Here in the United States, we love our cars. At a steadily growing rate, we also love the garages where we park—or don’t park—them. Garage Experts, founded in 2009 in Seattle, provides garage flooring and storage options, as well as franchise opportunities, in most states, including New York. At 52, the number of franchises is small relative to many others; however, that number is expected to increase as the garage-makeover industry continues to grow.
A franchise with Garage Experts will run you between $48,000 and $86,000 to start, at a minimum. There is no franchise fee to join, but you will pay several hundred dollars a month to access their business tools. You’ll also need liquid capital of $39,000 and a net worth of $50,000 to be considered. At the end of your five-day training in Anaheim, California, you’ll know how to track leads and lead costs, use CAD software, and install garage floors and cabinets. You won’t necessarily have the leads, or the manpower, to help with installation when you get them, but you’ll be on your way.
Exactly where you’ll be going, however, remains to be seen. For all of your initial and ongoing costs, you’ll still need to purchase materials from the manufacturer and you must find a warehouse to store it. You’ll also need to hire installers and a salesforce, in addition to paying for advertising and lead sourcing. You may also need to subcontract any construction work you encounter.
Additionally, here in New York, renovating a garage is not as easy as pouring down epoxy and putting up cabinets. In many areas, historical overlay zones must be considered, as well as strict permitting procedures, both of which can vary by neighborhood. And even though the company gives a 10-month royalty “holiday” if you don’t see over $750K in gross sales in your first three years, that’s little compensation—or consolation—for a business gone bust.
PROS: Growing industry, no franchise fee to join, good ratings from third parties
CONS: Potentially high operating costs, additional skills required or helpful, limited customer base