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Hot Market Opportunity

[ 0 ] Jan. 1, 2011 | SBO Editor

Mobility products for seniors give this small biz a $3-million lift!

The graying of America has created a booming business for 101 Mobility, a franchise that offers full-service sales, service and installation of a complete line of affordable, high-quality mobility and accessibility products and equipment. These products include stair lifts, power wheelchairs, porch lifts and more. You can start this business in your community. Visit the franchise website for more information.

There’s a gold rush taking place across America. Although it might be more appropriate to call it a “gray” rush. Here’s the thing: Look around you. We’re getting old. Fast. Every 24 hours in the United States, 10,000 people turn 60 years old. The increasing numbers of seniors also represent a growth opportunity for businesses of all kinds since older Americans control 70 percent of disposable income in the United States. Boom, indeed

As a result, numerous franchise concepts are rushing to serve this fast-growing marketplace, but only one – 101 Mobility – has positioned itself in a unique market niche to capitalize on America’s monumental shift in aging lifestyle. Sales for the first full year of business hit $3.07 million.

101 Mobility is the nation’s first full-service sales, service and installation provider of a complete line of affordable, high-quality mobility and accessibility products and equipment including stair lifts, auto lifts, ramps, porch lifts, power wheelchairs and scooters and a wide variety of other medical equipment such as walkers, hospital beds and more.

101 Mobility is already one of the nation’s largest dealers of many mobility product manufacturers because its sales, installation and follow-up services cannot be matched by smaller independent dealers and installers who comprise the majority of the highly fragmented mobility products industry, as well as online dealers who offer little or nothing in terms of installation, service and support.

Having launched a franchising program in April 2010 backed by its strong, effective business model, 101 Mobility is seeking to become the only full-service dealer with a nationally recognized brand in the mobility products industry.

“We honestly are a little surprised no company has positioned itself to benefit from this growing need. Consumers have no trusted national brands to turn to for selecting, installing and servicing mobility equipment,” said Dave Pazgan, CEO of 101 Mobility. “There are several thousand mobility products dealers across the country, but most deal only in their local market, or at best, on a regional level, with quality of service varying from dealer to dealer.”
Pazgan said 101 Mobility expects to award 12 franchises in 2010 and have more than 150 franchises in operation within five years. Since its beginning in 2008, the company has generated strong sales in Midwest and East Coast markets through a network of sales representatives. Growth continued.

While 101 Mobility has thrived – the company’s three founders, Luke Sampson, Keith Barnhardt and Pazgan – realized that franchising offered unparalleled advantages for long-term growth and making 101 Mobility a national brand. The boom continues.

“Much of our marketing and brand building must be done at the local level,” Pazgan said. “We realize that franchisees are committed business owners who are patient and persistent and willing to turn the flywheel every day. We need individuals with a real sense of ownership if we want to scale 101 Mobility to a national level, while providing U.S. consumers with a trusted, national brand-name dealer where standards of service and quality exist.”
It’s an opportunity to be part of an enormous market. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of people 65 and older will more than double by 2050, from 39 million today to 89 million. More importantly, more than 90 percent of seniors have a desire to “age in place” by remaining independent and in their own homes, according to seniorjournal.com.

101 Mobility franchisees benefit from a broad customer base and multiple revenue source possibilities, including not just individuals who need accessibility, but also businesses that must be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as an almost endless number of referral sources such as home health aides, hospitals, auto dealers, physical rehabilitation centers, construction contractors, insurance companies and more.

In addition, 101 Mobility has already forged relationships with the VA and other core national accounts and is building an extended network of relationships with state and national agencies.

With an affordable initial investment that ranges from $85,485 to $121,015, a 101 Mobility franchise can be launched from home, although after about three months a move to a small office/warehouse location will be necessary. The business is easily scalable with franchisees having the option to hire sales staff and operational personnel, as well as a service manager.

It’s not necessary for franchisees to have prior experience in the mobility equipment industry or even a technical background. Installations and service calls will typically be handled by a 101 Mobility-trained contractor or employee hired by the franchisee.

“We have a saying. ‘Nothing will happen unless you make it happen.’ This is not the kind of business where you open your doors and wait for customers,” Pazgan said. “If you do that, you will fail. Franchisees need to be on the road daily building relationships.”

Customers served by 101 Mobility will discover personalized service that stands apart from small “mom and pop” mobility shops and impersonal online product dealers. 101 Mobility offers courteous, compassionate customer service to customers in their homes or businesses, recommending appropriate solutions and answering questions, followed by fast, easy onsite installation.

Thousands of elderly customers, as well as individuals of all ages with limited mobility caused by injuries or disabilities, turn to 101 Mobility for its exceptional product lines that include the industry’s most trusted brands.
Combined sales of modular ramps and stair lifts comprise approximately 50 percent of 101 Mobility’s current sales, followed by porch lifts (20 percent), auto lifts (15 percent), patient lifts (10 percent) and turning seats (five percent), which are modified automotive seats that rotate out of a vehicle for easy access.

As 101 Mobility scales its operations nationally through its franchising program, Pazgan believes 101 Mobility will become the obvious choice for consumers who are either aging or disabled and prefer to remain at home.

“The success of franchising in general is evidence that consumers like to deal with brands they identify and feel they can trust,” Pazgan said. “With a franchise brand there is an expected level of consistency in terms of service and experience. In the mobility industry, there is no such brand. We are building the first. I’m sure many more will follow.”

NICE NICHE FOR 101 MOBILITY

The senior market is booming, creating a hot niche for 101 Mobility Franchise Systems. 101 Mobility provides a comprehensive two-week training program at its corporate headquarters in Wilmington, North Carolina, for the franchisee and primary installer that focuses on all elements of operations including sales, management, marketing and installation, as well as certification in the installation and service of 101 Mobility’s product lines. In addition, franchisees receive up to three days of onsite assistance in their territory with sales, marketing and installation guidance, as well as periodic field visits from corporate support staff. 101 Mobility also offers an Online Learning Management System and other remote learning tools. 101 Mobility’s proprietary Mobilink™ software helps franchisees manage their business efficiently by providing assistance with scheduling, customer management, quotes, inventory and more.
For more info, contact:

101 Mobility Franchise Systems, LLC, 2234 South 17th St., Wilmington, NC 28401

(910-350-2755):
Visit: www.101mobility.com
or www.franchise.101mobility.com

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Category: Magazine, Small Business Opportunities, Small Business Opportunities Jan 2011