Fantasty Franchise

Fantasy Franchise Portfolio, Week 1: Outdoor Home Improvement

Fantasy leagues have been around longer than you might realize.

The idea of picking players and running a contest based on their statistics has been a thing since the second world war. Although fantasy leagues went mainstream in the eighties, and really skyrocketed in the digital era. 

And today, what started as a fun activity has evolved into a widespread hobby and even a formal business. Fantasy sports alone is a multibillion dollar industry.

But why limit the excitement and challenge of fantasy leagues to athletics? We wanted to take the gamification aspects of keeping tabs on top players, running simulations and using data to imagine performance, and apply it to business.

Since there’s already fantasy stock trading, fantasy movies, fantasy sports, now we’re excited to be bringing you:

Oakscale’s Fantasy Franchise Portfolio

Matching Multiple Brands to Maximize Small Business Investments

These are very real scenarios, but it’s still “fantasy” because we’re not taking into account capital limitations or territory limitations (i.e. are all of the brands available in your market?). 

To kickoff the season, let’s focus on the industry of Outdoor Home Improvement.

Context

What do we know about mosquitos, other than the fact that they’re annoying and responsible for regenerating dinosaurs in Jurassic Park? They love standing water and humidity. This may sound gross, but to a small business owner, it’s a tremendous growth opportunity. Forget about puddles in parking lots, the real standing water to be leveraged here is the recreational kind. Swimming pools. It’s a match made in heaven.

Geography

The ideal location for this fantasy franchise portfolio is going to be Florida. As you may remember seeing it printed on the state license plate, “Where pools are prolific, senior living communities are a dime a dozen, and you don’t need a sauna to feel humidity.” If you’ve read the most recent United States of Franchising Report, then you know Orlando is consistently one of the top zip codes interested in franchising each year. Move over Mickey Mouse. You’re not the only marquee player in town anymore.

Matchup

The perfect franchise pairing is going to be America’s Swimming Pool and Mosquito Joe’s. Let’s meet our team. Starting with America's Swimming Pool Company, the nation’s largest and most trusted swimming pool service franchise system, with 257 locations across 22 states. Those aren’t rookie numbers. With twenty years experience competing, this franchise is a force to be reckoned with. And Mosquito Joe has grown to over 320 locations in 36 states, helping communities avoid mosquito-borne diseases. To say they’ve been generating buzz on the field is the understatement of the season. These two brands teaming up is a surefire way to put points on the board of your franchise portfolio.

Synergies

Let’s talk about how these two brands overlap from a buyer behavior point of view. Firstly, a high percentage of pool owners are also probably dealing with the issue of mosquitos. Particularly when pools aren’t kept as clean and filtered as they should be, they often become habitats for mosquitos. And if there are nearby trees whose leaves have fallen into the water, that’s a perfect food source for mosquitos. Another commonality is the buyer persona. People who hire pool cleaning services and extermination services have the same goal: Keeping themselves, their families and their communities safe. Whether it’s avoiding water related injuries or insect related illness, the sales strategy for both brands can hit the same psychological nerve.

Marketing

As an investor, you can get the best possible ROI out of your marketing efforts by pairing up these two players. You can potentially co-brand your marketing efforts between pools and insect extermination. At the very least, you’re marketing to an overlapping audience. Even if the franchisor won’t allow co-branding, you can hit the same folks twice with separate offerings, cutting down on acquisition costs. 

Captive Audience

Because there will be a good amount of overlap between your target markets, you have the ability to cross-sell services to landed clients. This is a perfect way to assure the right message hits the right audience at the right time. When you think about pool maintenance and mosquito services, both are highly seasonal. Not only during the hot summer months, but in preparation for and recovery of those peak times. You can start marketing early to ride the wave into the summer.

Operational Efficiencies

Another reason this franchise fantasy matchup could work is because you’d only need one general manager, one sales team, or a full staff that is cross-trained on both services. Despite the product offering differing greatly, you’re still helping people enjoy the outdoors, relax and have fun, without dealing with pests.

Risk Mitigation/Diversification

Mosquito season starts slowly in spring, peaks in the summer, and tapers off into fall. Florida, however, still has open pools during the winter months. Mosquito season only really applies where winters are cold. Either way, there may be slow mosquito seasons in certain locations, but that won’t hurt business if you’re diversified to service customers with complementary products. Bugs may not be biting, but the pools still aren’t cleaning themselves. If you can’t sell one service, you might offer another one to keep homeowners engaged. To use another summer illustration, instead of building a new sandbox, diversify within the one you already have. 

Does that sound like a score or what?

We’ve been keeping tabs on America’s Swimming Pool and Mosquito Joes, and their stats are undeniable. Their performance individually is excellent, but with their forces combined, they could pack a power punch and take down even the most intimidating competitors. We predict these two franchises both making a splash and generating a lot of buzz.

Boom! The shot clock has run out on this first matchup for Oakscale’s Franchise Fantasy Portfolio, Outdoor Home Improvement Edition. 

We’ll be back next time to match multiple brands and help you maximize your small business investments

Scott Ginsberg is the Head of Content for Oakscale's parent company, Metric Collective.
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