THE BEST NEW FRANCHISES YOU HAVEN'T HEARD OF YET
The franchise industry continues to show strong growth year after year, and the predictions for 2016 are no different. But with each new year, there comes a new crop of franchises aiming to stake their claim on the franchise scene. Here, we’ll spotlight some of the most important of these up-and-coming names to watch throughout the rest of the year as they find their way among the ranks of the biggest brands in franchising.
Franchising remains a desirable business opportunity for those wanting to venture into the business world on their own without being completely independent. With a franchise, someone else (the franchisor) has taken much of the initial risk, and a demonstrated business model has already been established. By the time a franchisee comes on board, many of the kinks have been worked out and business processes have been streamlined.
Franchising also comes with an extensive support system, with support flowing from the franchisor’s headquarters and fellow franchisees. However, don’t get the wrong idea — you’ll still have to put in a great deal of effort, as becoming a franchisee will take a lot of time and require a significant financial commitment. Don’t assume it’ll be easy, just because you’ll be working with a proven, successful model. It will become your responsibility to make it as a successful franchisee under the umbrella of your brand, and, in fact, your results will impact the entire brand’s reputation and overall level of success.
15 New and Expanding Franchise Models
If you’re confident that franchising is for you and you want to become part of a newer franchise model, there are some great options out there for you to consider. Of course, there are also the tried and true brands — Subway, Dunkin’ Donuts, Anytime Fitness, and 7-Eleven, just to name a few — but if you are looking to get involved with a fresh, up-and-coming brand, each of the brands listed below offers the perfect opportunity for you to do so. These brands are all relatively new to the franchise scene and may not have achieved the level of name recognition or market saturation that the more established brands have yet, but they are building something perhaps equally as important: a loyal following. That following consistently exhibits itself through each brand’s steady level of growth and expansion.
Some of these brands are filling a spot in an already competitive niche, finding that one element that sets them apart from their competition. Others are blazing their own path, identifying a need and taking advantage of a very real gap in the industry. Their concepts are not all flashy or sexy, but they all have grown organically from one person’s unique vision.
CREAM (Cookies Rule Everything Around Me) – Founded in 2010 in Bakersfield, Calif., this franchise specializes in premium ice cream, ice cream sandwiches, brownies, and cookies. There are currently 28 locations in Nevada, Florida, and California. The initial investment required is $30,000, plus location build-out costs and a 6 percent royalty fee.
Famous Toastery – Founded in 2005 in Huntersville, N.C., Famous Toastery offers fresh breakfast and lunch. They began franchising in 2013 and currently have 11 locations open across the Southeast, with 12 more opening soon. The initial investment cost is $35,000 plus build-out costs, a 5 percent royalty fee and a 1 to 2 percent brand development fee.
Blaze Pizza – This is one of many assembly line pizza concepts opening around the country. Currently, there are more than 100 locations across the U.S., with all markets except Seattle being spoken for. The franchise fee is $30,000, with a 5 percent royalty fee and a 2 percent marketing fee. Startup fees are additional. Concepts similar to Blaze Pizza include PIZZAFIRE (started in Ohio, $100,000 for a four-store deal, 5 percent royalty fee plus 2 percent marketing fee) and Your Pie ($35,000 plus royalty and startup expenses, currently in 10 states, 25 locations). Take note that this is an extremely hot franchise segment right now!
Tot Squad – A car seat cleaning service for busy parents in Los Angeles and New York. They install, clean and repair ca seats, and have been experiencing year-over-year growth since the company launched in 2010. This brand fills a spot in the personalized services niche, which is exploding in growth and includes a variety of businesses that focus on one thing and do it well — a “micro” (as opposed to a “big-box”) approach. Tot Squad began offering franchise opportunities in February 2015.
MODE – This franchise falls into the retail category, offering designer fashions at closeout prices, and currently, there are 11 locations. The initial franchise fee is $30,000, along with additional startup, location, and inventory fees.
Pinot’s Palette – Originating in 2009, this brand is capitalizing on the paint-and-sip pairing trend (also called a “Girls Night Out” or “Date Night” establishment). Liquid assets of $80,000 minimum are recommended for ownership. There are currently more than 150 locations around the U.S. Bottle & Botegga is another popular paint-and-sip brand, with 19 locations around the country.
Amada Senior Care – Non-medical, in-home senior care is experiencing rapid growth as an industry as the American population ages. Founded in 2008, Amada Senior Care involves a $45,000 franchise fee plus startup and additional fees; there are currently 53 locations around the U.S.
Mosquito Joe – Mosquito control services are thriving, and this is one of many mosquito control brands that are making a strong name for themselves in the franchising world. There are currently 190 Mosquito Joe units, and this brand requires a $25,000 initial investment, along with additional startup and equipment costs. Other newcomers in this niche market include Mosquito Shield, with 35 locations and an initial fee of $30,000 plus additional royalty, marketing, and startup costs; and The Mosquito Authority, which currently has 375 franchises and requires an initial fee of $6,300 to $26,300, along with royalty fees, marketing fees and startup costs.
