This ad will close in

98 Brave New Franchises

Even in the toughest economic times, you can't stop entrepreneurs from dreaming big. And for many business owners, the ultimate dream is seeing their concept go nationwide--or even worldwide--through franchising. Every year, new franchisors armed with innovative ideas brave all the obstacles, from money and marketing to rules and regulations, so they can offer franchisees the chance to get into business with them.

On the following list, you'll find 98 companies that started franchising in 2009, 2010 or even 2011. This list is not a ranking, and should not be construed as a recommendation of any particular company. If you're interested in getting in on the ground floor with a new franchisor, always do your homework first. That includes examining the company's FDD and other documents, consulting with lawyers, talking to existing franchisees (if there are any)--and doing anything and everything you can to get to know the company before buying in.

To help you get better acquainted with just a few of the innovative new franchisors on our list, check out our profiles of companies offering services as varied as grown-up play places, "wellness in a box," doggie day trips, gift-card trading and earth-friendly moving.


Cool de Sac
Cool de Sac founder José Luis Bueno has a background in marketing. And when it comes to this family dining and entertainment franchise, his market research started at home--with his wife, Karla, daughter, Fernanda, and twin boys Alejandro and Pablo--and with the problem of finding a place they could all enjoy. "If you wanted to dine well, the kids wouldn't have a good time," he says. "And if you wanted to take the kids out to have a good time, you wouldn't dine well." Interviewing other young families showed Bueno he wasn't alone.

So at Cool de Sac, you'll find pizza and burgers, just like you'd expect. But you'll also find balsamic chicken pizza and salmon burgers, as well as tuna tartare, churrasco, goat cheese salad and a selection of wine and beer.

Bueno's research revealed that adult-friendly food wasn't the only thing parents wanted in a menu. They were also looking for more healthful options for kids. So after developing his kids' menu, he sent it off for nutritional analysis.

"When I got the report back, I was really surprised--negatively," Bueno admits. "My macaroni and cheese, for instance, had about 900 calories." So he went back to the drawing board. The mac 'n' cheese now has just about 240 calories, thanks to organic pasta, peas, light mozzarella and a carrot and sweet potato purée to give it the orange color kids expect.

Of course, food isn't the only thing to interest kids at Cool de Sac. Surrounding the central dining area are brightly decorated activity stations, including an art center, building blocks, computers, a salon and a play area.

So what does Bueno's family think of all this? "That was the acid test when I opened the first Cool de Sac in 2008," he says. The boys were 6 at the time, and his daughter was 9, but "they would spend eight to 10 hours there and still didn't want to leave."

And now that they're older, they still enjoy it--and they continue to inspire their dad. In his second location, he added Xbox and science stations to appeal to older kids.

Gift Card Monkey
Gift Card Monkey may be new to franchising, but its founder, Hossein Kasmai, certainly isn't. Previously, he created Guard-A-Kid, a child ID company that he began franchising in 2005 and grew to more than 150 units in 11 countries. Since selling Guard-A-Kid to an investment firm last year, Kasmai expects even bigger things from his newest company, thanks to a unique concept that allows customers to buy, sell and trade gift cards.

There are online businesses offering similar services, but Kasmai is the first to bring the concept to the retail environment. "One of the reasons people want to sell their gift cards, especially in today's environment, is because they need cash--and they need it right now," he says. That need isn't met when they have to send their cards off in the mail and wait for payment.

With Gift Card Monkey's patented technology, franchisees can scan the gift cards they buy into the company's system, thus making them available in real time at every Gift Card Monkey location across the country. So all franchises in the system have a constant shared inventory right from the start.

Kasmai has decided to expand the concept through affiliations with existing retailers: As those retailers add Gift Card Monkey services onto their offerings, franchisees will gain access to even more cards that they can sell to customers at discounted prices. The idea also helps spread the Gift Card Monkey name.

So just how did that name come about? Kasmai says he asked his teenage son and daughter for help, and they came up with Gift Card Monkey. "Right away, I said, ‘I love it!'" Kasmai recounts. "And everyone has the same reaction. It's funny and catchy. Every day, I like it more and more."

SuiteSweat
"I was hooked," Alex Samios says of the first time he used an infrared sauna at a resort while vacationing with his wife in 2008.

