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The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
The World’s Wackiest Franchises
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The World’s Wackiest Franchises

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Up sh** creek without a paddle? Need a pedicure but don't want a human touching your feet? Like a bit of porn with your pizza? …

Up sh** creek without a paddle? Need a pedicure but don't want a human touching your feet? Like a bit of porn with your pizza?

You're in luck - there's a franchise to meet your needs. As you’ll see from this collection of 20 franchise concepts that made us go: “No! Surely not?” Then we checked them out and they all exist – or did exist until recently. Really.

Then again, ten or twenty years ago, we thought dog walking and washing franchises were wacky. Now they’re mainstream.

Do these kinds of franchises prove any viable business can be franchised, no matter how offbeat? Are they simply innovative and original – tomorrow’s dog washing franchises? Or are they exploitative, bringing discredit to the franchising industry as a whole?

We’ll let you be the judge.

A common criticism of franchising is that because it seeks to systemise and standardise, it can be too boring and beige. These franchises prove otherwise!

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  • 1. The World’s 20 Wackiest Franchises Proving you can franchise just about anything
  • 2. Up sh** creek without a paddle? Need a pedicure but don't want a human touching your feet? Like a bit of porn with your pizza? You're in luck - there's a franchise to meet your needs. As you’ll see from this collection of 20 franchise concepts that made us go: “No! Surely not?” Then we checked them out and they all exist – or did exist until recently. Really. Then again, ten or twenty years ago, we thought dog walking and washing franchises were wacky. Now they’re mainstream. Do the kinds of franchises prove any viable business can be franchised, no matter how offbeat? Are they simply innovative and original – tomorrow’s dog washing franchises? Or are they exploitative, bringing discredit to the franchising industry as a whole? We’ll let you be the judge. A common criticism of franchising is that because it seeks to systemise and standardise, it can be too boring and beige. These franchises prove otherwise! Welcome to 20 of the World’s Most Unusual and Bizarre Franchises
  • 3. Wacky Franchise #1: Hangover Heaven Mobile Hangover Treatment Clinic “I don’t believe someone should lose an entire day to a hangover because they decided to relieve stress and have a good time.” So says Dr Jason Burke, the founder and president of Hangover Heaven, a bus that comes to you to deliver fast hangover treatment via IV.
  • 4. “After experiencing a few bad hangovers in my lifetime, I decided to apply my skills and develop a treatment protocol that would take someone from a semiconscious, porcelain-hugging, hit- by-a-truck hangover to feeling like you’re ready to take on the world in less than 45 minutes,” says Dr Burke. Just because it is currently only based in Las Vegas doesn't mean there isn't a city in the world where there wouldn't be strong demand for the service. No doubt that's the reason Burke's next step is to franchise.
  • 5. Wacky Franchise #2: NitPro Head Lice Removal Franchise Queensland-based Kristen Semmens had an itch to get into business for herself so she and her husband Dave came up with a unique concept – creating a double income stream from a kids hair salon franchise and a head lice removal franchise. Nice synergy.
  • 6. With the slogan “We take nits seriously, so you don’t have to”, Kristen was a finalist in the 2012 AusMumpreneur of the Year Services Category. Nitpicking entrepreneurs have hatched similar franchises in other parts of Australia - No More Nitz in Sydney and Melbourne’s Itch No More and National Head Lice Treatment Centre. One we’ve come across in the United States is The Texas Lice Squad. We reckon it might have been better named The Texas Head Lice Massacre. Does your head itch too just at the thought of it?
  • 7. We quite liked the name of this business ‘The Hairforce Lice Assassins’, but we really loved the slogan on the uniform – ‘Comb to Kill’ – and the Flash Gordon-style ‘medical magnifying goggles’. This photo is from an article in The Guardian about a woman who spent four hundred pounds trying to rid her daughter’s hair of lice.
  • 8. Wacky Franchise #3: Climax Drive Thru Strip Joint Could this be the ultimate in convenience? We’re not sure how this classy-looking establishment, the Climax Gentlemen’s Club, actually works, but next time we’re in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania, we may well check it out. Purely for research purposes, of course. This concept isn’t franchised yet but knowing those entrepreneurial Americans, it’s only a matter of time.
  • 9. Wacky Franchise #4: Animals on the Move We’ve already used the ‘hatching’ pun so we’ll just say that the owners of Old MacDonald’s Farm came up with the idea of the Henny Penny hatching programme for schools back in 1999 and has been giving children the opportunity to see chicks emerging into the world ever since. Animals on the Move is a kind of ‘try before you buy’ programme for people interested in calves, lambs, pigs, chooks, ducks, geese, rabbits, and guinea pigs.
