A Scott’s Addition startup has hitched its future to the franchise model in order to drive growth after several years of running corporately owned locations.
Mobiledumps, which rents 14-cubic-yard dumpsters on wheels to residential and commercial users, shifted to franchising earlier this month with the sale of its Richmond and south Hampton Roads locations to Chesterfield-based Dunmar Moving Systems. Terms weren’t disclosed.
CEO and founder Cam Morrison said a Charlotte, North Carolina franchise is expected to open in May. And the last corporate-owned location, which is in Raleigh, North Carolina, is expected to be converted into a franchise in early June.
By the end of 2022, Mobiledumps is hoping to stand up 20 to 30 franchises primarily in the mid-Atlantic as well as in Florida, Texas and New England. Talks are underway on more potential locations.
“Our leads are from individuals who want to own their own business and businesses like Dunmar that want to add a revenue stream, like a shoulder business to what they do, and investment groups that will do multiple markets,” Morrison said.
Dunmar has first right of refusal for the Roanoke, Charlottesville and Williamsburg markets.
Morrison said franchise fees range from $25,000 to $45,000 depending on the population of a market.
The franchise fees provide access to marketing support and the company’s call center and IT system. Trailers have to be purchased separately by the franchisee and fit company-provided specifications. The company also collects royalty fees from franchisees.
Mobiledumps, which is based in Scott’s Addition, launched in 2018 and relocated last year to a larger office in the neighborhood at 3425-B W. Leigh St. Morrison said the company has long planned to franchise.
“We made a decision early on to franchise, just because you’re able to scale faster,” he said. “The reason for that is you’re able to get more locations up in a quicker amount of time and that helps with branding, which helps with more locations. When you go the corporate route, it’s a slower buildout.”
The way Mobiledumps works is that after a customer arranges a dumpster rental, the company drops off the trailer, the customer fills it and the company takes it away.
Rental rates vary by market. In the Richmond-area market, a one-day rental is $279, a two-day rental is $299 and a weekend rental is $329, according to the company’s website.
Morrison said that while the company makes recommendations on what franchisees should charge for rental rates, the franchisees set their rates.
Morrison, 52, operated a portable storage franchise in south Florida prior to founding Mobiledumps.
Dunmar Vice President Britt LaLiberte said in a prepared statement that Dunmar saw an opportunity to complement its moving business with a Mobiledumps franchise.
“Many times when people are moving they take that opportunity to dispose of items prior to their move. We see Mobiledumps as a great addition to fulfill our current customers’ needs during their move,” LaLiberte said. “We are excited about the addition of Mobiledumps to our services offered in the Richmond and Tidewater markets.”