The 10 biggest mobile franchises in the Australian market

Edm Thumb The 10 Biggest Mobile Franchises In The Australian Market

The list of mobile franchises is quite varied with mowing, home services, cleaning, courier, dog wash, and automotive retail all featured.

Another in our list series!

You can find another list, and links to others HERE

There are a number of other significant sub-niches within the mobile franchise designation that will feature in later lists as they are compiled.

The cleaning and home services related franchise market in particular is full of competitors. Given the low barriers to entry, and the general ease with which to start to build a client base using relatively inexpensive digital marketing, it is a space that sees many players pour into.  

It is frustrating for would-be franchise prospects in this space to struggle to get significant information for their research, but this can also be said for some others in different niches in the list. 

Perhaps this is symptomatic of the concern given the lower barriers to entry commonly found in many (not all) mobile operations. This may result in competitors of all types cherry-picking openly available information to easily construct their competitive positioning.

Why we create these lists

We created this list to help make your research and decision making process easier. We’ll update it as the market changes, and as we get more information for you*.

1. Jim’s Mowing - 1,500+ franchises

Mowing and Garden Care.

The brand and its founder are arguably one of the highest profile across the country in the franchise sector. Very much one of the originators of the ‘modern’ franchised home services sector offer, the brand paved the way for the raft of systems offering services as their primary product to market.

While the business has a training and coaching component, it is perhaps becoming more apparently known as a lead generator for wide-ranging services work. It’s brand power, no doubt, is a key factor in attracting many prospective franchisees, buoyed by the thought of receiving consistent consumer leads for work.

The mowing brand web and digital presence does appear to be lacking in some sophistication in parts, compared to other, and even smaller mobile franchises. Perhaps because the brand tends to lean and leverage more heavily on the presence and activities of its founder.

  • CEO = Jim Penman, Founder, Managing Director and CEO (Jim’s Group)
  • Headquarters located = Mooroolbark, Victoria
  • Franchising Since = 1989
  • Investment = from $38,000 (with no customers) and from $45,000 (with customers
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = Weekly fixed fee (includes franchise and advertising fee) and $9-$18 per lead provided
  • Training = One week at national HQ in Melbourne, followed by a 3 day ‘hands-on’ orientation training period in the field. 

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 10.2K followers
  • Instagram = 946 followers
  • Twitter = 70 followers
  • LinkedIn = 103 followers

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2. VIP Home Services - 1,000 franchises (AU + NZ)

Home and commercial cleaning, lawns and garden maintenance.

Another one of the key core originators of the modern franchised home services sector offer that we see today. In fact, according to the company, it “ the pioneer of franchising home services in Australia; being the first to franchise in the industry.” after it was launched in 1979.

Despite its larger size, the brand proudly positions itself as still very much a family business with founder Bill heading it up, wife Ros is still involved, along with three of their children as well.

The company has also achieved significant brand recognition in the market, and perhaps in comparison to their larger competitor, does not come across as aggressively innovative.

Or, are they just a little quieter about what they do?

  • CEO = Bill Vis, Founder
  • Headquarters located = Cowandilla, SA
  • Franchising Since = 1979
  • Investment = starts at $12,000
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = Flat monthly fee - no lead or % of income fees
  • Training = Up to 4 weeks on the job training

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 3K followers
  • Instagram = 556 followers
  • Twitter = N/A
  • LinkedIn = 265 followers

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3. Jim’s Cleaning Group - 966 franchises (AU)

Multiple cleaning market niches.

The Jim’s Cleaning Group comprises; home and business cleaning, car detailing, window and pressure cleaning, carpet cleaning and blind cleaning and repairs.

The Group came out of Founder Haydar Hussein, rebranding his own cleaning business in the 90’s as a Jim’s Cleaning franchise. He then set about acquiring the other regions nationally, and later re-branding to Jim’s Cleaning Group after adding other offers.

The business lists a ‘Pay-for-Work’ Guarantee of $1,500 per week.

This business has a presence that is full of personality and people, right down to pictures and written introductions from all franchisees for their regions - a nice touch. 

  • CEO = Ali Olmez 
  • Headquarters located = Mooroolbark, VIC
  • Franchising Since = 1997
  • Investment = Starts from $30,000
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = TBC
  • Training = Initial 5 day business training, and 5 day on-tool training. Ongoing provided.

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 23.9K followers
  • Instagram = 887 followers
  • Twitter = 60 followers
  • LinkedIn = 182 followers

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4. Cleantastic - 900+ franchises (AU)

Commercial Cleaning.

For such an apparently significantly large business, Cleantastic has a very low profile in the broader market. Very little social presence of any sort, and little activity. 