  • 10. Wacky Franchise #5: Heart Attack Grill We’re big fans of honesty in advertising but we can’t help feeling these guys have gone a bit too far. Pictured below is the triple bypass burger, one of the most popular items on the menu at Heart Attack Grill of Chandler, Arizona. You can get it with flatliner fries ("deep fried in PURE LARD!") and Jolt cola. Makes your mouth water, doesn’t it?
  • 11. Wacky Franchise #6: Lollypotz Chocolate Bouquets Bouquets made from chocolate? Sounds the perfect gift, corporate or personal. Loads of other people must think so too because Lollypotz had sales of $7 million last year and an average annual growth rate of 131% over the three years since they began.
  • 12. Wacky Franchise #7: Sarah’s Smash Shack Frustrated? Stressed? Finding that aromatherapy and massages just aren’t working? Try hurling dinnerware at images of your boss or partner.
  • 13. Wacky Franchise #8: Wild Birds Unlimited The world's largest system of franchised specialty bird feeding stores. Their marketing material claims the bird feeding & watching is a $US4.7 billion industry. Go figure.
  • 14. Wacky Franchise #9: Mattress Doctor Demand can be a capricious thing. There wasn't a demand for yo-yos until someone invented them, then demand took off but just as quickly disappeared. Who would have dreamed a few years ago that there would be any demand at all for dog washing or workplace massage services? The same thing happened in the case of former accountant Bryan Williams. He and his wife were researching ways to relieve her asthma when they came across businesses in Germany and the United States that removed dust mites and other asthma-inducing nasties from mattresses. "The more we looked at it we found that no-one was doing it in the UK," says Bryan. And a new franchise was born.
  • 15. Wacky Franchise #10: SHE Sanitary Pad Franchise This one sounds unlikely but it actually fulfils a vital social need in African communities, where every year, around 50 days of school or work are missed by girls and women who don’t have access to sanitary pads, or can’t afford them. The alternatives - mud, bark and rags - are not only ineffective but dangerously unhygienic. Convinced that market-based strategies to social and health problems are a more effective long-term solution than donations, an organisation called SHE — Sustainable Health Enterprises — has started providing training and micro-finance to women wanting to manufacture and distribute low-cost sanitary pads made from locally-sourced raw materials. SHE has used franchising because the model can be replicated wherever there’s a need, enabling it to help more people faster while allowing franchisees to become financially self-sufficient.
  • 16. Wacky Franchise #11: Mini-franchises for Kids Remember the "Lemonade 5 cents" stand in Peanuts cartoons? Americans, and to a lesser extent Kiwis, have always applauded and encouraged enterprise in their children. Now there's a franchise that takes this way beyond lemonade stands. Florida- based FranChild provides children with a "Business in a Box" for an initial fee of just $US79. The young franchisees can then order business cards, marketing materials and a range of products which they can sell to family and friends or, for the more ambitious, at markets and craft shows.
  • 17. Wacky Franchise #12: Beef Jerky Outlet We're not fans of dried up bits of meat so we can't see the appeal of stores selling beef, lamb, wild game and even ostrich and kangaroo, but we're told there are queues for it at the new American stores, especially during NASCAR and other major sports events.
  • 18. Wacky Franchise #13: Shit Creek Paddle Stores Talk about your recession-proof franchise concept! We can’t decide if this is the best franchise brand name ever, or the worst. And if the original business is located anywhere near a creek, we’re pretty sure it’s not named what the store’s named. We’re also sure the business wasn’t established in 1868, as their coat of arms implies (that’s when their website says the expression “up shit creek without a paddle” was coined.) The demand for this kind of franchise is apparent from the Franworst website. “I am 62 years old and can’t tell you how many times I needed one of your paddles,” said Bill.
  • 19. Wacky Franchise #14: Piranha Pedicures Yes, it’s Kim Kardashian. What is it that’s causing her to squeal like a not-famous- for-being-famous girl in these photos? Why, man-eating fish nibbling at her toes, of course. Long available in Turkey and Asia, skin exfoliation using tiny fish is the newest beauty craze to hit the United States and United Kingdom.
  • 20. In what they call “sushi’s revenge”, the Daily Mail reports that the Kensington elite are “queuing up to pay £45 to put their feet into a large tank of warm water and have their dead skin nibbled by the piranha's baby brother, the garra rufa fish.” Not to be outdone, the pregnant Kim Kardashian had herself filmed taking the treatment – see the video here. "Oh my god, oh my god, I don't like it, I don't like it!" she shrieks. "Can I take them out, can I take them out?”
