Thinking of buying a business? How about a route for sale?
Route-based businesses have gained immense popularity in the USA and are widely regarded as one of the safest investment choices for aspiring entrepreneurs. You may have come across individuals operating route-based businesses, such as your reliable FedEx delivery person or the dedicated professional to keep your abode warm during the winter months. If you desire a comprehensive understanding of what route businesses are and whether they align with your entrepreneurial goals, you've come to the right place.
In this guide, we have compiled all the vital information and guidance you need to make an informed decision about owning a route business. Delve into the depths with us as we explore the concept of route businesses and unveil the numerous benefits they offer. Let's embark on this journey of insight together.
What are route-based businesses?
Route-based businesses function similarly to traditional businesses in terms of having gross sales, net income, profit, and loss. While some routes may necessitate employing staff, others can be operated solely by the owner, making them owner-operator businesses. However, what sets route-based businesses apart is their lack of a physical storefront where customers visit. Instead, as a route owner, you either deliver products or goods directly to customers or provide services, such as repairs, maintenance, or landscaping.
Customers typically contact you through a dedicated business phone or scheduling software, where appointments are made on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the agreed terms. As the owner, you have control over setting your own hours, and the growth of your route is determined by your ambition to expand it, whether that means adding additional trucks or expanding your service offerings.
Here are 10 examples of route-based businesses:
Delivery services involve transporting goods, such as FedEx packages or food deliveries, to customers' doorsteps.
Vending machine routes involve managing and restocking vending machines at various locations to provide convenient snacks and beverages.
Bread and bakery routes entail delivering fresh bread and bakery products to grocery stores, restaurants, and cafes.
Beverage routes, such as soda, water, or coffee routes, focus on distributing beverages to retail establishments or office spaces.
Ice cream truck routes bring the joy of frozen treats directly to customers in residential neighborhoods, parks, or special events.
Pest control routes involve providing professional pest management services to residential or commercial properties.
Residential or commercial cleaning routes encompass offering regular cleaning services to homes, offices, or other establishments on a scheduled basis.
Mobile pet grooming routes bring the convenience of grooming services directly to pet owners' doorsteps, ensuring their furry friends receive proper care.
HVAC maintenance and repair routes specialize in servicing heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems for residential or commercial clients.
Landscaping and lawn care routes involve maintaining and beautifying outdoor spaces by providing services such as mowing, gardening, and landscape design.
These are just a few examples of the diverse range of route-based businesses that exist. Each business model offers unique opportunities for entrepreneurs seeking a distinct and potentially profitable venture.
How to choose the right route business for sale?
Selecting the most suitable route business for sale requires careful consideration of various factors to ensure a successful venture. Here are essential aspects to evaluate when making your decision:
Customer Base and Demand: Assess the size and stability of the customer base associated with the route business. Consider factors such as the number of customers, their loyalty, and the demand for the product or service. A well-established and growing customer base can provide a solid foundation for future success.
Overhead and Expenses: Evaluate the overhead costs associated with the route business. Consider expenses such as fuel, vehicle maintenance, insurance, licensing fees, inventory, and any required equipment. Calculate the profitability of the business by comparing these costs against the projected income.
Labor Requirements: Determine the amount of labor necessary to operate the route business effectively. Some routes can be owner-operated, requiring your direct involvement, while others may require additional employees. Consider your capacity and willingness to manage or hire labor accordingly.
Geographic Coverage and Territory: Understand the geographical coverage and territory associated with the route business. Consider factors such as the size of the area, the accessibility of customers, and any exclusivity rights or limitations. Ensure that the territory aligns with your capabilities and growth objectives.
Existing Contracts and Agreements: Review any existing contracts, agreements, or partnerships related to the route business. Evaluate the terms and conditions, duration, and potential for renewal. Determine if there are any exclusivity clauses or restrictions that may impact your business operations or expansion plans.
Financial Performance and Growth Potential: Examine the financial performance of the route business, including historical sales data, revenue trends, and profitability. Assess the growth potential by considering factors such as market demand, potential for acquiring new accounts, and the scalability of the business model.
Training and Support: Consider the availability of training and support from the current owner or the parent company. Assess whether comprehensive training will be provided to ensure a smooth transition and ongoing assistance to help you succeed in operating the route business.
Industry and Market Analysis: Conduct a thorough analysis of the industry and market in which the route business operates. Research competitors, market trends, and potential challenges or opportunities. Understanding the competitive landscape will help you position your business effectively and make informed decisions.
By carefully evaluating these factors, you can choose a route business for sale that aligns with your goals, resources, and capabilities, increasing the likelihood of a successful and profitable venture.
Brick and mortar vs route businesses: What's the difference?
When it comes to brick-and-mortar businesses versus route businesses, there are notable differences worth considering.
You Can Determine Your Own Income: In route businesses, your income is directly linked to the sales of your product or service, allowing you to have control over your earnings. By employing different sales strategies or expanding your customer base, you can actively increase your income. The scalability of route businesses offers you the flexibility to decide how much you want to grow your business by adding new accounts.
You Can Set Your Own Schedule: One of the advantages of owning a route is the ability to establish your own schedule. Unlike brick-and-mortar businesses, taking time off is more manageable. For instance, you can double up on orders or services within the same week before your planned vacation. Additionally, you have the option to hire a trustworthy individual who can service your route in your absence while collecting payments either over the phone or the following day. This level of flexibility grants you the freedom to enjoy time off while still ensuring your business continues to operate smoothly.
Simplicity in Entrepreneurship: While running a business can be challenging, route businesses offer a relatively simple and straightforward business model. Whether you are an average individual or a multinational company with an extensive customer base, route ownership is accessible. Compared to owning retail stores, routes provide a faster expansion potential with fewer employees and reduced management requirements. The convenience of overseeing operations from a laptop adds to the ease of managing the business. Furthermore, established route companies like Boar's Head or Snapple often assist their route owners with advertising, promotions, and lead generation. These companies may also provide essential equipment and logistics support, making the journey as an entrepreneur more manageable.
Why is a route business great for first-time business owners?
Why Route Businesses Rock for First-Time Entrepreneurs! Route businesses are a fantastic choice for first-time entrepreneurs for several reasons. Firstly, they offer a lower overhead compared to traditional brick-and-mortar establishments. You can wave goodbye to hefty rent payments and utility bills, as your vehicle becomes your mobile office and inventory hub. This means more money in your pocket and higher profit potential right from the start! Secondly, route businesses provide a flexible and scalable model. You have the power to decide how much you want to grow your business by adding new accounts or expanding your services. It's like having a personalized growth accelerator at your fingertips. Thirdly, the simplicity of route businesses makes them ideal for beginners. You don't need to be a sales expert or have extensive business knowledge to get started. Many route companies provide training and support, making it easier to hit the ground running. Lastly, route businesses offer the freedom to set your own schedule. Need a vacation? No problem! With proper planning, you can take time off and even hire reliable individuals to service your route in your absence. It's entrepreneurship with flexibility and a touch of wanderlust. So, if you're a first-time entrepreneur seeking a low-risk, high-reward opportunity, hop on the route business bandwagon and enjoy the exciting journey ahead!
In conclusion, route businesses offer a simplified approach to entrepreneurship, allowing you to determine your income, establish your schedule, and benefit from a straightforward business model. If you're interested in exploring scalable route options, you can find examples of such routes here.