support,
- ongoing operations and
You can count on this year’s winners in the Non-Traditional Franchise category (which covers mobile and home-based businesses) to be franchises worth looking into if you want a solid business opportunity.
In the Non-Traditional Franchises New/Emerging category (for franchises between three to 10 years old), the winners are:
- Gold – Little Kickers, a mobile soccer training franchises that teaches the sport to children.
- Silver – Metropolitan Movers, a moving company.
- Bronze – Alair Homes – A home renovation company.
Little Kickers is also the overall Grand Prize Winner for the 2016 Awards of Excellence in Franchising, the third consecutive year the franchise has won the top prize.
“A solid relationship between franchisor and franchisee is vital to the system’s success and Little Kickers’ consistently strong results demonstrate they offer outstanding support to their franchisees,” CFA President and Chief Executive Officer Lorraine McLachlan said in a news release.
In the Non-Traditional Franchises Mature/Established category (for franchises 11 years and older), the winners are:
- Gold – Par-T-Perfect Party Planners Inc., a mobile children’s party planning franchise.
- Silver – Two Men and a Truck, a moving company.
- Bronze – Lice com, a mobile lice eradication business that makes house calls.
A home services or mobile franchise can be an excellent opportunity for the right entrepreneur. Covering so many different niches, these types of franchises have something for everyone, no matter what they’re passionate about and not matter what their schedule is like.