Prior to becoming a franchise under current owners Kenneth A. Marks and Marvin Biltis, Fast-Fix was a network comprised of dozens of successful watch and jewelry repair stores. The first location was opened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1984. Today more than 150 owner operated Fast-Fix franchises are open today in the United States and internationally.
Start-up Cost: $188.75K - 381.75K
FasTracKids provides supplemental learning programs intended to give kids an educational advantage and greater chances for academic success. The company was formed and franchised in 1998. It is the collaborative effort of a business-minded entrepreneur who wanted to teach kids communication and problem-solving skills, and a teacher who dreamed of helping students to bring out their unique creativity and hone their critical thinking skills. Today, FasTracKids operates on an international level through more than 300 centers.
Start-up Cost: $78.46K - 210.16K
Gary Salomon, then a print broker, got the idea to open FastSigns in 1985 when he stopped in to a print shop in Austin, Texas. The shop was utilizing the latest computer technology to produce signs, documents, and other printed items very quickly. Salomon was intrigued and asked the store’s owner to train him - along with business partner Robert Schanbaum - to use the design and printing software. The owner agreed, and Salomon opened his own store in Dallas and began franchising shortly after. FastSigns still provides quick graphics and printing services from out of more than 500 stores.
Start-up Cost: $169.67K - 276.42K
Five Star Painting was founded by five childhood friends who had the collective dream to start their own business and achieve financial independence. The partners still run the company, which is now a franchised operation consisting of 60 units. Five Star does interior and exterior painting for both residential and commercial customers.
Start-up Cost: $25.71K - 80.35K
Raymond J. Margiano, a doctor of pedorthics, founded Foot Solutions after having successfully created another large foot-care based franchise. Dr. Margiano wanted to provide high quality footwear and accessories, carrying only brands engineered for health and comfort. Customers can undergo a full assessment of their feet at one of 240 worldwide franchise locations, enabling them to find the best possible products for optimal foot health.
Start-up Cost: $197.8K
Now under the ServiceMaster name (along with companies like Terminix and Merry Maids), Furniture Medic repairs and restores damaged furniture and wood. The company was founded by Joseph Lunsford in 1992 after having a negative experience with existing furniture restoration companies. Lunsford’s new and improved business model for the service industry niche has been incredibly successful and there are now over 300 locations in the U.S. Canada, and Europe.
Start-up Cost: $51.46K - 65.89K
In 1935, David Shakarian was a Pittsburgh retailer operating a small shop, called Lackzoom, that sold mostly yogurt and a few other health-conscious foods. Shakarian saw a demand for healthy food products as the general public became more concerned with health and longevity. He expanded his initial operation to six area stores, eventually spreading to several states and changing his company’s name to General Nutrition Centers (GNC). The brand’s main focus is now vitamins and supplements. Franchised since 1988, GNC has its own line of products and are a leading name in sports nutrition.
Start-up Cost: $160.15K - 274.35K
Gold’s Gym has been around since 1965 when it first opened along California’s famous Venice Beach. Gold’s catered to serious bodybuilders and became known as a hotspot for intense weight training enthusiasts. Gold’s began franchising in 1980, and has grown exponentially. There are more than 700 Gold’s Gyms around the world, and the company also sells its own line of clothing through its franchises.
Start-up Cost: $898.5K - 3.89M
Mike Clinton and Joe Assell started GolfTEC in 1995. They saw a rise in the number of amateur golfers, and little to no professional training available to them. The two entrepreneurs set out to create an effective, consistent training system to help golfers achieve their highest potential and get maximum enjoyment out of the game. The company started selling franchises in 2003 and now operate out of around 150 stores in the United States, and have begun to expand into markets beyond U.S. borders.
Start-up Cost: $118.18K - 461.83K
Granite Transformations was founded in 1996 in Perth, Australia. The company restores and resurfaces cabinet and countertops, specializing in stone surfaces. Countertops are manufactured at Granite Transformations’ own factory, custom-made to fit customers specifications. Granite Transformations is an international company with 160 locations and continued expansion is in the works.