Saunas using infrared light keep the air temperature cooler than traditional steam saunas, while raising the occupants' core temperature, increasing their heart rate and inducing their bodies to burn calories. Not long after returning from their trip, Samios and his wife bought and installed their own infrared sauna and found themselves enjoying it almost daily.

But that wasn't quite enough for Samios. In his love for the new wellness technology, he saw potential for a franchise: SuiteSweat. "My family's been in franchising for over 40 years," Samios says, "so it's kind of in my blood." Most recently, he had been a Papa John's franchisee, opening 34 Southern California locations before selling them in 2006. Now he wanted to try things from the franchisor side of the equation.

Initially, he approached Sunlighten, the manufacturer of his home sauna, to see if they would partner with him. "They said, ‘Prove the concept and come back to us,'" he says. And that's just what he did. He opened his first SuiteSweat in January 2010 in Corona Del Mar, Calif., and his second in nearby Costa Mesa that May. Each location offered private 40-minute sauna sessions, employing a membership program much like those that have boosted the popularity of massage franchises.

Just a few months in business was enough to prove to Samios that the idea had lasting appeal--and that it would extend well beyond California. "The demand is definitely there, regardless of geography," he says, "because the benefits are there: weight loss, detoxification, stress relief, lower blood pressure, increased circulation. It's wellness in a box."

Sunlighten was convinced as well. In September, they became an equity owner in the company, leading Samios and his wife to relocate to Sunlighten's corporate headquarters in Overland Park, Kan. From there, they launched their franchise program in May. Samios says he expects to have three to five franchises open by the end of the year and "to build 300 to 500 SuiteSweats within the next five years."

Adventure Pet
"Who wouldn't want to play with dogs all day and get paid for it?" asks Christy Cranmer. Of course, she and partner Dawn Perchetti aren't the first to think that. Doggie day-care centers have been a growing franchise industry for years. But Cranmer and Perchetti saw some problems with the traditional pet-care model: It was expensive for franchisees, it was inconvenient for pet owners who had to drop off and pick up their dogs, and for the dogs, themselves … well, it just wasn't that fun.

Their answer is Adventure Pet. Instead of having dogs brought to them, they pick up and drop off the animals, which significantly lowers the cost of doing business and also makes things more convenient for their customers. And as for making things more fun for their four-legged customers, that's where the "adventure" in Adventure Pet comes in. "Pack leaders," as Cranmer calls herself and her employees, take groups of five to six dogs out on field trips to local lakes, hiking trails and other wide-open spaces around their Reno, Nev., home.

For most of these adventures, the dogs are off-leash, which Cranmer says surprises many people. The Adventure Pet team always consults with new clients to make sure their dogs aren't prone to running off, but the success of the system depends just as much on the personality of the pack leaders. "You have to have that alpha personality," Cranmer says. "Dogs read body language. When you're confident, they don't want to leave you." A side benefit of this strong leadership is that the dogs learn their place, both in the pack and back at home. "We've taken dogs that seem like problem children and then end up being great," Cranmer says.

Other than that alpha dog ability to lead, Cranmer and Perchetti don't ask much of their franchisees. They've set their franchise fee at just $7,500. "People think it's too good to be true," Cranmer admits. "But we don't want to get rich on Adventure Pet. We want to create jobs for people."

Rent-A-Green Box
A landfill may seem an unlikely place to find inspiration, but that's exactly where Spencer Brown's entrepreneurial journey began in 2005. He had just moved to Huntington Beach, Calif., and after finding out that no recycling centers would take his leftover cardboard boxes, he hauled them to the dump. The mountains of cardboard he found there disheartened him--but the mountains of discarded plastic sparked an idea: a reusable moving box made from recycled materials.

Thus, Rent-A-Green Box was born. Brown invented Recopacks (short for recycled ecological packing solutions), bright-green plastic boxes that the company delivers to customers, allows them to use for two weeks and then picks up from their new location.

"This was before ‘green' was even relevant. And I didn't know anything about the moving industry," Brown admits. "All I knew was that cardboard boxes were expensive, inefficient and extremely wasteful. There had to be a better way."

Seven years later, the concept has more than proven itself, garnering a five-star service record on Yelp, numerous TV appearances--and tons of interest in franchising. Brown estimates the company receives five to 10 franchise requests a day. But as much as he wants Rent-A-Green Box to become a household name, he's not quick to award franchises. Finding the right franchisees to maintain the brand's customer service record is vital. "You're only as good as your service reputation," Brown says. "We've built our entire business model on turning customers into loyal fans. When people use our system, they become our salespeople."

