Q. How can I start a Fleet Clean franchise?
A. To start a Fleet Clean franchise you will need to apply and get accepted. You will first need to meet our financial requirements, which we will be able to determine from your application. If you qualify, we will send you our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) which you will be able to study and determine if owning a Fleet Clean is the right decision for you. After you do your due diligence and we do ours, we will meet face-to-face at a Discovery Day. Finally, we will draw up the Franchise Agreement, you’ll fund your franchise fee and purchase your Fleet Clean rig and equipment, we’ll start training and marketing, and soon you’ll be ready to start washing.
Q. What do I need to qualify to become a franchisee?
A. We require a minimum net worth of $125,000 and liquid capital of $50,000 or greater. We prefer to see the ability to fund the operation up front and enough reserves to operate the business for the first 4 to 6 months. We are also looking for well-rounded managers that understand how to manage both the sales cycle and the operational needs of a service business. Finally, we seek individuals who are comfortable following our established guidelines and have the drive to succeed with us.
Q. How much money do I need to open a franchise?
A. The start-up costs will vary depending on the market, however, typically you will need $100,000 to $150,000 to cover all start-up expenses and the first few months of operations. Start-up costs will consist of:
- Franchise Fee
- Purchase of Rig and Equipment
- Purchase of Supplies
- Permits, Licenses (depends on municipality)
- Initial operating expenses (payroll, fuel, etc.)
Q. What other costs can I expect?
A. There are a few ongoing fees you can expect because of the continued services you will receive from Fleet Clean System;
- Royalty Fee: The Royalty Fee is 8.5% of sales. This fee allows you to continue using our brand and enjoy all the ongoing benefits we provide;
- Advertising and Marketing Fund: Contribution to our Advertising and Marketing Fund is currently 1.5% of sales. These fees go into a separate account and are used solely to market Fleet Clean both in your own market and nationwide.
- Software License Fees: Our current software license fee is $1,500 annually. Our software includes a proprietary system that helps you easily run your business; it does everything from tracking prospects to scheduling your work, to weekly invoicing. It also documents the work on the job.
Q. How long does it take to get a Fleet clean operation started?
A. This will greatly depend on you. From the time you apply, to the date of your first route will be approximately 4 to 6 months.
Q. How many locations does Fleet Clean have and how many of them are franchises?
A. As of April, 2015, there are 18 total Fleet Clean locations, of which 12 are operated by Franchisees. They are:
- Columbia, SC
- Savannah, GA
- Dallas, TX
- Macon, GA
- Phoenix, AZ
- Mesa, AZ
- Houston, TX (South)
- Houston, TX (North)
- New Orleans, LA
- Orlando, FL
- Charleston, SC
- Oklahoma City, OK
- Boise, ID
- Portland, OR
Fleet Clean Operated
- Miami, FL
- Fort Worth, TX
- Lubbock, TX
- Johnson City, KS
- Clovis, NM
- Portales, NM
- Johnson City, TN
- Knoxville, TN
- Nashville, TN
- Roanoke, VA
- Chatanooga, TN
Q. What are the typical operating hours?
A. That will vary by the location and the types of customers you have. While you may expect to run opposite of standard operating hours; i.e. after 5:00 p.m. and before 9:00 a.m.; surprisingly, our operations generally run from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. Of course, weekends are almost always required.
Q. What types of vehicles does Fleet Clean service?
A. Fleet Clean can wash any type of vehicle, from golf carts to 18 wheelers. As long as there is sufficient quantity, we will do it! Our typical customer, however, generally owns tractors, trailers, delivery trucks, etc.
Q. What is the competition like?
A. There are three main types of competitors.
- Mom-and-Pop Operations: Most markets have someone who is operating as a Mom and Pop; only serving the one area. The advantage we have over them is we are able to service regional and national locations. We also have brand recognition, and the ability to support large operations and scale to their needs.
- Regional Companies: You may find a regional company in some areas. These companies are a bit larger than the Mom-And-Pops but are still unable to scale to a larger level.
- Other National Brands: There are other companies that service customers on a multi-regional or national level. They often outsources their work to subcontractors, resulting in unreliable service, poor quality, and inconsistent billing. None have developed their processes to the extent we have and they have not kept up the same pace of growth.
Q. What does Fleet Clean pay its employees?
A. Again it will vary based on location, however most crew members earn anywhere from $8.00 to $15.00 per hour. A franchise may wish to hire a sales representative and/or an operations manager. These positions will garner the going rate for the area. You should be able to retain a sales representative on a commission basis with or without a base salary, so you are paying for performance. An operations manager will receive a flat salary.
Q. What does a Fleet Clean Rig cost and how many do I need?
A. The Classic Rig, which is needed in most markets, will run anywhere from $70,000 to over $150,000 depending on whether the body and chassis is sourced new or used. To save our franchisees money, we generally purchase a used truck then outfit it with our brand new box and equipment.
You will generally start with a single rig, then purchase additional trucks as needed. A lot will depend on the number and size of customers. You may land a single customer that will require nearly full time operation, in which case, you will need to purchase an additional truck sooner rather than later. The number of trucks you need will also depend on the size of your territory and your growth.
Q. What is the potential revenue for first year?
A. What you earn your first year will depend in part on the market and even more so on what you do to earn business. When you review our FDD you will be able to see for yourself! Additionally you will be able to speak to existing franchise owners about their successes.
Q. How long until I see a profit?
A. Our business is unique in that we have low fixed expenses. Getting past the break-even point is dependent on you and if financing is obtained. Speaking with existing franchise owners will provide more information in this area. Our businesses that have been open for the entire year of 2014 made an average profit of $188,201 or 36.7% of gross sales.
Q. What is the billing cycle, how quickly will I get paid?
A. Terms with our customers is generally Net 30 Days. Most companies pay within this time period, however it is not uncommon for payment to take longer.
Q. What kind of training will I receive?
A. Initial training will consist of 3 weeks; the first week will be administrative training which will be held in our corporate office in Melbourne, FL. The second week is hands-on operations training which will be conducted at one of our existing Fleet Clean operations. The final week will be opening assistance at your location.
Q. Do I need a large warehouse?
A. Initially, you will not need a brick and mortar location. You will just need a place to park your initial rig(s). As you grow, however, you will likely want a warehouse space to park your Fleet Clean rigs and store your equipment and supplies.
Q. Is a CDL required to drive the Fleet Clean rig?
A. No, the vehicle is under the weight limit that the DOT requires a commercial license to drive. You may, however, want to check with your state to determine if they have any stricter guidelines.
Q. Do you help me obtain customers?
A. Yes! We have a lot of mechanisms in place to help you obtain customers, including inbound leads from our website, and other advertising and marketing methods. We also provide sales assistance by calling on leads and finding you prospects. But ultimately making sales is up to you.