Revised and updated January 9, 2020.
Life in the 21st century is full-on digital, whether you’re talking about computers connected to the Internet in the form of desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, or gaming consoles, MP3 players, and so on. Savvy 21st-century entrepreneurs can take advantage of the digital era and its needs with one of these 10 best tech franchises of 2020.
This list covers three main tech categories: electronic device repair, business tech consulting, and digital marketing services. Given everyone’s dependence on electronic devices these days, this grouping of franchises ought to be growing by leaps and bounds. Curiously, however, half of the companies have seen their number of locations decline in recent years.
Whatever the prospects of any specific company on this list might be, what’s true is that as of this year there will be more people who own cell phones than have electricity. There are 1.3 billion more mobile connections (various devices) in the world than there are people. This doesn’t mean everyone has a mobile device, just that some people have multiple devices. The percentage of people in the world who have at least one mobile device is 66%.
The point is that there’s a huge and growing market for companies that deal with mobile devices and electronic devices in general. Here are the top 10 tech franchises of 2020:
1. WSI Digital Marketing Services
WSI Digital Marketing Services offers a full range of digital marketing help to businesses of all types. Services include content marketing, social media marketing, mobile marketing, video marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), PPC (pay-per-click), and just about any other kind of digital marketing you can think of, including web design/optimization.
Founded in 1995 in Canada and franchising since 1996, the number of locations has been declining steadily in recent years from 1,683 in 2008 to the current total of 825, none of which are company-owned and 549 of which are located outside the US.
2. CPR Cell Phone Repair
CPR Cell Phone Repair is focused on cell phone repair, but it also handles fixing MP3 players, game consoles, tablets, laptops, and desktop computers. Customers can also sell or trade in their used devices for the company to refurbish and resell them. Repair estimates are worked up for free, and simple fixes can often be done on a same-day basis. The company positions its device repairs as being good for the environment by extending the lifespan of devices that would otherwise be thrown out.
CPR was recently acquired by Assurant, a Fortune 500 company that is a global provider of risk management products and services. Founded in 2004 and franchising since 2007, the number of locations has expanded rapidly over the past 10 years from only nine in 2008 to the current total of 571 (up 59 from the previous year), of which 6 are company-owned and 73 are located outside the US.
uBreakiFix is a chain that fixes iPods, cell phones, game consoles, computers, tablets, laptops, and other electronic devices. Diagnostics are free and customers get a firm upfront price for repair services, will beat competitors’ prices by at least $5 (from storefronts within 10 miles), and gives a 90-day warranty on its repair work. Franchisees can develop relationships with businesses, schools, and organizations for discounted repair services on multiple devices.
Founded by Justin Wetherill in Orlando, Florida in 2009 and franchising since 2013, the number of locations has increased rapidly from just two in 2009 to the current total of 528 (up 107 from the previous year), of which 15 are company-owned and 46 are located outside the US.
4. Computer Troubleshooters
Computer Troubleshooters is all about solving the tech problems individuals and businesses run into, related mostly to computers but also other devices. IT services offered include data backup and recovery, security services, remote support services, and managed services. The chain offers any business a free-of-charge network assessment and will produce a report outlining improvements that could be made for better functionality.
Founded in 1997 and franchising since then, the number of locations has declined in recent years from a high of 497 in 2008 to the current total of 253 (down by 58 from the previous year), of which 3 are company-owned and 83 are located outside the US.
5. CMIT Solutions
CMIT Solutions is focused on providing custom IT solutions to businesses. CMIT is an acronym that stands for Completely Managed IT. Offerings include flat-rate proactive IT support, data backup and recovery, cybersecurity services, networking, cloud services, hardware procurement, printing device management, mobile device management, communications (VOIP), virtual CIO/CTO services, and more. The businesses this chain can support are generally those in the 10-110 employee range.
Founded in 1994 and franchising since 1998, the number of locations has grown quickly in recent years from 100 in 2008 to the current total of 233 (up by 28 from the previous year), none of which are company-owned and one of which is located outside the US.
6. TeamLogic IT
TeamLogic IT helps businesses who need IT support. Businesses can get supplemental support for their existing internal IT staff/department, or completely outsource all their IT needs to TeamLogic. Offerings include business continuity (keeping systems up and running), cybersecurity, cloud services, data backup, mobility services, unified communications, VOIP, website solutions, strategic and tactical IT planning, remote monitoring, and much more.
Founded in 2004 and franchising since 2005, the number of locations has expanded rapidly in recent years from 47 in 2008 to the current total of 176 (up by 33 from the previous year), none of which are company-owned and one of which is located outside the US.
Experimax is a bit different from most of the other companies on this list because it is focused exclusively on Apple devices. It’s a buy-sell-trade-fix chain where customers can get their Apple devices repaired, or shop a selection of certified pre-owned Apple devices that have been refurbished. The company is proud to help customers get a lot more life out of their Apple devices when other companies would say it’s time to ditch them.
It deals with Apple desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, wearables, and accessories. Every product it sells comes with the chain’s Experisure Warranty, the length of which varies by location.
Founded by Jim Muir in West Palm Beach, Florida in 2009 and franchising since 2014, the number of locations has expanded rapidly to the current total of 130 (up 14 from the previous year), of which four are company-owned and 26 are located outside the US.
8. Device Pitstop
Device Pitstop calls itself a one-stop tech shop to shop, sell, trade up, or repair your electronics, including desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Locations are also free to develop accounts to provide multiple devices to businesses and schools. Items for sale have been through a careful refurbishing process and come with a 90-day DPS warranty, which in some cases can extended to last a full year.
Its Green Program is the chain’s commitment to extend the life of electronic devices as much as possible through repair and refurbishing. For those devices that have reached the end of their useful lives, DPS recycles them.
Founded in 2013, franchising began that same year and the number of locations grew to 16 in 2016, but has since declined by five to the current total of 11, of which one is company-owned and all are located in the US.
iMechanic has a company motto of “We repair it all,” meaning not only does it work on cell phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops, it will also work on game consoles, drones, watches, televisions, even old radios and just about any other electronic gadget you can come up with.
Repairs can be booked online or as a walk-in to any location. It always strives for same-day turnaround whenever possible. It also lists flat rates clearly on its website for screen replacements on various models of iPhone, iPads, and Samsung phones. It offers both a price match deal (to match any brick-and-mortar store’s repair cost), and a lifetime warranty on its parts/repair work (with a number of caveats that void the warranty).
Founded by Nicholas Helton in Bloomington, Indiana in 2010 and franchising since 2017, there are now 11 locations, of which nine are company-owned and all are located in the US.
iDropped is part of the new wave of rapid cell phone repair concepts that have been popping up in recent years. The reason why these kinds of chains are proliferating is simple: If you take your cell phone to the retailer where you bought it, they will likely be able to handle the repair, but you might end up going days without your phone, which is not something people are willing to do these days.
Similar to other companies on this list, iDropped can do the most common cell phone repairs in about an hour, and other electronic devices within 24 hours (iPads, iPods, and laptops). It specializes in repairs of iPhones, Samsung Galaxy phones, and Google Pixel phones.
Founded by Chad Altier (current CEO) and Charles Hibble in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 2012 and franchising since 2014, there are now 10 locations, of which seven are company-owned and all are located in the US.
An Important Note About Our Methodology
The franchises on this list were ranked according to the number of units in the franchise system. If you are a prospective franchisee searching for franchise opportunities that meet or exceed certain performance benchmarks for sales, profits, and return on investment, please check out this list of America’s Most Lucrative Franchises.