When most people think of franchise businesses, most will think of global food businesses like McDonald’s, but the franchise model is just as applicable to modern technology as it is to restaurants. Here are six of the most exciting tech-focused franchise business options today:
CPR Cell Phone Repair
The huge growth in smartphone use around the world has meant that ever more people are suffering broken screens, water damage, dead batteries, or other issues with their increasingly expensive iOS and Android devices. Since launching in 2007, CPR has grown to over 300 franchisees in the US and over 40 around the rest of the globe, with each location offering users the chance to either mail in or drop off their broken devices in person and many repairs performed on the same day. Whether that is an expensive iPhone X or a more budget Motorola G6, a small repair job can save you well over a hundred pounds, and by offering an easy and reliable repair service CPR has been able to continue to deliver solid growth for over a decade.
In direct competition to CPR is uBreakiFix, which was founded in 2009, just a couple of years after the first iPhone hit the market and people started to become accustomed to paying significantly more for phones with all-glass and very breakable displays. The firm offers mail-in and walk-in repairs at over 300 locations for a wide variety of electronics, but the majority are smartphones suffering from damaged screens, broken buttons, or water damage. The company primarily operates in the US, where it has over 280 locations, but also has a small number of other units elsewhere.
Rather than focusing on smartphones, Experimac offers repair and upgrade services for all Apple products. The firm opened in 2009, but since moving to a franchising model in 2014 has grown dramatically to open nearly a hundred locations in the US and beyond. As consumers remain in love with the design, functionality, and “it just works” elements of Macs, Experimac has a large market of people hoping to get their iOS device repaired or their MacBook upgraded with additional RAM or SSD storage space.
It is not just the mobile phone market that has soared over the last 20 years, with digital technologies now underpinning the vast majority of businesses. The move towards IT has created a huge market for computer service technicians like Computer Troubleshooters, who provide on-site IT service support including hardware repair, networking, web services and software and security consulting. The franchise was started by Wilson and Suzanne McOrist in Australia in 1997 and brought to the US by American entrepreneur Chip Reaves in 1999. The company is now in over 300 locations around the world, with over half located in the mainland US.
The Utility Company
The Utility Company offers small and medium-sized businesses a single point of contact for virtual IT services and technical support, and through its franchisees around the world can help these companies with their technology, communication, and software issues. Since launching in Ottowa in 2006, The Utility Company has grown into a truly global business now with with over 100 franchisees in Canada, the US, and beyond.
Whilst Carphone Warehouse may have ditched its UK franchise programme in 2015, the US-based Wireless Zone continues to find success with a similar offering within the US. Started back in 1988 in Connecticut, Wireless Zone offers customers smartphones, tablets, smart watches, and other pieces of connected technology at competitive prices, and operates at around 340 locations across the US.
Photograph by Hans