I signed up to the forum to get some useful technical help and am looking forward to that.
I did also sign up because I need some business help too. I run my own business and it is ok but over the course of the last few weeks I have been contacted by Mr Electric about buying a franchise. They have called me 3 or 4 times now and the man I spoke to was very nice and explained the franchise opportunity to me.
In short, you buy a franchise for a specific set of zip codes. In my case it would be approximately $30,000 or maybe more if I purchase a larger area. For that price I can obviously trade in that area but as part of the programme I get appropriate training for the business, which includes intensive training at their headquarters in Waco, Texas, ongoing support, job management system, my own area website, help with how to market the business, accounting software and advice as well as national accounts.
All of the above seems useful and could add value to my business, however I am not 100% sure it will work out exactly like I have been told. The man who I spoke to seems fair enough but he does have an answer for my questions so far!
Does anyone have any experience with Mr Electric, not just their technical skills but the business opportunity and the franchise? Also, if anyone has any advice on what to ask them regarding the franchise I would really appreciate it too?
I know this may have been discussed in the past but up to date thoughts would be helpful.
Mr. Electr4ic is a reputable operation. They have a proven business model, and have partnered with some home centers for electrical work.
They do protect their franchises, referring customers by zip code. They also make an effort to police their ranks; I have seen this in action when one franchise started getting shabby. The parent company was most aggressive in getting things back on track.
On the 'down' side, you will be doing a lot of residential service work. This work isn't for everyone.
@HotLine1 so what you are saying is the franchise for Mr Electric is registered in another company name for licensing? That does not sound too professional to me?
For $30K you get all the advice and use of their systems like accounts, how to run the business, marketing help (but they donít write the marketing plan for you). You have to buy the van and wrap it.
They are a little vague on the projections for national accounts. I guess that is because they canít guarantee them in your area. So one franchisee may get lots while others do not.
Iíve been looking round the forums and there is some useful information on various forums including the British electrical and business forums, where I have found some very insightful information about Mr Electric In the UK. See this link
I'm can't tell the context of the testimony, and have no idea as to the actual issues before the court. I don't see even an allegation of anything improper, just some poor testimony in response to poor questions.
There isn't a franchise out there that has not been the subject of various lawsuits. It's pretty common for the parties to get into disagreements. That's why there are so many variations in franchise agreements.
Our licensing is local, and typically requires the license to be held by someone local. Or, at least, someone meeting local requirements. That's pretty much exactly what franchising is all about: many local, independent businesses working together. It's natural that some operations will prosper, while others will fail.
Colrey, it appears that you do not understand the difference between a franchise agreement, and simply being an employee based out of the local branch office.
The legal case is a lesson on what a lawyer can do when he tries to make room for his client's story inside of your story.
As to a franchise for electricians, you could get together with other electricians from other parts of the world and pool your resources to set up a web site. Would that be just a good? You could dress any way you want and advertise anywhere.
I like the idea of having customers call Mr Electric for a price. They actually have a financial disadvantage.
My experience with them is limited to following one of their electricians on a job when he couldn't get a 600 volt motor to run on 208 volts. It always comes down to who is doing the work and not the name of the company.
colrey: The way it is here in NJ, in a condensed version....
An individual is qualified as a NJ Licensed Electrician. That license number remains with that person forever.
In order to legally function as an Electrical Contractor, that individual must apply for a Business Permit, which is attached to his/her license number. One person, one BP. One business name, company, individual, or whatever.
Any change to the business (name, type, etc.) results in a letter added after the BP #. Like 'Joe's Electric BP 1234' changing to 'Joe's Electric LLC BP 1234-A'.
BTW, I was not implying that Mr E is not a reputable organization, just voicing my opinions.
IMHO, 30K for what you said above, plus having to acquire/modify a vehicle, might be better spent on a good accountant and or a business consultant.
I had one national account that I acquired via word on the street. It was 100% service work (retail), with the chance to bid on renovation/fit-ups IF they called. Response was 48 hours, or 'less then 2 hrs for emergency'. Rates were on the tight side, and it was 60 days to see payment. It was OK, kept 1 guy busy; and involved a lot of mileage.
Contract renewal time resulted is them demanding travel charges eliminated and minimum service charge eliminated, and replaced with 1/4 hour billing. After laughing real hard, I submitted a response and withdrawal letter. BTW, I never got a call to bid on any work.
Without naming, this was a national group, with at least 8 various 'branded' stores, major regional malls, and some freestanding units. From the NJ state border, to southern Ocean County, river to ocean.
I don't see any reason to describe Mr. Electric as anything but "you could get together with other electricians from other parts of the world and pool your resources to set up a web site."
Excuse me, but ... isn't your franchise agreement nothing more than the agreement you make with your fellow electricians, the other franchise holders?
So ... why re-invent the wheel?
As to the uniform / truck issue .... well, it comes down to the business model. The Mr. Electric plan places a premium on brand recognition and a professional presentation. It works.
It's not the only business model. In a very real way, the Union Hall resource available to member companies is part of THEIR business plan. Different plans, different markets.
Look to various fast food chains and certain mini-marts as examples of what a franchise makes possible. "Joe's Diner" might be a better place to eat, but McDonald's is a KNOWN quantity. Where are you going to stop?