For Adam and Stan, the founders of Fuse, growing their business has always been a top priority. This mindset is why the HVAC company based out of San Jose, CA ventured into franchising, and today owns 19 franchises in seven states.
It’s also why Stan, the company’s co-founder, wanted to find a financing tool: he knew that offering financing had proven to boost sales.
But because Fuse operates on such a large scale, efficiency is vital, and any financing tool needed to be implemented within the company’s existing processes with no hiccup. It needed to be compatible with Housecall Pro — Fuse’s field service software — and to be easy to use for franchisees. Wisetack not only met those two criteria, but exceeded them.
When Adam and Stan founded a small appliance repair business in 2017, growth was already on their mind. But, as ambitious as the duo was, even they couldn’t have predicted just how much or how fast Fuse would take off — pardon the pun.
Today, Fuse has 19 franchises in seven states and over 100 employees at its headquarters in San Jose, CA. The main direction of the company is HVAC, with jobs ranging from services — big and small — to replacements and installations.
For the ever entrepreneurial Stan, growing the business has always been the name of the game. But, as Fuse expanded into franchising, finding tools to continue increasing sales became harder. Operating a business with franchises requires streamlined processes, and so any initiative to grow sales had to be simple and easily applied across locations.
“The more automated processes you have, the faster you grow since it means fewer employees and less effort to do the job,” Stan added.
Stan knew that offering financing could help the business, but also knew that any new tool would have to seamlessly fit within the company’s existing processes. Specifically, he sought a platform that integrated within the software Fuse and most of its franchisees use: Housecall Pro (HCP). Only one platform fit this bill — Wisetack — so he decided to give it a try.
To Stan, what stood out the most about Wisetack from the get-go was how simple it was to use within HCP. “It is built-in within HCP so you don’t need to think about how to do it — it is just there,” Stan noted.
Because most of Fuse’s franchises use HCP, the fact that Wisetack was easily integrated within the platform meant that Stan and his team could educate franchisees on Wisetack without skipping a beat. “We always introduce them to all the tools they will have access to,” Stan said. And Stan believes financing is an essential tool for these franchises: “We always give them knowledge about Wisetack because we believe it’s a tool that will help them grow fast,” he added.
In addition to the easy integration with HCP, Stan also believes that Wisetack’s transparency makes it stand out among other financing providers. “[Wisetack’s] transparency is definitely a strength: merchants see exactly what their fees are and customers see their terms and payment amounts with no hidden costs,” he added.
As a result of offering Wisetack financing, Stan estimates that Fuse’s main branch — located in the Bay Area — has gained roughly one additional job per week. This means keeping a whole crew busy, just with jobs that were paid for with Wisetack.
Stan also credits Wisetack with providing new upsell opportunities. “We are able to just offer better products for better payment terms,” he added. And according to him, over 80% of jobs over $10,000 are financed with Wisetack.
Fuse’s customers don’t just use Wisetack for bigger projects, however. Recently, Stan has seen more smaller jobs (under $1,000) being financed as well. This uptick can be attributed to Fuse effectively conveying the benefits of financing to customers as well as Wisetack’s favorable loan terms.
To see results from a financing program, it is essential to bring up financing proactively to customers — and that is exactly what Fuse does.
For Stan, the earlier a merchant can bring up financing, the better. That’s why he trains his team to mention it first thing in each proposal: “We start this process slowly just trying to gauge their interest for financing,” he added. Then, based on the customer’s expressed interest in financing, the sales team determines whether or not to offer Wisetack. (We’ve also got some tips on how to have that conversation here.)
Stan also believes that the way Wisetack is integrated with HCP makes it more comfortable for customers to apply for financing — as they can do so easily and quickly on their own. “Customers can see the [financing] option on their proposal when we send it to them so they can just apply themselves without asking us more about it,” he added.
For Stan, running a franchise business isn’t so much different than a single-location one. “I wouldn’t say it’s more difficult,” he said, adding that managing those franchises was especially simple once processes were in place.
Stan also notes that Fuse does everything possible to put its franchises in a position to succeed, and advises his peers to do the same. This includes providing franchisees with all the resources, tools and knowledge possible needed to help them grow — including tips on how to best use Wisetack.
And his advice for other franchise owners looking to offer financing? To start using Wisestack as soon as possible.