FRANCHISE SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
services within its clubs. “Innovation is the mark of a
healthy system,” Smiley said. “Just recently, we completed
a club redesign that will propel us forward for another fve
years and beyond.”
Fleet Clean Systems of Melbourne, Florida, has brought
innovation to the vehicle cleaning business with a mobile
concept that caters to customers that own feets of
vehicles requiring regular cleaning. “The mobile feet
washing business is a little-known industry because it is
hidden from the consumer’s view, which may be why
there are so few players in the market,” says Skye K.
Robinson, director of franchise operations for Fleet Clean.
“But the demand is very high. According to the American
Trucking Association, more than 30 million trucks and
trailers are registered in the U.S., and all of them need to
Fleet Clean appeals to people interested in investing in
a franchise in part because it is a business-to-business
concept that generates recurring revenue from corporate
customers. Overhead is low, because many franchisees
operate as mobile businesses, and that contributes to
high proft margins on sales. And, because customers
are often large corporations with multiple, widely
dispersed locations, new Fleet Clean franchisees often
fnd customers lining up as soon as the new franchise
After beginning franchising in 2013, Fleet Clean has grown
to eight franchise owners in as many states, including
Arizona, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico, Louisiana, Florida,
Georgia, and South Carolina. “Fleet Clean expects to open
15 new locations during the remainder of 2015 with
locations throughout the U.S.,” Robinson says.
Manufacturing has very few franchise opportunities, and
one of the most fascinating and appealing is SealMaster.
Franchisees of the Sandusky, Ohio, company manufacture
and sell pavement sealer and also distribute pavement
maintenance products and equipment for the pavement
maintenance industry. “Customers include federal, state,
and local governments, property management frms,
pavement maintenance contractors, airports – essentially
any public or private entity charged with pavement
maintenance and preservation,” says Rick Simon, director
of franchise operations.
Another striking feature of the SealMaster franchise concept
is the size of the territories. Each franchisee has exclusive
rights to a territory as large, in some cases, as an entire state.
This means there are just 48 territories in the 50 American
states. And most of those are already owned by existing
franchisees. With only about 15 territories left, SealMaster is
in the fnal stages of developing its domestic franchise
system. “Once they’re sold, the exclusive opportunity to own
a SealMaster franchise will come only if an owner leaves the
system, which is rare,” Simon says.
SealMaster franchisees enjoy enviable recession
resistance. The territories are also economically appealing,
with the 23 SealMaster franchises operational more than
fve years averaging $5.2 million dollars in annual sales,
with 42 percent average gross proft.
For the fnal phase of the company’s U.S. expansion,
SealMaster is targeting New England, as well as areas
west of the Mississippi including the Dakotas, Wyoming,
Iowa, Idaho, Washington state, central and Northern
California, Nebraska, Louisiana, Oregon, Kansas,
Montana, Nevada, and Utah.
Bruster’s Real Ice Cream franchisees deploy constantly
changing favors to attract customers, while never varying
from the basic formula of fresh, real ingredients in premium
ice cream treats. Each franchisee of the Bridgewater,
Pennsylvania-based company can offer daily up to 37
favors, chosen from nearly 150 recipes. Items include
cakes, pies, and waffe cones made, like the ice creams,
in the store where they are served.
While staying true to its roots, the company continues to
innovate. One recent development is a new dine-in format
to complement end-cap and walk-up standing service
formats. This format features indoor seating as well as
additional product offerings. Bruster’s Real Ice Cream has
more than 190 units open and plans to top 200 units
before the end of 2015.
These innovative franchisers’ refnements of Singer and
Kroc may be the beginning of a new age in franchising
creativity – this one spurred by regulation. One of the
biggest changes in franchising history occurred in 1978
when the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) began requiring
franchisers to give prospective franchisees detailed
franchise disclosure documents. Now, new challenges
may come from provisions of the Affordable Care Act
(ACA) and potential changes to minimum wage laws. One
thing seems sure, however. With more than a century and
a half of surviving all environments and circumstances
behind them, franchising’s innovators will respond
creatively and effectively.