One concept I heard about several years back that I still think is a good idea are mobile oil changes franchises.Â Specifically, those franchises that contract with large businesses to service their employees’ cars in the parking lot while they’re working.
Providing businesses and office buildings (especially in the suburbs where everyone parks in the same lot) with on-site routine services such as dry cleaning, child care, oil changes, and other concierge type is tremendously convenient. Often, in the case for oil changes, there is only a time saving benefit and no extra cost to the employer unless they want to subsidize it.
The oil change “van” is customized to hold the equipment to rapidly suck out the old oil and pump in the fresh oil (I’m sure companies use different methods, but that is how I understand one method). While the employees are working, the oil changer collects the keys and car descriptions. In a few hours and $25 later, the employee has a freshly oil auto. The employer has probably gained a half-hour of work from the employee. Maybe the franchisee offers other services, like windshield repair, minor maintanence, car detailing, tire changes, or inspections…maybe even a mobile mechanic.
I would feel comfortable selling and coordinating this type of service with corporate customers. You have a very compelling story with real cost and time savings for the employees.
A quick search on my favorite search engine turned up these companies:
If you want to start this business on your own, the equipment per truck costs about $10,000.
I haven’t heard of the big guys (Penzoil, Jiffy Lube, you know who they are) getting into this, but don’t be surprised if the do. In that case, the no-name small franchisees will be squeezed hard.
Here is some guy selling a biz plan for starting a mobile oil business for $25 by email. It looks a little shady so be careful. If you are going to go into this business on your own, you had better already have related experience working in the industry and know exactly how to sell employee benefit services.
I would feel most comfortable in this business if it was tied to a traditional quick lube service center. It gives you a revenue base and additional word-of-mouth. And, I’d only do this if I thought I could employ two or three trucks at least 9 months out of the year.