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Wilmington Company Among Entrepreneur's Top New Franchises

By Jenny Callison, posted Mar 12, 2015
A Wilmington company that specializes in mobility and accessibility equipment has landed on Entrepreneur magazine’s just-published Top New Franchises list.

101 Mobility is 29th out of 75 companies on the publication’s 2015 list, made up of companies that have begun franchise operations within the past five years. This is 101 Mobility’s first appearance on the list, according to company spokeswoman Alexis Babaian, and it is the region’s only list occupant.

Founded in 2008 – the depths of the recession – by two out-of-work mortgage brokers, 101 Mobility began selling and installing mobility and accessibility equipment through corporate locations. It got approval to franchise in 2010 and sold its first franchise in October of that year. 

Franchise revenues in 2011 totaled just over $867,000. In 2014 they were about $2.8 million the company’s franchise development specialist, Joel Brenner, said Thursday.

“That’s 44 percent growth,” Brenner added. “We’re expanding quite rapidly. Currently we have 41 franchise owners operating in 107 territories; 81 percent of our franchise owners own more than one territory.”

At the time of a Business Journal story last July, 101 Mobility had 36 franchisees operating in 80 territories.

The company plans to continue an aggressive growth strategy and is exploring new opportunities, Brenner said.

“We just recently became a member of an IFA [International Franchise Association] program called VetFran, which offers a $5,000 discount on the franchise fee to veterans," he said. "We have really good relationships with veterans and are actively seeking veterans who want to join our network.”

As part of its active expansion, 101 Mobility plans to expand into Canada this year, according to Brenner. And it will pursue new territories through franchises in the U.S.

“The disabled demographic is the third-largest minority demographic in the country,” Brenner said. “Anybody can join this demographic at any time – it cuts across race, age and gender.

“And with the baby boomer generation aging, they want to be different from their parents. Their parents were put in care facilities. This generation wants to age at home. Our products allow people to stay at home, which is better financially. They tend to heal faster and live longer.”

Brenner pointed out also that baby boomers’ parents, having weathered the Great Depression, were savers. Their wealth is now passing to their children, who can afford to have their homes adapted for aging in place.

“We’re in a good business at a good time,” he said.
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