Do I Need a Physical Location for a 101 Mobility Franchise?
In the world of mobility and accessibility solutions, dealer responsiveness is key. And the best way to ensure a quick response time is for a dealer to have, at their fingertips, whatever a customer needs — ready to be installed.
In the time it takes to order equipment and wait for it to arrive, a mobility and accessibility business could lose the customer to a competitor, or, worse, the customer could go days without a solution that is critical for their quality of life. The smarter play for a franchise owner is to stock a well-planned inventory from which to dispatch equipment for installation quickly.
For this reason, 101 Mobility requires its franchisees to have a brick-and-mortar warehouse-type facility in a given locality or territory as part of its business model.
It’s All About the Install
“The key to our business is the installation,” says Mike Gardner, franchise development manager at 101 Mobility, one of the largest dealers of mobility and accessibility solutions in the United States. “We could be compared to an HVAC dealer. If you call an HVAC business, and you need a new furnace by tomorrow, you’re looking for somebody who can be responsive.” 101 Mobility executes a prompt response to customer needs for stairlifts, auto lifts, ramps, mobility scooters, vertical platform lifts, elevators, and more.
Having a local warehouse, stocked with the products and solutions to meet customers’ needs, can mean the difference between making the sale and helping someone with a life-changing solution right away, or not.
“We’re the largest dealer network in this industry,” Gardner says. The breadth of products 101 Mobility offers and keeps on hand in local or territorial warehouses, which range from 2,500 to 3,500 square feet (including both office and warehouse space), is one of the brand’s key differentiators, and allows franchisees to quickly supply the right quality equipment to meet a customer’s needs.
Having a physical location is what gives 101 Mobility and its franchisees an edge over independent “mom and pop” stores or suppliers and companies that only exist online.
As in the case of an HVAC dealer, many customers never see mobility and accessibility equipment before the installation technician — who, in the case of 101 Mobility, is trained and certified by the company — arrives to install it. But sometimes customers do want to check out the products first. Gardner advises that the warehouse and office facility should have at least some showroom space in its footprint.
101 Mobility supplies franchise owners with best-practice information on what type of building or space to look for. And, although the brand does not provide direct assistance in finding the right location, franchisees are required to submit sites for approval before signing a lease.
Visibility considerations can extend to the exterior as well. In the past, Gardner says, 101 Mobility would set up locations in light industrial areas, putting little emphasis on the visibility factor. But they have since discovered that being seen can be important.
“In the last few years,” Gardner says, “a large percentage of franchise owners have been opening locations with storefronts that are often visible from the street, such as where a carpet company or furniture store had been, and they have definitely seen the positive effect this can have on their business.”
About 101 Mobility
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