The World Of Mobile Franchise Opportunities

Mobile franchises. This diverse sector of franchising offers two things;

  1. A low initial investment
  2. Much needed products and services

Mobile franchises

When I first started in the consulting and brokering part of franchising, I was struck by the sheer number of different concepts available to prospective franchise owners. It seemed that there was a franchise for everything.

My role is one of matchmaking. I match would-be franchise owners with franchise opportunities that make sense for them based on lots of different criteria. {Mostly their criteria}

My first successful placement was a mobile dry-cleaning franchise called 1-800-DRY-CLEAN. The couple I worked with wanted something that (1) had a fairly low investment, (2) did not require real estate, and (3) would not require a lot of employees.

This franchise offered those three things — plus offered a service that could help busy consumers with the one thing that they crave: convenience.

Today, more and more mobile franchise concepts are popping up, and I see this trend continuing. Let’s take a look at some of them.

  • Cartridge On Wheels–  This franchise offers to “Feed your customers voracious appetite for printer supplies.” This is a Monday-Friday business, and your wrapped van is your fully stocked mobile store.
  • Kona Ice-  Featuring the KEV, {Kona Entertainment Vehicle} that’s equipped with a BOSE sound system and specially created tropical music. This mobile franchise cruises the local carnival and little league circuits, dispensing frozen ice treats with a tropical twist.
  • Furniture Medic– Dents, dings, and scratches are repaired while you wait. Your mobile “technician” drives over to take care of your furniture repair needs. There’s over 300 of these franchises in the US, Canada, and Europe.
  • The Grout Doctor- This franchise provides “Aftermarket care of tile installations.” This home-based opportunity requires no major inventory investment, and according to the website, is not a seasonal business.
  • Canine Dimensions- As a franchise owners, you’ll be training dogs in your clients homes. This franchise offers obedience training for puppies and adult dogs, as well as “behavior modification.”
  • Weed Man– You’ll be providing “Environmentally responsible fertilization, weed control and integrated pest management services. ” Some franchises offer only one-time income opportunities. Weed Man offers recurring revenue streams several times a year.
  • Oil Butler International-  This franchise comes to you, and does oil changes and windshield repair while you are at your office. They can also service small and even large fleets of vehicles of almost any business.
  • WIN Home Inspection– Even during down cycles in the housing market, transactions are taking place, and most consumers want a thorough home inspection before they sign on the dotted line. As a franchisee, you’ll even have an opportunity to receive training for add-on services like mold inspection, and water quality testing.
  • Showhomes- Showhomes contracts with owners of vacant homes to fully furnish the homes, so that the homes can sell faster. Franchise owners can even contract with families looking for a temporary housing situation who will stay in these staged homes. I wonder if they’re busy, now.
  • ReNEW Softwash– As a franchise owner, you’ll be using a proprietary low pressure exterior home cleaning technique that will remove things like algae, fungus, mildew and more. According to their website, there have been numerous damage complaints concerning the use of high-pressure exterior house cleaning, hence their soft touch technique could be the way to go.

When you are considering franchise ownership, some of the lower-cost opportunities like the ones above could be attractive. But a low cost of entry doesn’t necessarily equate to a quicker return on your money. Especially if the franchise you end up buying is a poor fit for your skill sets and future goals.

During almost every franchise seminar that I run, an attendee asks this question;

“Isn’t buying a franchise really like buying a job?”

My answer is always “It depends.”

Franchise selection comes down to finding one that is a fit for your personality traits, your professional skills, the investment amount you are comfortable with, what you would like your daily activities as a franchise owner to be like, and finally, your long-term goals.

If you would feel more comfortable investing $50k-$75k on a mobile franchise, in which you are the only one that is doing the work, and you are satisfied with that, then that is what you should be looking at. It could beat working in a corporate job, and it is your business.

On the other hand, if you have a bigger dream, and you only want to do the actual work during the beginning stage of your businesses start-up, make sure you look for a mobile franchise that can turn into something more substantial.

More substantial may mean investing in a mobile franchise that can grow into a multi-vehicle, multi-territory operation in which you are doing business development and business management activities, instead of doing the hands-on work.

