While everyone fancies being in a glamorous line of work – film production or fashion styling or being some sort of high-flying marketing exec – very often the world’s most successful businesses are decidedly un-glamourous. Howard Hughes’ tricone rotary drill bit springs to mind; boring but worth billions. Mundane products or services solve very real everyday problems, and that’s the crux of the matter! Take this franchise trend reaching fever pitch in America – baby car seat cleaning…
What is a Baby Car Seat Cleaning Service?
It does what it says – cleans baby car seats! Sounds too simple and easy to be true, doesn’t it? But, as The Tot Squad founder Jennifer Beall so bluntly points out, ‘Babies are going to be born forever, and they’re going to get dirty!’ Says Beall, who won a business plan competition with her baby car seat cleaning franchise idea (to the surprise of other contestants plugging sexier concepts), it might not seem ‘sophisticated or cool’, but it works..
How Clean is Your Baby Car Seat or Pram?
Babies are mucky little blighters, as anyone who’s ever had children well knows – regurgitated food, crumbs, smeared gunk and leaky nappies…need we go on? Giving your baby car seat a quick wipe down may improve its appearance superficially, but it’s not that deep clean that it really needs. Germs, bacteria and fungi linger on, potentially causing a plethora of unpleasant health issues. That, and it just looks icky in your nice car. Gross, indeed!
Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That!
Given what a mission it is to un-install your baby car seat, disassemble the lining from the seat mould, and detach the harness…and then try and re-assemble it when you’re done, what parent wouldn’t use a professional cleaning service? Parents across America, the UK and Australia certainly concur, as this cute concept cleans up! And more supporting evidence that it’s a good idea – child-related franchises are one of the franchise industry’s fastest growing trends.
Is This a Mobile or Bricks and Mortar Franchise?
You choose! Here’s how this franchise concept is being done elsewhere in the world:
- As a mobile business, where the small business owner or franchisee calls on customers’ homes or places of work to collect the dirty goods, or to perform the service there
- As a bricks-and-mortar store, where parents can drop off the merchandise
- As a strategic partnership with baby retail stores, where that store acts as a central drop-off and collection depot or where cleaning is carried out on-site.
What Does the Service Entail?
Briefly, it’s like a car valet for baby seats, with:
- Steam clean
- Stain treatment
- Wipe and polish.
This business has a medium barrier to entry, involving an investment in the correct cleaning equipment, suitable premises and a vehicle, plus a couple of staff members to execute the service. Also factor in costs for a marketing and promotions campaign – website, social media channels, business cards, flyers, signage for premises and vehicles, etc.
Can I Offer Any Add-On Services?
- Absolutely! How about offering…
- Baby car seat installation services or tutorials
- Baby car seat refurbishment and repair
- Cleaning, refurb and repair of related baby gear, like booster seats, prams and high chairs.
Baby Franchises to Look at…
Sold on the idea, yet? We are! But a word of caution, before you leap right in there – before any business can be replicated via a franchise system, it should have proved itself as a stand-alone business, first. Having said that, there’s no reason why this franchise idea wouldn’t fly here in South Africa, given hard work, great service and good marketing. For inspiration, check out these international baby car seat cleaning services: