GetSpiffy is now a franchise.
After a bumpy year weathering the impact of COVID-19, the Raleigh-based on-demand car care, technology, and services company is firmly on the rebound, rolling out its first batch of franchise locations as part of a massive expansion plan.
Four of the seven new markets are located in the Southeast.
They include Greenville, SC ; Columbia, SC; Charleston, SC ; and Greensboro/Winston-Salem, NC. The others are Wilmington, DE; SanJose, CA; and Cincinnati, OH .
“We identified around 20 markets in the Southeast that we thought would be good to start,” its CEO Scot Wingo told Hypepotamus.
“We know the area so well with many of our owned-and-operated cities being in North Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. That being said, if a strong operator came to us and said, I want to bring this to Wilmington, DE or Cincinnati, OH, we’d definitely consider it, and we did.”
Last year, Spiffy was hurting badly. After years of scaling quickly — expanding into 20 metropolitan markets and closing on $10 million in new venture capital — it saw its revenue plummet by 90 percent in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. That sudden drop forced the company to furlough around 200 employees in April.
However, things are now looking up.
“Out in the field, in the markets where we operate, we’re actually 100 percent back to pre-covid levels and, if the current trajectory holds, should be above pre-covid levels by June/July,” Wingo said.
However, when it comes to corporate, he’s being a little more cautious: “We are still at 80 percent of pre-Covid capacity – but that’s up from 50 percent.”
A Triangle success story
Founded in 2014 by Wingo, the co-founder of ChannelAdvisor, and Karl Murphy, Spiffy started out offering a variety of hand car washing, advanced detailing, oil change, and maintenance service options using the Spiffy app. Shortly after the pandemic hit, it also added disinfection services for “virus-free” vehicles and facilities.
However, despite their coverage nationwide, a third of all service requests come from outside of Spiffy’s established markets, Wingo said. That has pushed the company to broaden its supply with franchising.
“With over 500,000 services completed, we’ve learned a ton on how to deliver a great experience and also how to avoid bad experiences. That knowledge gets baked into our software and our operating procedures, so we think it’s 100% transportable to franchisees,” Wingo said.
That support includes upfitting service vehicles with proprietary equipment designed by the Spiffy Labs team. Appointment booking and monitoring are handled via in-house software development. Franchisees also have access to a seasoned leadership team and a suite of corporate support resources — including accounting, customer service, and marketing.
The first partners
Spiffy’s Delaware franchise, operating out of Wilmington, is the first to launch standard services for fleets, including preventative maintenance, cleaning, and disinfection. Consumer services will go live in the weeks to come.
The San Jose franchise is gearing up for its launch in April, while the other three are signed and looking ahead to the second quarter to open.
Rick Crook, a franchise owner in the Upper Chesapeake Bay area, is among them. He said he was looking for the right local business opportunity to settle into after a long aviation career. After searching for months, his experience as an owner-operator for a security company brought him back into franchising, which led him to Spiffy.
“The key difference between Spiffy and my previous franchise experience is corporate structure and support. It’s much easier for me to feel confident in joining a business that has jumped over hurdles and learned to avoid pitfalls,” said Crook. “At the end of the day, I know my best interests as a franchise are the same for Spiffy as a whole.”
If you’re interested in learning more about owning a Spiffy franchise, visit here.
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