If you are thinking of going into the Mobil Oil Change Business – you may have asked yourself; Should I buy a franchise or not. After running a franchise company called The Oil Change Guys for many years, I had seen both pros and cons for franchisees who have bought into the concept. Not long ago, someone asked me:
What would be the advantages and disadvantages going with a franchise apposed to going at it your self?
Now first off you must realize, that there are not that many Mobil Oil Change franchises available on the market in the first place. There is only one mobile franchise company that comes to mind, that has any strong brand-name identity; Oil Butler. There are however, several fairly well-known business opportunities that sell Mobil oil change business packages.
A person can buy a Mobil Oil Change business opportunity and use whatever name they wish for their company, this would be good for an entrepreneurial type, who wishes to build a strong local brand in a community, or servicing fleet business in the region.
If one is to buy a Mobil Oil Change franchised outlet, typically they will pay a $20,000 franchise fee, which is a definite big upfront cost. Those that buy a business opportunity will be buying a trailer, or equipment that they can put inside of a pickup truck or van. The prices for Mobil oil change equipment amongst the business opportunity crowd is pretty competitive, so, there is no one gouging you on price.
Likewise, a franchise or cannot charge its franchisees too much money for the equipment or use of the brand-name, because this would put its franchisees at a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace and the franchisee would have to recoup the initial startup costs, by charging more to its customers. There is strong demand in the sector, but there is also competition from fixed site locations and even Wal-Mart Auto Centers, where I get my oil changed.
Many Mobil Oil Change franchisors will tell you that they have fleet business available and contacts with large companies and this could start your business off at a fast pace. This is important because it takes a long time to build a serious customer base, without thoroughly blitzing the local market.
Building mobile oil change routes is very difficult, and to make money, these routes must be very efficient, and the customers must be very close together, especially considering the price of feel right now at three dollars per gallon. Additionally, in many markets, there is a quite a bit of traffic, and it cost a lot of labor to drive through that traffic to get to each customer.
So, if the routes are not tight, the costs of the operator will skyrocket due to labor and remember that automotive technicians are commanding a very high price right now in the market due to the shortage of auto mechanics. To make money in this business it is all about efficiency.
If someone is a very entrepreneurial driven individual then they may not like taking orders or having people tell them how to do things. If this is the case, then they will not like being in a franchise system. Theoretically, a franchise system has already made all the mistakes and the mistakes are built out of the business. So the franchised operator generally will go through a much quicker learning curve and thus, they will say if the money that they paid for the initial franchise fee.
One thing that many new Mobil oil change operators do not realize is that just because you sign up a customer does not necessarily mean that you will make a lot of money off of each one. This is because the average customer only changes the oil in their car every three months or 5000 miles.
The real money is not in the personal car market, but rather the fleet business market, where there are lots of trucks, buses or cars all lined up in a row. The mobile oil change business does not work well running like a pizza deliver service on call, unless properly grid out the city and that is a whole different type of business, but it can be done and it is fun to do.
Securing key accounts in fleet business is paramount and if a franchisor can help you do that quicker, then I would say they are worth every dollar. If they do not offer that type of marketing or assistance, then they may not actually be the great advantage that it would be franchise buyer might believe. If you know nothing about the business, then a franchisor generally has pretty good training, and many of the competitors who sell business opportunities do too, although, I have never attended any of them.
One other issue that is important to the Mobil Oil Change franchised sector, is that many franchisors have specific deals with certain oil companies, and you will be locked into using a certain type of oil. This is good for bulk purchases at a relatively low price, but problematic when you find a specific fleet customer that will only use a specific brand of oil in it is not the one that you are allowed to sell or carry. This can hurt sales, so ask such questions upfront.
So if you are thinking about buying a Mobil oil change business as a franchise or starting your own these are some the things that you will need to consider. If you have any additional questions, you need to seek an expert. There is a great book online that you can buy called Melric’s Mobile Oil Change Guide. I hope this answers your question.