CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When looking to start a business, Paul Hosage, co-owner of mobile tire installer Tread Connection L.L.C., said he saw the growth in online tire sales. He believed as that part of the industry grew, demand for mobile tire installation would as well.
"Plus, I could afford it," Mr. Hosage laughed.
Tread Connection started in 2016 when Mr. Hosage bought a van and asked his brother Alex to turn it into a mobile tire-installation vehicle. His first stop with the van, he said, was his brother's wedding to show it off. Then he hit the road, visiting car shows and other events around Charlotte to get the word out.
Mr. Hosage aimed to be out in front of the mobile tire installation industry, and this meant growing the brand — "getting more vans out on the road," he said.
"It was really about raising awareness of the mobile-tire concept," he said. "People don't yet realize mobile tire sales and service is an option."
In 2018, the Charlotte-based company started to franchise. It has 35 franchises located throughout the U.S., and Mr. Hosage indicated there are plans for at least five more "soon." Mr. Hosage said his previous experience of owning a window-tinting franchise gave him a unique perspective for building his own franchise model.
"It was really a grassroots effort," Mr. Hosage said. "We were trying to grow, and (franchising) just seemed natural; it just made sense."
The company is owned by Mr. Hosage, who serves as chief business development officer; Alex Hosage, who builds the vehicles; and Chris Brown, chief executive officer.
"(Our) model appeals to a lot of people," Mr. Hosage said of franchisees. "People that think 'convenience' is really the next big thing that customers want."
Mr. Hosage said there is an appeal to the mobile tire-installation business because the overhead costs are low compared with a traditional brick-and-mortar shop.