HHO Carbon Clean Systems
The preventive maintenance franchise is helping franchisees navigate roadblocks through a culture built on trust and support.
When Jared English picked up the phone in the middle of the night in October 2018, he had no idea that his life was about to change.
The voice on the other end of the line had bad news: the successful automotive shop English had founded and operated for the last 14 years was ablaze, and the business would probably be a total loss. The caller, it turned out, was right.
As the shop was slowly being rebuilt, English, a 20-year certified Master Automotive Technician, decided to use the unanticipated downtime to start a side project: investigating solutions to remove carbon buildup from engines, one of the more common automotive problems he’d heard customers complain about.
“It started by trying to solve problems that we saw with fleet owners and shops and equipment and trucks in general,” English recalls. “We wanted to come up with a new, cleaner way to clean carbon out of internal combustion engines.”
After months of research into varying approaches for removing the buildup using less toxic methods than were available at the time, English developed a proprietary cleaning system that optimized engine performance and increased fuel efficiency in trucks and automobiles through the power of hydrogen. The new cleaning system became the foundation for HHO Carbon Clean Systems, a company English founded in June 2020.
“We developed a mobile service and started going out and talking to customers and doing demos. We knew we had something because we were getting great results. People loved it. We just needed a way to scale the company,” English recalls.
To achieve that growth, English turned to franchising.
Venturing Into New Territories
Despite his past success as a small business owner, franchising was uncharted territory for English when the brand was just starting.
To make sure things were done well, he selectively built a corporate team with members who had the expertise needed to scale the company. A key part of that strategy involved marking HHO’s services – and communicating the benefits they provided for fleet owners.
“The broader scope of (HHO) is solutions for business owners – greener solutions. … We're using (hydrogen’s) natural properties and pushing that through to volume that has a cleaning effect that (produces) longevity, reductions in cost to repair reduction and breakdown, improvement in fuel economy, overall reduction in carbon footprint. Really just universal benefits,” says marketing director Cord Koch.
A Values-Driven Approach
At HHO, choosing the right franchisees was also important for scaling the franchise – a strategy that involved taking a values-driven approach to candidates.
According to Tom Fremont, the company’s franchise development director, HHO doesn’t necessarily look for candidates with technical experience that can be taught. Instead, the brand looks for qualities like honesty and commitment to family and community.
“The main thing that underlies all of our franchisees are the values that are driving this brand forward – and that’s all about integrity. It’s all about being growth-minded and vision-focused, and having the energy to get out there and make it happen,” Fremont says.
Those values, Fremont says, add up to success for the entire franchise system.
“When you see people who care about their family and care about the next generation, and they see that they believe in the solution we’re offering, they’re out there pounding the pavement,” Fremont says.
Adding value - for everyone
All of that hard work is appreciated by the team at HHO Carbon Clean Systems – a fact demonstrated by the company’s commitment to adding value not only for customers but also for franchisees.
“Having a franchisee network can be a little overwhelming at times. There’s a lot of pressure that we put on ourselves because we want these franchisees to have everything they need to be successful,” English says.
To make sure new franchisees are set up for success, HHO’s onboarding process starts with helping them source a new van, which receives a custom buildout before training starts. The following one-week training session covers everything franchisees need to know about hydrogen carbon cleaning, internal combustion engines, operations and customer service.
“Our main goal is when they leave here on a Friday afternoon to head back to wherever they’re from to start working, we want them to have that confidence where they can go talk to anybody about this,” English says.
For English and the team at HHO, providing that level of support to franchisees has been rewarding. Today, the company has expanded to 14 franchisees in 40 territories nationwide. Recently, English says the brand’s newest franchisee signed a 57-truck fleet on their third day in business.
English credits that success to the brand’s values-driven, hands-on approach to franchising – something he believes startup franchisors can benefit from during their first years in business.
“It’s a lot of fun when we succeed and we get to interact with awesome franchisees on a daily basis. I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing than building this company,” English says.
To learn about franchising opportunities with HHO Carbon Clean Systems, visit hhocarboncleanfranchise.com.