  • 21. Wacky Franchise #15: Private Arrangements If you’re a woman over thirty looking for a bit on the side, or a man needing companionship and perhaps a bit more, Private Arrangements could be for you. “PA is unique to New Zealand,” says Invercargill-based sexagenarian founder “Kate” on her website. “Nowhere else can you find a service which brings ordinary people together for a candid exchange of services of all sorts. It is not an escort service or a dating site. It offers commercial companionship, opening the possibility of an exchange of services from mundane to intimate.” Last we heard, Kate was looking for licensees to help her expand Private Arrangements’ services throughout New Zealand.
  • 22. Wacky Franchise #16: Yard Green Grass Painting We really thought Richard Quick, “beloved multimillionaire and president of Franworst”, the satirical website on “franchising’s worst scenarios”, was pulling our chain on this one. But lo and behold, there turned out to be not one but several grass painting franchises in the United States. This blurb from one of them, Turf Painters, explains the need for the service: “Who paints there [sic] Lawn any way's? “Most major sporting events touch up (Paint) there greens. They use the same products we use. Realtor's and foreclosure brokers who are looking for that curb appeal call on us to paint there grass and Homeowners who need a perfect looking lawn for that special event, birthday, wedding or graduation party .as well as renters who are sick of the maintenance, and the high water bill.”
  • 23. Wacky Franchise #17: SnorePro It seems that men in New Zealand can’t win. If they’re not short of a bit of female companionship, as we mentioned earlier, they’re driving their companions to distraction with their snoring. But never fear, another local franchise comes to the rescue! SnorePro’s solution is a device that will look familiar to many Kiwi blokes because it resembles a sports mouthguard. SnorePro says it has a 98% success rate and has ambitious plans to franchise the concept internationally.
  • 24. Wacky Franchise #18: Private Arrangements It’s troubling to see so many franchises that are using sex to sell themselves. There certainly must be a lot of sad lonely guys in Winnepeg, Canada, because we can't imagine too many families or even couples ordering pizza so they can add to their collection of porn photos. That's Porno Pizza's point of difference in a crowded market – as you gobble up each slice of pizza, more and more of the pornographic image underneath is revealed. Sloth, gluttony and lust combined – some would say it's the perfect business. While we're not sure how well entrepreneur Corey Wildeman’s business is going, or how many franchises he's sold, we do know he has received a load of free publicity and that according to him, young women like the ones pictured with him above are lining up to be featured in the, er, photography.
  • 25. Wacky Franchise #19: Grumpy’s Bail Bonds Grumpy’s founder Leah Hulan doesn’t look grumpy but the former Miss Tennesee beauty queen is a bounty hunter, according to her website. And she’s clearly prepared to use any points of difference she may have to stand out from competitors such as Capital Bonds who are working, they say, to become “the Wal-Mart of bail bonds”. If, like us, you’re a fan of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels, this franchise concept will make perfect sense to you.
  • 26. Wacky Franchise #20: 1-800-AUTOPSY Vidal Herrera has a thing about death. His nickname is “El Muerto”. He started his working life as an assistant medical examiner with the Los Angeles County coroner's office. Then, when he damaged his back lifting a corpse, he started his own private autopsy business, and eventually franchised it. Toxicology reports start at $400, and you can get an autopsy from $1,500 to $6,000. Harrera also has a spin-off business called Coffincoaches.com (yep, sofas made from disused coffins) and a props business which hires out embalming tables and body crypts to TV and movie production companies. The business is said to be booming and for some reason, Harrera has no competitors in the franchising world.
  • 27. Wacky Franchise #20: 1-800-AUTOPSY Vidal Herrera has a thing about death. His nickname is “El Muerto”. He started his working life as an assistant medical examiner with the Los Angeles County coroner's office. Then, when he damaged his back lifting a corpse, he started his own private autopsy business, and eventually franchised it. Toxicology reports start at $400, and you can get an autopsy from $1,500 to $6,000. Harrera also has a spin-off business called Coffincoaches.com (yep, sofas made from disused coffins) and a props business which hires out embalming tables and body crypts to TV and movie production companies. The business is said to be booming and for some reason, Harrera has no competitors in the franchising world. Is your business franchise-able? Take our free five-minute online Franchise Feasibility Test at www.noordinary.co.nz .

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