Cameron Wears, Senior Manager, Franchise Development
For decades, traditional brick and mortar franchises have been a solid bet for new business owners, with the food service industry dominating the space since A&W came onto the scene in the 1920s. While food and beverage is still a safe bet for many, there is a new kid on the block. Or, in this case, in the neighbourhood. Mobile franchises–business that travel to their customers–are a growing prospect for those looking for more dynamic opportunities.
Why Mobile is Poised to Unseat Food As A Top Franchise Opportunity
For the past two years, mobile companies have been making waves on the Entrepreneur Franchise 500, breaking into the top 20 and jumping as much as 147 places on the list. Why is mobile such a promising opportunity?
The major advantage of mobile businesses is that the overhead is typically much lower than for a storefront. If you do require an office in addition to your vehicles, it doesn’t need to be in a high traffic, high dollar per square foot area. In Toronto, the average dollar per square foot for rented commercial space is $20.79, compared to rented office space, which comes in at a much more palatable average of $14.65 (Toronto Real Estate Board). That six dollars per square foot may not sound like a lot, but over the last few years, it has been prompting restaurateurs to rethink their business plans.
For our home services brands, all of which travel to the customer, new Franchise Partners don’t have to worry about carrying costly office leases. The mobile nature of these businesses means the average investment for our brands is lower than for more traditional brands; the total investment for WOW 1 DAY PAINTING is as low as $65,000, You Move Me as low as $78,000, and Shack Shine as low as $50,000.
Flexibility and Variety Rules
Many of our new Franchise Partners have come to us in search of a business that they can fit around their lives and growing families. With childcare costs on the rise, and with more than 44% of non-school aged children living in areas with fewer daycare spots than children, today’s parents need flexibility in order to make it all work. Running a mobile franchise gives business owners the ability to create their own schedules and offers much more flexibility than being tied to a physical office or store all day. Many of our Shack Shine Franchise Partners can choose where and when to start their home detailing services on any given day, ensuring that they’re with their families when they want to be.
Customers Thirsty for More
The home services market, by nature a mobile opportunity, is a fractured space made up of many mom and pop shops offering various levels of customer service. But today’s customer is searching for more. Whether it’s using Amazon, Uber, or DoorDash, they’re looking for convenience and exceptional service. And many mobile services fall short, finding that the cost to reacquire disenchanted customers is simply too high.
If you’re considering hopping on the mobile wagon, look for proven systems that will help ease your administrative load. In a mobile business, building and strengthening customer relationships is paramount. If you’re backed by a 24/7 call center, online booking engine, and social media support, you’ll be able to focus on acquiring customers. One of our most valuable support systems is our recruitment resources and training programs, which allow our Franchise Partners to find and retain great people in an industry where this can be immensely challenging.
Our WOW 1 DAY PAINTING Franchise Partners are taken through comprehensive painting training, not because they are going to do the painting themselves, but because this knowledge helps them hire and motivate their teams. When you take care of your people, they’ll take care of your customers. And your customers will take care of your brand.
A Shortcut to Evaluating an Opportunity
Whether you’re looking at mobile or a more traditional opportunity, a little research will go a long way. Start with the businesses online reviews. Check Google and Facebook. Are the customer reviews recent and positive, enough to make it stand out from the competition? With 95% of people looking for reviews before making a purchase, it is critical to have a large volume of recent glowing reviews available online. Our You Move Me franchises enjoy customer satisfaction ratings that are unusually high for the moving industry, thanks in part to the dedicated customer experience manager who monitors and resolves complaints in a timely manner, making sure every customer has an exceptional experience.
When prospective customers see that a company is proactive about resolving issues and communicating with customers, this establishes trust with the brand and makes them more likely to choose them. This is a good indicator of the level of support you’ll receive when you start a franchise business with the brand you’re looking at.
If the franchise system has quality support around building online reviews and ensuring customer satisfaction, you know you’re in good hands.
About O2E Brands
Based in Vancouver, B.C., O2E Brands is home to 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, You Move Me, WOW 1 DAY PAINTING and Shack Shine. Our uniquely branded companies focus on providing exceptional customer service in traditionally “ordinary” home service industries.