How a real estate brand, hot dog boutique and child care service concept outshine the competition in their respective segments of the franchise industry.
What do a real estate company, fast-casual restaurant and a childcare brand all have in common? They’re each putting a new spin on their traditional segments. 1851 caught up with the three franchise brands to learn more about the steps they are taking to stand out against the competition in their segments.
For over 20 years, HomeVestors, also known as the “We Buy Ugly Houses” real estate company, has carved out its place in the industry by focusing on the homes that other brands tend to neglect. As a result, HomeVestors has been able to create their own unique, niche market primarily based on renovating unattractive homes and bettering their surrounding communities by doing so. This approach has become an incredible business opportunity for HomeVestors, which now has over 1,100 franchises across the nation. HomeVestors stays competitive by providing its franchisees with proprietary technology that amplifies their expertise when reviewing repairs and improvements.
“The Zillows and Trulias of the world focus on the newer, retail-ready houses, whereas we focus on the older houses that need significant updates and repairs to bring them up to today's standards. In fact, about 80% of the more than 95,000 houses we have purchased were built before 1980,” said David Hicks, CEO of HomeVestors. “These are houses that many buyers won’t consider, yet we are able to first, help the owner sell, then, put those houses back on the market as desirable, attractive assets. Given the affordable housing crisis, this actually helps create more inventory that first-time buyers can reasonably afford.”
The Original Hot Dog Factory
The Original Hot Dog Factory, an Atlanta staple that has gained national exposure thanks to frequent appearances on BRAVO’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” has been shaking up the foodservice industry with its versatile franchise opportunity. The Original Hot Dog Factory’s flexible footprint can accommodate storefronts to convenience stores to hot dog carts to food trucks, creating a nontraditional business model with more access points for franchisees of all kinds, giving way to strong growth potential for the brand as it prepares to expand concentrically in the Southeast, Texas and Detroit specifically.
“Hot dogs can be eaten just about anywhere, so why not take advantage of that?” Chief Development Officer Tarji Carter asked. “From food trucks to brick-and-mortar [restaurants], the options are endless.”
What also sets the hot dog boutique apart from the rest is its multitude of menu options, which includes over 20 different styles of hot dogs, burgers and veggie options. Carter continued, “Being in the fast-casual segment, we compete with any lunch option, but we really are unique as there are not a lot of hot dog concepts.”
After struggling to find quality child care for their young children, working moms Beth Syzmanski and Erica Mackey decided to take matters into their own hands, co-founding childcare concept MyVillage. Being able to relate to other working moms on a deep, personal level and address their concerns has helped MyVillage provide peace of mind to families across the country, as MyVillage currently has 50 home-based programs open in Montana and Colorado with plans of doubling that number by the end of 2019.
What differentiates MyVillage is the fact that the brand gives early childhood educators a chance to make 30-50% more than the average wage. As an innovation partner with Harvard’s Center for the Developing Child, each educator is also offered ten different child-led curricula, putting the brand at the forefront of industry research and innovation. MyVillage also sets itself apart by partnering with local governments and nonprofits to solve childcare needs for working parents in their communities, such as Eagle County, Colorado, which has offered to fund up to $5,000 in startup costs for potential franchisees who want to open a MyVillage program in the area.
“Working families in America are without a working childcare system. We exist to change that by building a quality supply of childcare options for parents,” co-founder Erica Mackey wrote in an email. "More than half of Americans live in a childcare desert, and high-quality providers tend to have a waitlist of a year or longer. Less than 10% of the placements that do exist are even licensed, and the cost of care is more than college tuition in many states. Providers also don’t make what they are worth given the importance of caring for our youngest learners—the average wage is just $11.50/hour. Our promise to parents is that they will be able to finally breathe a sigh of relief when they realize that there is a MyVillage location in their neighborhood because it means that affordable, high-quality care is available for their children.”