The web platform for the brand presents more like an international franchisor that has minimal presence in the country - although that doesn’t appear to be the case. It’s just that when a franchise brand is already well in the Australian market, it is not usual to have to keep mentioning ‘franchises for sale in Australia’ on their Australian website.

There is no visible business leaders (people) in their web presentation to the business, other than a short franchisee video testimonial (from 2012) that appears international.

I have also never seen a disclaimer used to start such a video “The views expressed in the following video are the personal opinions of the Cleantastic franchise owner.”

There is also very little transparency on purchase or ongoing fees and other aspects of the franchise offer.

This perspective on the business is given on the basis of a prospective franchise owner looking at the limitations to what they can research themselves online.

  • CEO = Stu Beadle
  • Headquarters located = Auckland, NZ
  • Franchising Since = TBC
  • Investment = from $11,000- $60,000 range
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = TBC
  • Training = TBC

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = N/A
  • Instagram = N/A
  • Twitter = N/A
  • LinkedIn = 20 followers

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5. Aramex (ex-fastway couriers) - 900+ franchises

Courier, package / freight delivery.

The business was recently (2019) rebranded from Fastway Couriers to Aramex after acquisition by the global transport and logistics company in 2016.

Fastway Couriers was originally founded in NZ by Bill McGowan in what is a spectacular success story.

It is interesting that the business is still needing to remind the market who they were (fastway), with a video on their ‘About Us’ page and that their branded vans will be changing etc. This transition is still occurring it seems across such a large organisation.

The business offers levels of joining for franchise partners according to their investment amount, with a ‘Courier Lite’ level as low as under $10,000.

Also seen in several listing locations, are offers of $1,500 per week ‘revenue’ support for 50 weeks to assist in building a franchisee business.

  • CEO = Andrew McKenna 
  • Headquarters located = Sydney, NSW
  • Franchising Since = TBC
  • Investment = Starts from $10,000 (Courier Lite) From $20,000 (Courier Franchises)
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = TBC
  • Training = Comprehensive 3 week training period with on-going support.

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 17.3K followers
  • Instagram = 39.4k followers
  • Twitter = 174.8k followers (Global)
  • LinkedIn = 765 followers

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6. Couriers Please - 700+ franchises

Courier, parcel delivery service.

A fully owned subsidiary of Singapore Post (SingPost).

Very little information is available on the franchise without providing detailed information that includes drivers license number and date of birth at a very initial web enquiry stage - which I’d consider excessive for an initial introduction inquiry.

It seems that you can look at a list of franchises for sale, or register your full details to find out more - on the surface, it appears nothing in between in information.

They do have a helpful and detailed list of all existing courier business runs for sale (70+). These often include the gross income, sell price, van type, run description and more.

Noted on some listings for sale at this time, an offer of zero franchise fee payable on established territories.

A Guaranteed Minimum Income mention was also found, but with ‘More details are available once you submit your enquiry’.

Another case of a disappointing level of transparency for franchise prospects in their endeavours to research opportunities, while wanting your drivers licence number and date of birth to simply enquire.

  • CEO = Mark McGinley
  • Headquarters located = Sydney, NSW
  • Franchising Since = Founded 1983
  • Investment = TBC 
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = TBC
  • Training = TBC

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 515 followers
  • Instagram = 242 followers
  • Twitter = 27 followers
  • LinkedIn = 6,938 followers

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7. Jani-King - 600+ franchises

Cleaning services.

The Jani-King business presents itself as a highly sophisticated operation with a presence in ‘14 countries and 9,000+ franchisees globally’. ‘The King of Clean’ is the tagline.

The name has origins in being a ‘janitorial cleaning service’ back in 1968.

As with many American originated brands, the business has put in little effort it seems, to present a ‘local flavour’ to it’s appeal to potential franchise owner investors. Imagery looks very USA, and it is an approach I have never quite understood, or been comfortable with.

The web presence for potential franchise owners for Australia is another that talks constantly of mentioning what country they are in. Yet this is contrasted with the ‘Proud Australian Company’ rotating banner, indicating they know it’s in the public’s mind.

Interestingly, the brand has had a recent design overhaul from the blue colour, to gold, and is referencing it on their site as an ‘Upgrade to Gold Class - Your gold class service is now reflected in our brand’. 

Seemingly, a desire to position itself from the lower-end, low-cost, nil barrier to entry competing brands flooding the market.

  • CEO = Ben Stoltz
  • Headquarters located = Kenmore, QLD
  • Franchising Since = 1974
  • Investment = Starts from $12,800 (US Market) $218,100 (US Market)
  • Initial Franchise fee = $9,000 (Low - US) - $195,000 (High - US)
  • Ongoing Fees = 10% gross monthly revenue, 7% gross accounting & sales fee, plus an advertising and technology fee (US fee table in absence of Australian)
  • Training = Approximately 40 hours of instruction including self-study, spread across 8 sessions.

