🍟 12/8/2022 – A 20x Return On Revenue?!


1) City Wide Facility Solutions

Fast Facts


  • Founded in 1961, franchising since 2001
  • Based in Kansas; 68 locations open at the start of 2022
  • Commercial cleaning and facility maintenance 

Fees + Investment

  • Royalty: 5%
  • Brand Fund: 1%
  • Franchise Fee: $70,000
  • Initial Investment: $248,650 – $416,500

Financial Performance

  • The below table disclose average revenues from 2020 & 2021 – the 2020 numbers are based on 61 franchisees, while the 2021 numbers are based on 67 franchisees

The Wolf’s Take 🍟

Going through these financials was a bit of a rollercoaster:

Initial reaction: holy sh*t, average revenue last year was ~$6.7M for 67 franchisees?!

The letdown: wait…the corporate location only has an 8.31% net margin?

Meeting in the middle: 8.31% of $6.7M would still be ~$550K ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I was confused as to how the margin could be so low, given any service business (residential or commercial) is typically double that. 

So I reached out to my twitter pal Chris Munn, who has built his own competitor in that industry called The Fairfield Company. He competes with City Wide on a daily basis, so he knows how they operate. Here’s what he had to say:

City Wide is essentially a broker. They win contracts, then turn around and subcontract them out to small companies that do the cleaning”

This is likely why the labor line item represents ~64% of revenue, as it’s not labor on the books of City Wide, but instead is what they pay to the companies that do the actual cleaning. 

It’s similar to what home services companies are doing – but instead, City Wide specializes in the commercial cleaning game, which frankly I like. B2B clients are far less price sensitive and less likely to churn (assuming your service meets their needs). 

Overall, this is a classic example of a non-sexy business that shows the potential for a great ROI. And with just 67 franchisees at the start of the year, there’s likely plenty of territory left!


2) Fitness Machine Technicians

Fast Facts


  • Founded in 2002, franchising since 2012
  • Based in North Carolina; 48 locations open at the start of 2022
  • Exercise equipment maintenance and repairs

Fees + Investment

  • Royalty: 5-6%
  • Brand Fund: 1%
  • Franchise Fee: $40,000 – $45,000
  • Initial Investment: $81,450 – $128,490

Financial Performance

  • The first table below shows the full financials for the company’s affiliate outlet, while the second table displays the averages of 34 franchisees in 2021 

The Wolf’s Take 🍟

Fitness Machine Technicians is a niche service business that specializes in maintenance and repairs for exercise equipment.

Overall, this brand shows potential, with average revenue for 34 franchisees coming in at 2.5X the investment midpoint. The corporate location is far outperforming franchisees at the moment though, with revenue of ~$840K yielding ~$164K in adjusted EBITDA.

Ideally, franchisees will start trending closer to the performance of that corporate location, and potentially even as high as the corporate location’s 2019 performance (not pictured), which did ~$970K in revenue and ~$350K in adjusted EBITDA.  

Either way, in its current state, FMT offers the opportunity for a solid cash-on-cash return!



Ben Eberdt – GoDog

This was a fun conversation with Ben, in which we talk about:

  • Opportunities in the pet industry 🐕
  • How benign a musician prepared him for entrepreneurship 🎸
  • How he nabbed a $20 million investment with just 3 locations open & operating 🤑

Check out our conversation here!

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