The 21st century is without doubt a digital era with constantly advancing technologies that impact the lives of people and businesses day in and day out. Entrepreneurs who want to take advantage of proven concepts have a solid list to choose from among the 10 best tech franchises of 2018.
One significant segment on the list are companies focused on repairing smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops, game consoles, and MP3 players for individuals, businesses, and schools. Another significant segment are companies offering a broader range of IT services to businesses, and one that offers digital marketing services.
In most cases, the nature of the services provided involves estimating unique needs specific to each situation, which means pricing is not something you can typically find on the website of the companies.
It is interesting to speculate on why two of these companies have experienced a decline in number of locations. Does this indicate they aren’t keeping up with the ever-changing technological landscape and need to refocus their business model? Answering that question requires a closer examination of those opportunities.
What can be said with confidence is that there are more mobile devices than people, and they break or get damaged frequently, making this overall industry one that will continue to grow. Here are the top 10 tech franchises of 2018.
1. CPR Cell Phone Repair
CPR Cell Phone Repair offers fast tablet, laptop, game console, desktop computer, MP3 player, and cell phone repair services to individuals, businesses, and schools. It also has a buy/sell/trade program to purchase, refurbish, and resell gently used devices.
For repair work, the company offers a free estimate, and many types of repairs can happen on a same-day basis. Customers can initiate repairs in person or through a mail-in service. The repair work is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.
Founded in 2004 and franchising since 2007, the number of locations has expanded rapidly over the past 10 years from only seven in 2007 to the current total of more than 400, of which 4 are company-owned and 44 are located outside the U.S.
uBreakiFix is a device repair shop that works on cell phones, tablets, computers, game consoles, and other devices such as iPods. It offers free diagnostics to come up with a clear up-front price. Its Price Guarantee means it will beat any published price from a local competitor (real storefronts within 10 miles) by at least $5. Repair work is backed by a 90-day warranty.
Franchisees are also encouraged to work with businesses and schools to offer bulk discounts on multiple devices, with the same free diagnostics and estimates.
Founded in 2009 and franchising since 2013, the number of locations has increased rapidly from just two in 2009 to the current total of 353, of which 18 are company-owned and 24 are located outside the U.S.
3. WSI Digital Marketing Services
WSI Digital Marketing Services is a Canadian company that provides digital marketing services to businesses across a wide spectrum of industries. Services offered include social media marketing, video marketing, content marketing, mobile marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, website conversion, email marketing, landing pages, web analytics, and web design services.
The only way to find out what these various services might cost is by speaking with one of the company’s representatives.
Founded in 1995 and franchising since 1996, the number of locations has been declining over the past 10 years from 1,825 in 2007 to the current total of 832, of which two are company-owned and 543 are located outside the U.S.
4. Computer Troubleshooters
Computer Troubleshooters helps solve technology problems for both individual residential customers as well as business customers. Residential solutions include troubleshooting and repairs, family online security options, virus and spyware protection, and backup services to preserve data. Business solutions include proactive monitoring and support of systems, data backup and recovery, security services, remote support services, cloud services, mobile device management, and customized plans.
Businesses are offered a free network assessment resulting in a report and proposed solution to make the office computer network function more efficiently and smoothly. The company can also service businesses with geographically dispersed locations because of its robust network of locations.
Founded and franchising since 1997, the number of locations has declined in recent years from a high of 497 in 2008 to the current total of 318, of which 3 are company-owned and 139 are located outside the U.S.
5. CMIT Solutions
CMIT Solutions offers a technology team to meet the IT needs of businesses so they can focus more on their core business tasks rather than worry about IT issues, which is why the company name stands for Completely Managed IT Solutions.
Core offerings include Managed IT Services for dependable, proactive, flat-rate IT support to keep systems up and running 24/7; Backup and Recovery Services to protect and preserve critical company data; and Cyber Security Services to provide multi-layered defense and comprehensive protection from malware, hackers, viruses, and the human error factor among employees.
Additional offerings include networking, cloud service, applications, IT hardware procurement, managed print services, mobile device management, unified communications/VoIP, virtual CIO/CTO services, and multi-location support.
The “sweet spot” clients for this chain are businesses with 10-100 employees.
Founded in 1994 and franchising since 1998, the number of locations has doubled over the past 10 years from 85 in 2007 to the current total of 175, two of which are located outside the U.S.
6. TeamLogic IT
TeamLogic IT is a managed IT services, support, and consulting company serving primarily businesses in the healthcare, legal services, and financial/insurance segments. Its managed IT services include proactive IT strategic and tactical planning, preventative IT remote monitoring, and responsive IT technicians working remotely or on-site to address problems.
Solutions covered include cloud services, mobility services, business continuity planning, cybersecurity, data backup and recovery, unified communications and VoIP networks, supplemental IT support, and website management.
Founded in 2004 and franchising since 2005, the number of locations has expanded rapidly over the past 10 years from 28 in 2007 to the current total of 115, one of which is located outside the U.S.
Staymobile is a device repair and protection company. Although focused primarily on mobile phones, it also works on tablets, laptops, gaming devices, and music devices. Locations also sell various mobile phone accessories as well as 1-year, 2-year, and 4-year protection plans to cover mechanical breakdowns or unexpected accidental damage to smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
Device repair services can often be performed same-day and are backed by the industry leading Staymobile Lifetime Guarantee (except for water damage). Each customer is given a free diagnosis and quote for the cost of fixing a device.
Franchisees can also pursue enterprise mobility management opportunities with businesses as well as K-12 schools.
Founded in 2009 and franchising since 2012, there are currently 49 locations, of which 25 are company-owned.
8. Digital Doc
Digital Doc is a cell phone, tablet, and computer repair and sales company. On the repairs side of the business, it handles all the most common issues with cell phones, tablets, laptops, computers, and game consoles. Repair work comes with a 90-day warranty. Customers who want to upgrade to a newer (used) device can trade in their old device for credit towards a new device, or sell it outright for cash.
Founded in 2010 and franchising since 2012, the number of locations currently stands at 33, of which 3 are company-owned.
9. Device Pitsop
Device Pitsop is a place where people can buy, sell, trade, repair, or upgrade electronic devices such as computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. It positions its refurbishing and resale services as a smart “green” way to recycle/reuse electronics. Those that are beyond their useful life are taken to local recycling companies. Gently used devices go through a rigorous DPS Certification process and come with a 90-day warranty, which customers can often upgrade to a one-year service plan.
The company website appears to be more focused on the buying/selling aspect of the business than the repair/upgrade services.
Founded in 2013, franchising began that same year and the number of locations has grown to 15, of which one is company-owned.
10. iCare Repair
iCare Repair, as the name implies, is focused on repairing iPhones, iPads, and iPods, but will also
work on other brands of smartphones and tablets. Repairs are backed with a free lifetime warranty. It also offers phone unlocking services for customers who want to switch carriers or be able to use a local SIM card when traveling abroad. The company also buys used devices and refurbishes them for resale.
Franchisees are encouraged to pursue working with businesses and schools for device repair and management.
Founded in 2012 and franchising since 2015, there are currently 13 locations, of which six are company-owned.