Men In Kilts – This is a window and gutter cleaning service with 12 locations (yes, kilts are actually worn). Depending on the area, initial fees range from $23,750 to $67,500, with a combined 13 percent in ongoing monthly fees. Additional startup fees are also required. Individual franchise owners have the ability to expand their offerings beyond the cleaning of windows, gutters, and siding (some franchisees offer snow removal, lawn care, Christmas light installation, and/or roof sweeping services). There is a centralized sales and customer service center in South Carolina that schedules and dispatches all jobs.
YESCO – YESCO is one of the largest custom sign companies in the country, offering franchisees a business opportunity in visual communications for businesses (signage and lighting). Franchising since 2011 and based in Utah, there are currently 44 franchised YESCO units, with another 47 company-owned units. The initial fee is $50,000 with an additional royalty fee (6 percent), a marketing fee (3 percent) and startup costs.
15 New and Expanding Models in Brief
- CREAM – Premium ice cream products, brownies, and cookies – $30,000 initial investment required
- Famous Toastery – Fresh breakfast and lunch – $35,000 initial investment cost
- Blaze Pizza – Assembly line pizza concept – $30,000 franchise fee
- PIZZAFIRE – Assembly line pizza concept – $100,000 for a four-store deal
- Your Pie – Assembly line pizza concept – $35,000 franchise fee
- Tot Squad – Car seat installation, cleaning, and repair – Contact for franchise fee
- MODE – Designer fashions at closeout prices – $30,000 initial franchise fee
- Pinot's Palette – Paint-and-sip establishment – Liquid assets of $80,000 minimum recommended
- Bottle & Bottega – Paint-and-sip establishment – Contact for franchise fee
- Amada Senior Care – Non-medical, in-home senior care – $45,000 franchise fee
- Mosquito Joe – Mosquito control services – $25,000 initial investment required
- Mosquito Shield – Mosquito control services – Initial fee of $30,000 required
- The Mosquito Authority – Mosquito control services – Initial fee of $6,300 to $26,300
- Men in Kilts – Window and gutter cleaning – Initial fees range from $23,750 to $67,500
- YESCO – Custom signage and lighting for businesses – Initial fee of $50,000 required
5 Cutting-Edge Specialized Fitness Franchises
The remaining brands below involve a focus on specialized fitness. Within the fitness industry, we’re seeing a shift away from big, multi-disciplined fitness centers to smaller ones that focus on one specific activity or group of activities, or cater to a particular audience. The five listed here are just a sampling of the wide variety of offerings in this ever-growing niche.
Fit Body Boot Camp – Capitalizing on the boot camp trend, Fit Body Boot Camp calls themselves an “anti-franchise franchise.” Your investment will include an initial franchise fee of $20,000, a flat monthly royalty fee of $597 and additional startup costs. Franchise agreements last for five years. As of now, there are 222 units in four countries.
Iron Tribe – This is a brand focusing on overall health, fitness, and nutrition. It all starts with “Tribe 101,” a 30-day program that teaches the basics. From there, participants begin the full Iron Tribe fitness program. Based out of Alabama, Iron Tribe entered the fitness market in 2010, and there are currently 40 locations in 15 states.
Live 2 B Healthy Senior Fitness – Helping senior citizens maintain mobility and strength. Franchising since 2010, the required initial investment for this company is $34,000, with a 6 percent royalty fee and a 1 percent marketing fee; there are currently 36 franchises.
The MAX Challenge – Recognized as the fastest-growing fitness concept, this brand began franchising in 2013 and there are currently almost 100 locations. They combine fitness and nutrition with “hand-holding.” The initial franchise fee ranges from $20,000 to $25,000, with a 5 percent royalty fee and a 2 percent marketing fee.
Orangetheory Fitness – Based out of Florida, Orangetheory focuses on interval training and short bursts of energy in a high-energy group setting. More than 300 locations are now open. There is an initial franchise fee of $39,500, plus a 7 percent royalty fee, a 1 percent marketing fee, and location, startup, and equipment costs.
5 Hot Fitness Franchises at a Glance
- Fit Body Boot Camp – Initial franchise fee of $20,000
- Iron Tribe – Contact for franchise fee
- Live 2 B Healthy Senior Fitness – $34,000 initial investment required
- The MAX Challenge – Initial franchise fee ranging from $20,000 to $25,000
- Orangetheory Fitness – Initial franchise fee of $39,500
Franchising in 2016: Success Depends on Specialized Offerings
The 20 brands outlined above represent just a cross section of all the new, up-and-coming franchise opportunities that you may encounter in 2016, but as you can see, a major trend within the industry as a whole is a focus on specialized product and service offerings. This year, success will be all about catering to a specific need in a particular market and ensuring that exact demand is met. Each of the brands above is very targeted in its approach, and is therefore able to offer any potential franchisee a great opportunity to provide personalized attention to its customers.
image 1: Robert Freiberger (Creative Commons BY); image 2: Jacqueline Deavenport via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons BY); image 3: Dain Sandoval (Creative Commons BY-NC-ND)