RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Get Spiffy Inc., a mobile car care service, has launched a franchise program to expand its business model into new markets.
Spiffy operates more than 200 mobile service vans in 17 major cities in the U.S., offering car wash, detail, disinfection, oil changes, tires and fleet fueling.
CEO Scot Wingo said that a third of all service requests on its app come from outside of Spiffy's established markets, prompting the company to broaden its footprint through franchising.
"We started Spiffy six years ago with the idea to leverage digital technologies to disrupt the existing automotive service industry," Mr. Wingo said.
"We've seen tremendous demand, and our move into franchising opens the door for an army of enthusiastic entrepreneurs to join us as we provide a digital 10X better customer experience."
One would question the wisdom of launching a franchise during a pandemic, but Mr. Wingo told Tire Business that the company has considered franchising for a while.
"The pandemic gave us time to actually hunker down and work on it," he said. "We had kind of this little dip in our business and it gave us the ability to breathe and say, 'All right, should we do this franchising thing now and what should it look like?'
"And it gave us the space to actually have time to work on it. In a way it was pandemic-related but it was more for just having the bandwidth to work on it and make sure we could put together an offering we felt was super compelling and unique, compared to anything else out there."
The company will continue to operate its own vans in the 17 metropolitan markets where it's already active and focus on expanding into the 50 largest markets in the U.S.
"But when you come a tier down, there's a good 300 markets where we think Spiffy would work great, but we'll just never be able to get there," he said, noting that franchising will bring its services to more people outside its target markets.
Ever since the company started, "the number one request is, 'I want to franchise with you,'" Mr. Wingo said.
The company is in the process of signing its first franchisees, and so far the interest has been "overwhelming," he added.
"We wanted to do five to 10 (franchisees) and we got demand for 10 times that. So we want to be real careful about how we tell folks we can't do this with everybody. So far, indications are that the demand for this is quite strong."
Every state has different rules for franchising, so the first cut is the states where it is easiest to obtain franchise licenses, he said. Spiffy has set its sights first on the Southeast, then the Midwest and Northeast before heading west.