7-Eleven got its name from the fact that it was once open from 7am to 11pm - unusually extensive hours considering the year was 1946. The story of this high profile brand of convenience stores goes back even further than that, though. In 1927, founder Joe C. Thompson purchased the Southland Company from his former employers. He then opened up several convenience stores and called them Tote’ms. By the time the newly expanded hours and accompanying name change were implemented, Thompson’s franchise had grown substantially and has continued to do so throughout the decades. There are almost 40,000 7-Eleven stores around the globe and now they are all open 24 hours a day.
Start-up Cost: $30.8K - 611.1K
The A&W story dates back to 1919, when Roy W. Allen opened a small beverage stand in Lodi, California. Soon after, he partnered with Frank Wright to form the A & W Root Beer company. The two began opening restaurants that served their signature soda, along with hot dogs, hamburgers, and other fast food fare. In 1925, they started franchising and now A&W locations can be found around the world.
Start-up Cost: $912K - 1.62M
AArrow provides a unique marketing service to commercial clients. The company uses a direct, eye-catching technique it calls “sign spinning.” Trained “spinners” execute choreographed moves using a logo-adorned sign as a prop. The fresh take on direct advertising is gaining popularity and AArow has quickly grown to include 39 locations.
Start-up Cost: $36.88K - 80.02K
Accessible Home Health Care is an in-home care company providing help for clients of every age. The company exists today due to the efforts of Mirella Salem, who felt that there was a lot of unfulfilled need in the home care industry. Salem pitched her idea to Accessible Healthcare Services and convinced them to establish their Home Health Care Division, of which Salem is now president. Accessible is popular among franchisees for its high level of involvement with owners.
Start-up Cost: $93.5K - 123K
Ace Hardware started as a collection of stores opened by a handful of retailers who decided to pool their efforts in order to more effectively compete with bigger and more well-known hardware retailers.The idea worked, and the Ace name has stood the test of time. For decades, Ace has continued to expand and there are currently about 4,600 Ace Hardware stores throughout the U.S. and abroad. The brand has even grown to include its own line of products.
Start-up Cost: $750K - 1000K
ActionCoach is a consulting firm providing coaching and counseling to help businesses achieve success through strategy and balance. Established by Brad Sugar in 1993 in Brisbane Australia, there are over 1,000 ActionCoach centers worldwide teaching techniques to help business operate more efficiently.
Start-up Cost: $82.5K - 490.03K
Aire Serv is a part of the Dwyer Group, which includes names such as Glass Doctor, Mr. Rooter, and Rainbow International. Aire Serv provides heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services including troubleshooting, repairs, and replacement. Air Serv caters to both residential and commercial clients through its more than 180 locations in the U.S. and other countries around the world.
Start-up Cost: $74.6K - 197.4K
AlphaGraphics started as a small copy and print shop in Tucson, Arizona in 1970. The shop’s array of services have grown along with technology and the popular chain now serves the communications needs of clients through online services and in their stores. Nearly 300 of the franchises operating out of several locations in the U.S. and abroad.
Start-up Cost: $242K - 412K
Dick Rennick started American Leak Detection in 1974, providing residential and commercial customers with hidden leak detection through the use of minimally invasive electronic equipment. This allows technicians to find leaks in pipes, pool linings, and other buried or difficult to reach places without having to use destructive excavation methods.
Start-up Cost: $76.76K - 259.55K
American Poolplayers Association was founded by two professional pool players, Larry Hubbart and Terry Ball. The two wanted to give amateur billiards enthusiasts the chance to compete in tournament-like competitions. They franchised their organization a year after forming it and now APA (and CPA in Canada) members pay dues to join leagues and participate in elimination contests.
Start-up Cost: $17.08K - 32.65K
Anytime Fitness was founded in 2001 on a simple, unique idea - a fully equipped gym open to members 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - even when no staff are present. This is achieved through extensive surveillance and security systems installed at every location.They also offer all the perks of traditional gyms, like classes and personal trainers, during certain hours. Anytime Fitness began franchising in 2002, and has grown to encompass more than 1,800 locations around the world.
Start-up Cost: $46.3K - 321.9K
Anne Beiler came up with her business concept while working a concession stand at a Maryland Farmer’s Market. The soft pretzels offered at the stand far outsold the pizza, hot dogs, and other foods on its menu. When Anne started rolling the dough and shaping the pretzels in front of customers, the demand for them grew even more. After a while, Beiler decided to purchase her own stand, which she named Auntie Anne’s. Before long, Auntie Anne’s pretzel stands started popping up in malls, airports, train stations, and elsewhere. Now the Auntie Anne’s franchise is almost 1,200 strong.
Start-up Cost: $197.88K - 364.1K
As indicated by its name, Aussie Pet Mobile originated in Australia. The franchised operations come to pet owners and perform washing and grooming services out of specially equipped vans. The mobile grooming units have all the amenities necessary for performing these duties without the need for any outside electrical or water hookups. Another distinctive feature of the company is its commitment to being ecologically friendly; Aussie Pet Mobile vehicles use diesel fuel and all of the products they use are biodegradable.
Start-up Cost: $98.5K - 118.65K
Irv Robbins started Baskin-Robbins with his brother-in-law, Burt Baskin in 1945. Robbins had been the manager at an ice cream shop years earlier, and had since wanted to open his own. Eager to break out of the typical ice cream parlor flavor rut of chocolate and vanilla, Robbins created exciting new flavors to the delight of his customers. This evolved into the company’s signature “31 flavor” philosophy. Now, there are around 7,000 Baskin-Robbins ice cream parlors worldwide.
Start-up Cost: $45K - 377.6K
Baymont Inns & Suites have been around since 1974, when the first one was opened by entrepreneur Steven Marcus in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He called it Budgetel. Later changed to Baymont, the name still represents value in lodging and is part of the Wyndham Worldwide group of hotels, which also includes Days Inn, Microtel, and Ramada.
Start-up Cost: $195.87K - 5.49M
Ben & Jerry’s first Scoop Shop opened in 1978 in Burlington, Vermont. Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield founded the company, and their names have since become synonymous with premium specialty ice cream. There are nearly 800 Ben & Jerry’s franchises open today, selling their company’s signature flavors like “Chubby Hubby” and “Cherry Garcia.”
Start-up Cost: $161.75K - 469.75K
Bevintel provides inventory control services for bars, helping them to reduce losses. It was founded in 1987 and began franchising three years later. By using specialized software and auditing techniques, Bevintel helps proprietors of liquor, beer, and wine to more closely monitor their stock and prevent profit loss. There are almost 300 Bevintel franchises.
Start-up Cost: $36.9K - 50.6K
Billboard Connection serves a specific niche in the marketing sector: outdoor media, like signage. Founded in 1997, the company helps create eye-catching ad campaigns tailored to fit each client’s objectives and target demographic. More than 100 of these franchised agencies are open today.
Start-up Cost: $42.73K - 66.23K
Entrepreneur Anthony Conze founded Blimpie restaurants, opening the first one in 1964 in Hoboken, New Jersey. Kahala brands now owns the Blimpie Subs & Salads name (along with others such as Cold Stone Creamery, Surf City Squeeze, and Taco Time) and there are over 700 Blimpie franchise locations in the United States.
Start-up Cost: $145.9K - 397.8K
Since 1977 Bojangles has been serving up Southern style fare including chicken, buttermilk biscuits, dirty rice and other regional specialties. Started in Greenville, South Carolina by Richard Thomas and Jack Faulk, Bojangles’ restaurants have multiplied and now total over 500.
Start-up Cost: $357K - 553.75K