Start-up Cost: $131.5K - 346K
Grease Monkey franchises provide quick lube service and basic automotive maintenance for their customers. The company also offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to buy a Monkey Shine car wash to be run literally alongside their Grease Monkey shop. The company’s secondary franchise adds convenience for customers, along with additional income potential for franchisees.
Start-up Cost: $193.3K - 347K
Jean C. Griswold opened Griswold Special Care in 1982. Through personal experience, as well as her work as a geriatric counselor, Jean had seen the lack of non-medical services available to elderly people. Through her care center, Jean helped connect seniors with care providers to help with day-to-day needs like housework, running errands, and to help relieve family members from care duties. The Griswold franchise has now grown to include over 150 centers.
Start-up Cost: $72.33K - 95.3K
Guard-A-Kid was founded by a software engineer and parent who wanted to use his expertise to create a child safety company that took advantage of all of the available technological resources. This was on March 1, 2005. By March 22, he was selling his first franchise. Now Guard-A-Kid has 178 locations.
Start-up Cost: $14.9K - 19.9K
Gymboree centers offer classes and activities for parents and children to have fun and learn in a safe environment. The program was founded in 1976 by Joan Barnes in San Francisco, California. Barnes, the mother of young children, started Gymboree to fill a void in the existence of safe places for kids to move, play, and learn. There are now almost 700 Gymboree play centers all over the world.
Start-up Cost: $79.84K - 261K
Another company started by brothers, H & R Block was founded as a small bookkeeping outfit in 1955 by Harold and Richard Bloch. The company has since maintained a long run as one of the top tax preparation services in the United States. They have continued to adapt to the technological advances of the times, and offer online services as well as tax preparation software. The firm processes hundreds of millions of tax returns every year.
Start-up Cost: $35.51K - 136.2K
The Hampton Hotels franchise began in 1984 in Memphis, Tennessee. Hampton set itself apart from other hotels by offering free cable TV and complimentary continental breakfast. Eleven years later the brand expanded with its concept, Hampton Inns & Suites, which offered condominium-like accommodations such as kitchens, living rooms, and separate bedrooms. Shortly after introducing Hampton Inns and Suites, the Hampton Hotels franchise was purchased by Hilton Worldwide whose other brands include Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton, Hilton Grand Vacations, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, and Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts.
Start-up Cost: $3.75M - 13.11M
Happy Feet/Legends offers soccer programs for kids and teens. Happy Feet is a mobile program that focuses on younger children, ages 2-6. Legends is for older kids, teaching them valuable life skills through soccer-based activities and drills. Founded in 1989 and franchised in 2007, the HappyFeet/Legends soccer programs are now taught via more than 51 operations worldwide.
Start-up Cost: $18.3K - 23.2K
It was 1960 when Wilber Hardee opened his first hamburger shop in Greenville, North Carolina. In less than a year, he had sold his first franchise. Ten years later, Hardee’s added freshly made biscuits to its menu. This somewhat unusual move proved to be a smart one, and Hardee’s is still known for its “Made from Scratch” biscuits. The Hardee’s brand was acquired by CKE Restaurants, Inc. (their other brands include Carl’s Jr.) and has continued to operate successfully throughout the United States and abroad.
Start-up Cost: $1.09M - 1.58M
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham operates under the U.S. Franchise Systems name (which also includes Best Inns & Suites and Microtel). Hawthorn was first opened as a subsidiary of Hyatt Hotels in 1986. The concept is an extended-stay home-like lodging environment with extra amenities geared toward the modern business traveler. There are currently 74 hotels in the Hawthorn Suites chain of franchises.
Start-up Cost: $208.12K - 10.55M
Hayes Handpiece was founded by John Hayes in 1989. Hayes had previously run a dental supply company and noticed that handheld dental tools were by far the most lucrative portion of his business. Acting on this knowledge, Hayes started the niche company Hayes Handpiece, providing repair and replacement for dental drills and other handheld tools. In 1995, the company began franchising and now has over 80 service and repair centers.
Start-up Cost: $38.75K - 58.35K