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 587 followers
  • Instagram = 36 followers
  • Twitter = 20 followers
  • LinkedIn = 471 followers

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8. Hire-a-Hubby 300+ franchises

Handyman business to homes, offices and factories.

A modern-looking business that is obviously an investor in technology to develop and support the network. 

Founder and CEO, Brendan Green is very much a visible leader in the business.

The innovative ‘take the skills test’ is a nice approach on the rband’ site to entice prospects to see if they have what it takes for the business - nice gamify approach.

Impressive to see multiple easy options to find out more about the business including upcoming webinars to register for, info request with just basic information needed.

The business has clearly invested a lot of time and effort in mapping the journey of a potential franchise owner with the most extensive and transparent structured set of information to research it for yourself, even before making contact. This is the most thorough of all seen in this ‘10 Biggest Mobile franchises’ list.

An income guarantee of $125,000 in gross profit on new business purchases is offered.

Investment packages in three levels, gold, silver and bronze. With all the volume of information, one piece seemingly missing is obvious details of the investment range and ongoing costs for prospects researching a business. 

However, we were able to find mention in previous information online, of entry costs  from $45,000, from $65,000, and from $85,000 respectively for the three levels.

  • CEO = Brendan Green, Founder and CEO 
  • Headquarters located = Kingsgrove, NSW
  • Franchising Since = 1996
  • Investment = Starts from $45,000
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = = Monthly management fee indication $825 - $1,705 depending on level + monthly advertising and technology levy $406 approx
  • Training = 2 week course at a dedicated training facility with ongoing support provided.

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 14.3K followers
  • Instagram = 1k followers
  • Twitter = 1k followers
  • LinkedIn = 1k followers

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9. Snap-on Tools - 180+ franchises (AU)

Mobile tools and equipment supplier to mechanics, engineers and technicians.

The Snap-on Tools business is a highly sophisticated one that has been in operation globally for over 100 years.

Perhaps, the business is best known for its impressive and striking tool-laden trucks navigating the marketplace. And possibly due to this, and effective marketing and positioning, it could be argued that the business has a profile that significantly exceeds its presence of 180 units in the market

To assist applicants into the business, the company has its own privately funded credit program for the complete start-up costs right through to working capital.

It is common that people believe that previous mechanical experience is required, and while an advantage, it is not the case.

Great transparency and highly detailed descriptions of life as a franchise owner is prevalent in their marketing. It is an American originated brand and has that feel to it, however, in their Australian market presence, they do a good job in localising it effectively.

An interesting business model and approach with a fully funded entry cost, and then zero royalty or marketing fees going forward.

  • CEO = Ajit Ponnambalam, Managing Director, Australia 
  • Headquarters located = Sydney, NSW
  • Franchising Since = 1996
  • Investment = Starts from $50,000
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = No royalties and no marketing levy.
  • Training = 8-9 days of foundation training with 4-6 weeks specialist trainers.

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 949K followers
  • Instagram = 6.7k followers
  • Twitter = 2k followers
  • LinkedIn = 390 followers (29k Global)

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10. Blue Wheelers - 180 franchises

Mobile dog wash, clip and groom.

This business in all honesty, was a surprise in the market penetration in unit numbers it has considering it’s lower profile. Can’t believe we hadn’t noticed the dog shaped washing trailer in the market before considering how many there are!

Training is able to be done in several locations at state ‘grooming schools’, which is helpful, as it means people joining the business have less challenges managing other aspects of their lives while coming on-board.

The business’ current pages promoting opportunities are quite focused on detail around their resilience to lockdown restrictions in mentioning, the ability to remain trading, and aspects of training virtually.

Interestingly, the brand is also promoting on it’s franchise page, an option with less up-front cost than the from $14,990 cost, with DASH DOGWASH as the ‘little brother’ brand of Blue Wheeler.

Nice presentation of the people behind the business as well, which is great to see, with detailed introductions to each key team member.

  • CEO = Martin Rose
  • Headquarters located = South Yarra, VIC
  • Franchising Since = 1996
  • Investment = From $14,990 - $39,990
  • Initial Franchise fee = TBC
  • Ongoing Fees = $180 per week royalties + costs per lead
  • Training = 4 weeks

Social Media Presence 

  • Facebook = 7.4K followers
  • Instagram = 1.5k followers
  • Twitter = N/A
  • LinkedIn = 213 followers

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*Note: And of course, please contact the brands direct for the most up to date information, as while we've done our best to be as accurate as possible, we know some of this information can be a moving target at times unfortunately!