That includes customers who aren't interested in being green--which is actually most of them, according to Brown. Nevertheless, he has definitely seen the interest in being eco-friendly grow since he began. "There's a shift in people's awareness," he says. "They want to do something that will help the future. They want to make an impact."

And to him, the impact that Rent-A-Green Box will have is clear: "This concept is going to eliminate the cardboard box in America. That's a fact."



Browse by Category

Advertising Services
Children's Services
Fitness/Recreation
Food
Home Improvement/Maintenance
Pets
Retail
Senior Care
Miscellaneous Services



Advertising Services

Ad-Visor Direct Mail
Direct mail
(440)546-1676
Startup cost: $49K-117.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/0

HerLife Magazine
Women's magazine
(913)402-6994
Startup cost: $50K-95K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 5/2

LifeandHomes Franchise LLC
Real estate marketing
(315)865-5845
Startup cost: $38.4K-52.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 7/2

Living Well Magazine
Magazine for seniors
(877)785-4815
Startup cost: $44.2K-76K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 17/0

MyLoopCard
Advertising on golf scorecards
(330)502-5940
Startup cost: $31K-42K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 12/1

SelectAds Direct
Direct-mail advertising
(520)323-3121
Startup cost: $18.7K-29.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/0

Sports Image
Sports marketing for high schools & organizations
(937)704-9670
Startup cost: $29.7K-40.2K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 13/1

Welcomemat Services
Direct-mail advertising to new movers
(404)841-2226
Startup cost: $49.9K-77.1K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 4/11

Apparel & Accessories All That Glitz Franchise Corp.
Jewelry & accessories
(239)593-3003
Startup cost: $297.4K-604.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Bijoux Terner
Fashion accessories
(305)500-7500
Startup cost: $233.9K-494.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/16

Hut no. 8
Teen clothing resale store
(813)782-1500
Startup cost: $96.5K-178.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 10/1

Mode
Designer apparel & accessories outlet
(701)478-5858
Startup cost: $93.8K-163K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2/2

NYS Collection
Eyewear & accessories kiosk
(855)789-1000
Startup cost: $50K-80K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 25/0

Children's Services

Club Tabby Franchise LLC
Toys, apparel, accessories & parties for girls
(337)478-3600
Startup cost: $169.6K-317K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3/1

Cool Cuts 4 Kids
Children's hair salon
(952)947-7777
Startup cost: $107.99K-188.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/64

Cool de Sac
Restaurant & children's entertainment center
(305)742-0951
Startup cost: $858.7K-2.8M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/2

KLA Schools
Preschool/child-care center
(305)377-0391
Startup cost: $466.5K-1.5M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/3

smART Explorers
Children's art education
(877)498-2787
Startup cost: $21K-23K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3/3

Summit Learning Services Inc.
Tutoring
(954)583-9288
Startup cost: $32.99K-46.99K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 20/13

The Swim Squad
At-home swimming lessons
(888)475-7946
Startup cost: $16.2K-33.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/10

Wee Little Arts Inc.
Early childhood art education
(843)766-2738
Startup cost: $27.5K-46.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 6/1

Fitness/Recreation

Crunch Franchising LLC
Fitness center
(800)669-7162
Startup cost: $304.5K-1.4M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 9/0

Live 2 B Healthy Senior Fitness LLC
Exercise programs for seniors
(612)702-9449
Startup cost: $21.97K-35.4K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 9/0

Orange Shoe Personal Fitness
Personal training & fitness services
(608)219-5357
Startup cost: $81.5K-271K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 5/0

Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park
All-trampoline recreation center
(314)616-6244
Startup cost: $464K-1.2M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 4/3

Slim & Fit Franchise LLC
Weight-loss & fitness programs
(440)352-4300
Startup cost: $75K-132.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 12/1

WAKA Kickball
Adult kickball league
(877)775-4652
Startup cost: $50.9K-188.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Food

Big Al's Steaks
Philly cheesesteak sandwiches
(561)819-0399
Startup cost: $268.3K-566.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/3

Billy Sims BBQ
Quick-service barbecue restaurant
(855)266-6371
Startup cost: $155.7K-285K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 14/3

Brewster's Chicken
Pressure-cooked chicken,
sandwiches, sides
(919)630-1726
Startup cost: $99K-2.4M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/0

