VANCOUVER, British Columbia (BRAIN) — With sizeable new funding from a smooth era fund, mobile service franchiser Velofix is jump-starting its growth with plans to add 30 corporate-owned trucks in the U.S. And Canada inside the next twelve months.
The business enterprise-owned vehicles will be further to those owned by Velofix franchisees, who currently operate vans in 120 territories in North America.
Velofix has hired retail enterprise veteran and writer Donny Perry, who will open the U.S. Headquarters in Austin, Texas, to aid the corporate vehicles and franchisee operations. In the approaching year, Velofix turns into a much large operation, with plans to add 20 new personnel in Austin and at its workplaces in Vancouver, plus 50-60 new mechanics to perform the company trucks, CEO and co-founder Chris Guillemet stated. Besides the new personnel and facilities, the privately held company will, for the first time in years, very own trucks and stock.
“It’s a shift for sure,” Guillemet advised BRAIN. “But when we launched, we did personal vans corporately. We’ve completed it before.”
He emphasized that Velofix will retain to sell and assist franchises however stated corporate-owned places — that are common inside the franchise business — will help Velofix make bigger its footprint, including brand visibility and buying electricity.
Last mile fulfillment is the huge opportunity
An expanded presence in key markets across the continent also will make Velofix extra appealing to motorcycle brands, mainly customer-direct manufacturers searching out meeting partners, shipping and assurance provider. Contracts with the one’s manufacturers deliver Velofix operators an advantage over impartial mobile operators and provide the agency a massive promoting factor while drawing near ability franchise proprietors.
“The extra vans on the road, the extra dots on the maps, the more attractive we’re to motorcycle manufacturers,” Guillemet said.
He stated Velofix receives 30-40 requests a month from bike manufacturers looking for “closing-mile” success.
Velofix currently has various agreements with greater than 20 brands to offer transport and assembly and/or to provide motorbike income or after-sale assembly and assurance service. The agency is one of the transport alternatives presented by means of Canyon Bicycles and Amazon, considerably. VeloFix recently hired former FSA supervisor Cameron Simpson to control vendor relations and the VeloFix Direct program.
Guillemet stated Velofix is underrepresented in numerous predominant markets. It has the best one franchisee running inside the Chicago region, as an instance, and one within the Boston area. Both markets should support more trucks.
“There is a misconception that certain territories are sold and long gone — that is been one of our demanding situations,” he stated.
While Velofix will honor extraordinary territories it has sold to franchisees, he said corporate vans are likely to be brought in some large areas in which franchisees operate.
Sales growth slows
In current years, Velofix’s new franchise sales growth has slowed. It added forty new U.S. Franchises in 2016, 37 in 2017 and 26 closing yr, in step with its March 2019 U.S. Franchise Disclosure Document. In each year, that range turned into below public projections.
Velofix also ended preceding plans to make bigger into Europe within the brief time period, although Guillemet stated global boom stays a protracted-term aim.
The March disclosure, to be had from the California Department of Business Oversight, turned into the post at the Ashburn Bicycle Repair website. Operated via Rob Crangle, Ashburn is an independent mobile motorbike restore operation in Virginia. On the website online, Crangle speculates approximately Velofix’s company monetary viability and the performance of its franchisees. He attempts to examine Velofix franchise prices and advantages to alternatives.
“Although I’ve were given a vital eye on Velofix, I’m additionally a huge fan,” Crangle informed BRAIN. “They’ve executed a ton of exact for the cell motorcycle shop enterprise (if I can call it that). We ‘independents,’ I accept as true with, have benefited from Velofix and all in their advertising and marketing and outreach. I hope they survive and prosper. Likewise, if they fail, that could put a bit of a stain on the relaxation folks.”
Guillemet stated on a company stage, Velofix is financially wholesome; including that Velofix changed into now not seeking out extra out of doors funding when MKB Partners Fund LP, a Montreal-based totally clean era fund, approached. The length of the investment, introduced in May, become now not disclosed.
“Our enterprise changed into wholesome; it became growing organically,” Guillemet said. “We’re glad we are on the proper song. Like any commercial enterprise franchise gadget, as you develop, you examine what the right franchise partners appear like.”
He said in 5 years he needs Velofix to remain the most important cellular service provider within the global and to enlarge out of doors North America. Increasing parts and accessory sales is another aim.
“We don’t forget ourselves a motorcycle save. We sell the whole thing from energy meters to Garmins to wheelsets, and we will continue that. Potential P & A sales are huge.
“The comfort factor and the level of service we’ve attempted to provide is crucial. As people get used to Amazon Prime and Uber and simply-in-time buying apps, what we provide turns into greater treasured. More and greater manufacturers are taking different approaches to get to the marketplace, and what we offer is flawlessly aligned with that movement.”
Rolling classified ads
He said the MKB investment allowed Velofix to roll out the corporate-owned trucks in advance than it had pondered. Among other things, the vans are Velofix’s pleasant commercials.
“At the cease of the day, our unmarried largest project nowadays continues to be cognizance — making clients conscious that a provider like this even exists. … The vehicles are our advertising and marketing collateral. We do 2,000 activities systemwide every 12 months, the whole lot from basic school visits to the Kona Ironman World Championships. We additionally do virtual and social advertising and an ambassador program, however, one cause we want to get greater vehicles on the street is the awareness it drives.”
‘Exactly like a retail chain’
Perry becomes Specialized Bicycle Components’ retail improvement manager and maximum these days the top of retail for North America for Bang & Olufsen. He’s moving from Brooklyn, New York, to open the Velofix headquarters in Austin, which becomes chosen for its business-pleasant environment, valuable place and sturdy cycling market. Perry expects to have two company-owned vans on the street in the Austin region in a count number of weeks. (A franchise formerly operated Velofix trucks in the Austin marketplace, however, left the enterprise for personal motives.)