How to join an electric scooter franchise

GOAT electric scooter franchise

When exploring the different types of B2B micromobility models, an electric scooter franchise is a great fit for entrepreneurs looking to grow their fleets quickly and with minimal risks involved.   

A franchise model offers many benefits for both established operators and prospective ones. Under a franchise, you are either a parent company (franchisor) and your customers are other micromobility businesses that rent out vehicles under your brand name and through one streamlined platform. Or, as a franchisee, you launch and operate your own fleet under the franchisor’s brand name and are provided with all the amenities needed to run your business–scooters, bikes and all.  

Using Joyride software, operators franchise their brands by adding unlimited scooter-share and bike-share franchisees all through one backend dashboard. Each of these multiple franchisees then has its own customized dashboard and Rider app under the franchise umbrella. The model creates a turnkey solution for operators to scale their businesses and it gives franchisees immediate access to all the hardware, software and branding they need. It might sound complicated, but it’s actually simplicity at its greatest. 

So what does it take to join an existing scooter-sharing network as a franchisee? We got the scoop from David Nazaire, CEO of GOAT. His New Jersey-based electric scooter franchise provides business owners with the hardware, software and resources needed to manage their own GOAT fleets in their own cities.

See what he says below:

How does GOAT’s franchising model work?

GOAT’s micromobility network uses a pseudo-franchise model, providing our 30+ scooter-share customers with the ability to operate under a licensing agreement. Entrepreneurs who launch a GOAT-branded scooter-rental business with fewer than 50 scooters pay a 20% monthly licensing fee, and the percentage gets to as low as 10% as fleet numbers rise (up to 300 scooters or more). GOAT also charges an operational fee of $8.50 per scooter per month.

How does this model benefit scooter-share operators?

We are trying to remove as many barriers as possible for operators. We simplify the process of getting the hardware needed to start your fleet by purchasing vehicles through GOAT directly.

Typically, manufacturing sites will require a minimum vehicle count to complete an order. The minimum can be up to 100 scooters. Since GOAT is working with other franchisees, this benefits both parties. The manufacturers are happy because they can get big orders from GOAT, and our operators are happy because they benefit from bulk prices.  

Franchise agreements also help small operators get the perks of a large company while operating on a small scale. Thanks to Joyride software, GOAT has the tools to build multiple fleets under our brand. 

Then there’s access. Many operators starting out are in underserved markets. Through the network of franchise owners, operators can lean on each other to help problem-solve. For example, operators can sell scooters to each other to build or downsize fleets as they please. Or ask for advice when facing new challenges that more experienced franchisees have faced.

We’ve seen operators even send their vehicles south to keep them operating in the colder months. So they can build an agreement among themselves to split profits and keep their businesses going. To get a sense of potential profits, you can use the GOAT calculator.

What qualifiers do you look for in new e-scooter companies that are interested in GOAT?

Since our barrier for entry is so low, we only require operators to order 10 vehicles to start. You can launch anywhere with this size. It can be a private fleet easily, and even a 10-scooter fleet can be very profitable. Typically, we see that operators will end up ordering more! 

Registering 10 vehicles is all it takes to qualify, the next step is to consider your territory.

Franchises are educated in knowing where fleets are operating, as overlap could affect profitability. Typically, GOAT only allows one operator per city, but this is based on zip codes and city lines. Suppose that someone wants to operate in the same city as another operator, GOAT would have a conversation with the existing customer first and work out a strategic plan between both operators. Working with customers is a big part of our flexibility and community aspect.

What is the process for getting an operator started as a franchisee through GOAT?

    1. Get permission first. Speak to city officials to get the right permissions to operate in the city of your choosing or use our proposal template to submit a formal request.
    2. Ordering your hardware. Joyride can assist in hardware procurement, and GOAT won’t upcharge to get started. If you have your own vehicles to bring over, these can operate under the franchise as well.  
    3. We’ll get you established with your own GOAT Rider app, which your customers will use to scan a QR code and rent your vehicles. Your Rider app is a powerful tool in reaching customers through local promotions and advertising, as well as responding to any support requests. 
    4. Come up with geofenced zones. Once the vehicles are in hand, the smaller details are taken care of by Joyride’s software. Figure out which zones you want your scooters to be within your city of operation and set the parameters for your app.  
    5. Get on the road! It’s really that simple. You can track weekly, daily and even real-time payments through your backend software platform.

Why choose to join a franchise vs running your own independent fleet?

Leveraging an existing, recognized brand is a big motivator behind why someone would join an electric scooter franchise over running one independently. GOAT has already eliminated all overhead costs associated with launching from scratch and has a built-in marketing mandate already in place, which is sometimes half of the journey. We have operations in so many different cities, which means we provide resources backed by a large company to offer support and ensure success. 

Again, if the individual fleet owner isn’t successful, neither is GOAT.

Offering support when things go wrong is another benefit to joining an electric scooter franchise. GOAT has been operating for three years with no reported accidents and only three cases of theft or vandalism. Two of three were completely recovered, and the third is undergoing action to be restored.   

Other benefits of being part of a franchise can be little things like simplifying payments. GOAT does subsidize certain costs with hardware and the savings they have by using our software solutions through Joyride is a big win for operators. There is also assistance for things like repairs or ordering new parts to maintain vehicles. All of these small items can be challenging to navigate on your own, but through GOAT and Joyride, they become routine and easily accessible.

What advice would you give a new operator starting out with an electric scooter franchise?

Get local permission in place as soon as possible. If you have the backing support of the local government, it makes things run smoother and move along faster.

Also, start simple. We’ll help you take things from there. 

Want to learn more about how Joyride’s software platform enables franchises of all sizes? Contact us here.

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