California Fresh
Sandwiches, salads, smoothies
(805)453-8574
Startup cost: $120K-218K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/1

Camille's Hand Dipped Ice Cream
Ice cream, coffee, beverages
(361)779-3860
Startup cost: $150K-250K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Carla's Sandwiches & Burgers
Sandwiches & burgers
(919)630-1726
Startup cost: $81K-2.4M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/0

Doc Popcorn
All-natural flavored popcorn
(866)599-9744
Startup cost: $66.3K-385.1K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 27/0

Fish-O-Licious Franchise LLC
Fast-casual seafood restaurant
(323)726-0310
Startup cost: $122.7K-198.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/2

Fresh Healthy Vending
Snack & beverage vending machines
(858)210-4200
Startup cost: $120K-322.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 33/0

Fresh Planet
Health food cafe
(440)220-5692
Startup cost: $158.3K-302K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/3

Fruti Franchise
Frozen fruit bars & ice cream
(888)633-7884
Startup cost: $438.3K-481.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/0

Italian Joe's
Pizza, hoagies, wings
(919)630-1726
Startup cost: $78K-2.4M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/0

KEO Asian Cuisine
Southeast Asian restaurant
(888)558-4798
Startup cost: $221.5K-425K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Million Snacks
Healthy snacks
(800)797-0412
Startup cost: $109.1K-302K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 5/1

Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt
Frozen yogurt
(888)883-1004
Startup cost: $252.5K-345.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 61/10

Popcornopolis
Gourmet popcorn & confections
(310)414-6700
Startup cost: $198K-395K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 7/4

Ricky's Italian Ice
Italian ices, soft-serve ice cream, desserts
(281)681-1512
Startup cost: $98.8K-195K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Savory Spice Shop
Spices, seasonings, extracts, sauce mixes
(303)297-1833
Startup cost: $247.9K-411.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 11/4

Wholesome Tummies Franchise LLC
Healthy school lunches
(407)536-8866
Startup cost: $72K-136K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 6/2

Home Improvement/Maintenance

The End Result
Contractor referral service
(888)628-1225
Startup cost: $47.9K-71.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Floor Hero
Sandless wood floor refinishing
(586)303-0040
Startup cost: $26.4K-52.1K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3/1

Guier Fence
Fences
(816)229-2047
Startup cost: $55K-558.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3/4

HomeStory Door Replacement
Door replacement services
(800)764-4711
Startup cost: $157.3K-298.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/0

Lawn Army
Lawn care
(206)763-6800
Startup cost: $17K-29K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/0

Paint The USA Inc.
Commercial & residential painting services
(440)364-9863
Startup cost: $56.3K-75K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2/1

Paul Davis Emergency Services
Emergency restoration services
(904)737-2779
Startup cost: $44.9K-143.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 43/0

ServiStar
Home repair & maintenance services
(757)852-3320
Startup cost: $88.5K-790K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 12/1

Personal Care
ActiveRx Rehabilitation
Physical therapy & medically supervised exercise
(480)840-1460
Startup cost: $125.8K-298.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/2

Foot Solutions Mobile Concept
Mobile comfort shoe & orthotics sales
(770)955-0099
Startup cost: $85K-110K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/0

iTan Franchising Inc.
Tanning & spa services/products
(760)806-7513
Startup cost: $264K-589K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 19/6

Nuviva Medical Weight Loss
Medically supervised weight-loss clinic
(239)466-4007
Startup cost: $160.1K-229.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 4/3

Pro-Cuts Sport
Hair salon
(952)947-7777
Startup cost: $140K-230.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/2

SuiteSweat
Infrared sauna therapy
(949)702-6262
Startup cost: $39K-195K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Pets

Adventure Pet
Pet care
(775)742-7295
Startup cost: $10.7K-14.4K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2/1

Sit Means Sit Dog Training
Dog training
(866)748-6748
Startup cost: $20.7K-90.4K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2/1

Wag-A-Lot
Dog day care, boarding and grooming
(678)777-4801
Startup cost: $554K-850K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/2

Whiskers & Paws Catering
Pet food delivery service
(877)644-5322
Startup cost: $25K-85K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/2

Zoom Room Dog Agility
Dog training, canine event center, pet retail
(877)966-6766
Startup cost: $98.99K-178.4K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 9/1

