Choosing a Green Franchise
Deciding on a franchise is always a difficult decision and deciding on a green franchise is no different. The following provides some advice on how to choose a green franchise.
When selecting a green franchise, make sure it is truly green. A lot of ‘greenwashing’ has occurred as individuals and businesses try to profit from the hype without putting forth the effort required to be truly green.
One question you will have to answer for yourself is: what level of green franchise do you want to be involved with? The first level of green franchise is one that employs green practices and is dedicated to minimizing its impact on the environment. The second level involves franchises that have a more direct impact the environment through methods such as solar panel installation or recycling services. Here are some sample green franchises. There are examples of both levels:
AdvantaClean is part of the indoor air quality market. Franchisees offer services such as emergency water damage mitigation, air duct cleaning, coil cleaning, mold removal, dryer vent cleaning and disaster relief.
Since its founding in 1977, Chem-Dry has used a patented method of hot carbonated water extraction to attack dirt, dust, oils and allergens in carpet fibers and on hard surfaces. The method is environmentally safe with no harmful chemicals or soaps, and has earned the Seal of Approval from the Carpet and Rug Institute.
Earthwise Pet Supply has an all natural and holistic focus to its franchise operation. It's mission is expressed as striving to “better the lives of pets and their owners through proper education, superior customer service, all natural products, and green business practices.”
Filta taps into the market for environmental kitchen solutions. There are three types of franchise service: FiltaFry, which is an eco-friendly, mobile, on-site service for the micro-filtration of cooking oil and the vacuum based cleaning of deep fryers; FiltaCool, which is offered in tandem with FiltaFry to improve moisture control in walk in coolers; and FiltaBio, which is a safe collection of used cooking oil due to be recycled into biodiesel.
This auto franchise strives to be the cleanest company in an industry that is traditionally dirty. Its eco-friendly initiatives include recycling, pollution prevention, resource conservation, and offering and promoting eco-friendly services.
Hygienitech offers anti-allergen services for mattress and upholstery cleaning and sanitizing. The company can be run on its own or as an add-on to other service businesses such as carpet cleaning, maid or janitorial services, pest control, air duct cleaning, or mold remediation.
Renew Crew is the leading national brand for exterior surface cleaning and protecting with a proprietary 3-step process for cleaning wood surfaces, concrete, siding, pavers and hardscapes. Franchise founder Stan Krempges developed the environmentally safe process back in 1993, and continued to work with leading coatings chemists to develop other protectants.
SuperGreen Solutions franchisees are suppliers and installers of domestic and commercial energy efficient solutions. Products and services include, but are not limited to: solar power, solar hot water, skylights, ventilation, insulation, wind power, and energy management.
The BBQ Cleaner utilizes grill cleaning materials that are eco-friendly by being bio-degradable, non-toxic, and harmless to the environment.
Zoomin Groomin is a pet grooming franchise that continually looks for ways to be more responsible when it comes to protecting the environment. The company uses two virtually waterless systems to groom animals. In addition to saving water, its grooming and cleaning products are all natural, organic and scent free.
In your search, look for certifications. There are several like, for example, The Green America Seal of Approval.
Green America is a nonprofit organization with several programs created to carry out the mission of harnessing economic power in its various forms to create an environmentally sustainable society. A business that bears this seal has successfully passed the Green America screening process and has been deemed socially and environmentally responsible.
Also, when reviewing the franchisor’s FDD, check for training methods, trademarks, processes and products used that indicate an authentic desire for being green.
How Much Does It Cost to Invest in a Green Franchise?
Important note: the provisions and fees illustrated in this report are only the most common and not a complete listing. Please review the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) for all of the provisions and fees related to investing in a specific franchise.
Investing in a green franchise can vary greatly depending upon the industry and concept you invest in. Usually, the first consideration most prospective franchisees first have is how much money will they need? The financial investment, an overview of which is provided below, can be separated into two parts: the initial investment and ongoing fees.
Initial investment costs vary for different franchises depending on the particular business system and execution requirements. The chart below shows the estimated initial investment range for five sample franchises.
Estimated Initial Investment Range for Selected Green Franchises
Initial costs associated with opening a franchise include the franchise fee, training expenses (travel and living expenses, not the actual training courses), grand opening marketing costs, and more.
A significant cost within the initial investment is the franchise fee. This part of the overall initial investment grants franchisees the right to use franchisor trademarks, service marks and other branding elements. It also gives franchisees access to the business system of the franchisor, including training opportunities.
It should be noted that one reason the initial investment can have such a wide range is the cost of real estate. Land and leasing costs tend to vary widely between different areas. In addition, some franchises may have a mobile setup where the franchisee's primary base of operation is a vehicle instead of a building or office space. For those franchises, the franchisee often has the choice of performing administrative office tasks at home or leasing office space, if they feel it's best for them.
After you open your franchise, in addition to regular business expenses, there are costs that are paid throughout the length of the franchise agreement for being a part of the franchisor’s business system.
These costs include items such as royalty fees, charges for technical support and marketing costs. The most common cost is the royalty fee. Royalties are often taken from overall revenue/sales as a percentage, but they can be taken as a flat fee. However, royalties can be subject to conditions specific to that franchise, as illustrated below.
In addition to regularly assessed fees, other fees such as audit fees or costs for additional training are charged on an ‘as needed’ basis. Prior to investing, prospective franchisees should do their research and carefully review a franchisor’s FDD for more detailed information on all systems, procedures and costs.
To get more information on a number of green franchises and business opportunities, click here.