Nowadays, consumers lives are harried. Finding a franchise business to own that allows you to bring a superior product or service to them, could just be a winner.

* * * * *

Joel Libava on 2008 franchise trends About the Author: Joel Libava is President and Life Changer of Franchise Selection Specialists. He blogs at The Franchise King Blog.

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Joel Libava Joel Libava is the Franchise Expert for Small Business Trends. Joel, The Franchise King®, equips today’s prospective franchise owners with time-tested, proven techniques designed to increase odds of success. He does this through one-on-one coaching, and gobs of useful content that can be found on places like Small Business Trends, SBA.Gov, and his award-winning franchise blog, The Franchise King Blog . He’s been featured in Entrepreneur® magazine, and is frequently called upon by national media outlets and publications for his no-spin insights into the world of franchising.

20 Reactions
  1. Joel,

    I remember the great service of The Schwan Food Company in Troy, Ohio. But this is a private company, right? Do you have franchising companies in the food home delivery sector?

  2. Joel,

    Your article does show the diversity of opportunities. These days thinking outside the square could provde the opportunity for some people

  3. RedHotFranchises

    Great recommendations.
    These Franchises are proven Business Opportunities.
    Visit to see many mobile franchise opportunities available.

  4. Very interesting list. Definitely a few that I would have never thought of. Interesting.

  5. Martin, there are still Schwan trucks around. I see one coming through my neighborhood all the time. Don’t know if it’s a franchise opportunity, however.

    Now the Weed Man — I could have used that service around here a few weeks ago!

    — Anita

  6. All of those opportunities and no locksmith? Shows the diversity of the space.

    Concerning the question you get about buying a job. Many people are empowered by the fact that they are in charge. Sure you still work a lot (maybe even more), but you’re the boss. That feeling of power and control can be worth a lot.

  7. Thank you for your comments!

    I still see some of those Schwan food delivery trucks around, but as for franchise food delivery services, nothing comes to mind. {Maybe there needs to be one}

    Also, Anita, not one person has made a sarcastic/funny comment about The weed man. {Yet}

    Robert, sometimes it is just about freedom and control, so I agree, Mr. Lotus.

    The Franchise King
    Joel Libava

  8. Very interesting. It’s amazing what creative ideas people come up with. I would use any mobile service if it meant making my life easier. Cartridge on Wheels, I couldn’t count how many times this would come in handy for me. Realizing that I’m running out of ink and I have to drive 30 minutes each way to get more is a pain. Having someone bring it to me, painless.

  9. Joel, I love the idea of the “weed man” — quite serious! But only in the sense of weeding your lawn and garden. Not the other kind of weed. 🙂


  10. Anita & Joel: Thanks for your input regarding Schwan food delivery. I hope to find this kind of service when I return to America. I think it is very convenient to get food delivered to your door step. A friend of mine in NYC told me about FreshDirect.

  11. Joel – this is a fantastic article! Thanks for the long list of options in mobile franchises. One thing that strikes me is how many affordable opportunities there are to be your own boss.

  12. Joel, Thanks for the list! We’ve never thought of ourselves as a mobile franchise but that’s pretty accurate since we do on site work at vacant homes. The franchises that are really busy and doing well today sure seem to be the lower investment, no brick and mortar franchises. Easier to stay in business and the owner has more control. Thanks for recommending us and we are busy; we’re up 100% from last year and that was a record year for us.

  13. Thank you Ivana!

    Scott, keep on keepin on!

    The Franchise king
    Joel Libava

  14. Joel, thanks for the splendid post. This does proves that a bit of innovation and determination can push your business to a whole new level.

  15. Joel, thanks for the splendid post. Your article proves that a bit of innovation and determination can push your business to a whole new level. Keep them coming!

  16. ,marie van rensburg

    I love the idea of furnishing a home in order to get it sold for the owners! Has anyone in South Africa bought this mobile franchise? A am sure it would be a killer franchise to be the ‘first of it’s kind’ in South Africa. Absolutely love the idea. Thank you. Now…how to go about starting something that great???

  17. Good idea about franchise opportunities Joel, thanks for the post