Retail

Cell Again
New & used cell phones, repairs
(801)704-6500
Startup cost: $65.4K-156.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 13/0

Gift Card Monkey
Gift card buying & reselling
(877)556-7247
Startup cost: $19.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/0

Reflection of U
Custom cosmetics
(720)404-4985
Startup cost: $7.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Tiremax
Tires & wheels
(936)788-8215
Startup cost: $121.7K-341.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 4/11

Senior Care

Americare Services Inc.
Nonmedical home care services
(877)201-4008
Startup cost: $11K-17K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 39/1

Companion Connection Senior Care
Medical & nonmedical senior care
(800)270-6949
Startup cost: $21.8K-45.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 107/1

FirstLight HomeCare
Nonmedical in-home care services
(877)570-0002
Startup cost: $53K-79.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 25/0

Guava Healthcare Inc.
Medical/nonmedical home care
services, staffing & transportation
(888)482-8224
Startup cost: $61.95K-127.9K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2/1

LivHome
In-home senior care
(480)621-7441
Startup cost: $85K-130K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/23

Miscellaneous Services

Amazing Spaces
Self-storage & moving services
(281)378-4314
Startup cost: $2.2M-7.2M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/3

ArchiveIT Franchise Corp.
Digital document storage services
(310)618-0550
Startup cost: $66.4K-196.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Central Courier
Delivery services
(800)427-9949
Startup cost: $29.5K-149.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Designated Drivers Across America
Transportation services in owner's vehicle
(716)812-4025
Startup cost: $37.5K-77.1K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/2

Dynamic Advisory Solutions
CFO, controller & turn-around consulting
(248)283-8834
Startup cost: $70.2K-124K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Edgemaster Mobile Sharpening
Knife & garden tool sharpening
(503)999-3334
Startup cost: $24.7K-34.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 9/0

eflatfeerealty
Residential & commercial real estate
(515)770-7653
Startup cost: $13.8K-48.99K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 6/0

Enviro-Master Franchise LLC
Restroom hygiene products & services
(704)302-1016
Startup cost: $84.2K-189K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2/1

GoWaiter Inc.
Restaurant marketing & food delivery services
(850)402-1882
Startup cost: $29.1K-112K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 12/0

Local Copies Etc.
Print & copy services
(805)928-5776
Startup cost: $164.5K-260.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Mom Corps
Staffing services
(888)438-8122
Startup cost: $39.2K-51.7K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 15/0

OneClick Cleaners
Dry cleaning pickup & delivery
(718)336-0323
Startup cost: $42K-69K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

OptionPlus Homes Inc.
Lease-to-own homes
(916)538-2225
Startup cost: $21K-28.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Phenix Salon Suites Franchising LLC
Salon suite rentals
(719)785-4858
Startup cost: $259.2K-580.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/3

PHWS Int'l.
Home warranty services
(800)523-7246
Startup cost: $47.8K-96.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2/1

Power Hydrodynamics Inc.
Pump efficiency testing
(209)527-2908
Startup cost: $66.3K-99.6K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Redwood Healthcare Staffing
Medical staffing
(866)802-3670
Startup cost: $126K-182.95K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/2

Rent-A-Green Box
Reusable moving box rentals
(888)900-7225
Startup cost: $116.2K-195.3K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Renters Warehouse
Property management services
(952)470-8888
Startup cost: $38.4K-103.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 1/1

TEAM Referral Network Franchise Corp.
Professional networking referral groups
(909)392-7770
Startup cost: $13.9K-46K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 0/1

Tide Dry Cleaners
Dry cleaning
(888)446-2734
tidedrycleaners.com
Startup cost: $651K-909.5K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 3/0

Vertical Business Solutions
Business financial products & services
(513)673-5265
Startup cost: $19.98K-38.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 20/1

Veteran Franchise Centers
Franchise matching service for veterans
(727)455-0056
Startup cost: $47.6K-95.8K
Total franchises/co.-owned: 2/1

Zippy Shell Mobile Self Storage
Mobile self-storage
(201)204-1787
Startup cost: $250K-1.1M
Total franchises/co.-owned: 11/0

Tracy Stapp Herold is the special projects editor at Entrepreneur magazine. She works on franchise and business opportunity stories and listings, including the annual Franchise 500.

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the September 2011 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Brave New Franchises.

Loading the player ...

Tim Ferriss on Mastering Any Skill

Ads by Google

0 Comments. Post Yours.