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Top five franchises emerging from the US

Tuesday, 14 February 2012 | By Michelle Hammond

Franchises in the aged care, fitness and real estate industries are among the best with regard to franchisee satisfaction, a US-based report reveals, suggesting start-ups here can learn from them.

 

US publication Franchise Business Review has revealed the winners of its Franchisee Satisfaction Awards, which identify companies “doing it right” by putting their franchisees first.

 

“This year, a total of 155 franchise brands received our prestigious award. These companies truly represent the best in franchising,” the publication said.

 

StartupSmart explains the appeal of the top five franchises in FBR’s overall top 50:

 

Home Instead Senior Care

 

Paul and Lori Hogan founded Home Instead, Inc. and began serving seniors in Nebraska as Home Instead Senior Care in 1994.

 

It was Paul’s own experience caring for his grandmother that made him realise the need for non-medical home care and elder companionship services to help seniors live independently at home.

 

In 1995, the company began franchising. By 1998, it had grown to 99 offices. There are now more than 900 franchises throughout the world, including in Australia and New Zealand.

 

“Each franchisee [receives] comprehensive training and ongoing support, and full access to the systems and procedures for establishing and managing an independent franchise business,” the company says on its website.

 

In 2003, the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation was created to further the philanthropic mission of franchisees.

 

Fitness Revolution

 

Fitness Revolution was born out of a desire to fix the fitness industry, which the founders believed had “failed” consumers.

 

After being involved as personal trainers, health club owners and consultants in the industry, founders Nick Berry and Pat Rigsby decided to shake things up.

 

“Since January 2011, we have grown to 116 franchises operating around the country using our branding,” the company says.

 

“As a Fitness Revolution franchisee, you have the option to maintain your current brand if you choose and still enjoy the power of what Franchise Revolution offers.”

 

“We [also] grant you the rights to operate exclusively in a specific market using our trademark, and will restrict our other franchisees from operating in your market using our trademarks.”

 

Sotheby’s International Realty

 

Sotheby’s International Realty was founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings.

 

In 2004, Realogy Corporation – the world’s leading real estate brokerage franchisor – entered into a long-term strategy alliance with Sotheby’s Holdings.

 

The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International realty name and the development of a full franchise system by Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates, a subsidiary of Realogy Corporation.

 

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates supports its affiliates with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources.

 

Franchise affiliates also benefit from an association with the venerable, 260-year-old Sotheby’s auction house.

 

Heaven’s Best Carpet Cleaning

 

Heaven’s Best was founded in 1983 by Cody Howard as an international carpet cleaning company based out of Idaho. It uses a special technique that allows for faster drying times.

 

According to the company, there are more than 2,500 cities where a Heaven’s Best operator can be found working. It also has multiple locations in Canada and England.

 

“With a franchise through Heaven’s Best, there’s franchisee support from the headquarters like none other,” the company says.

 

“You’ll be able to interact with other franchisees through our operator-only bulletin board and seminars.”

 

“We offer marketing materials to help you attract new and repeat customers, and we continue to do research to find the best cleaning products and equipment, so you don’t have to.”

 

Cruise Planners

 

As the name suggests, Cruise Planners helps consumers plan their cruise and/or tour, priding itself on its quality, service and competitive pricing.

 

“When a Cruise Planners travel advisor arranges your trip, you can feel confident that you are receiving an exceptional cruise and/or tour vacation,” the company says.

 

“We are an American Express Travel Service Representative agency, which lends instant credibility to our new franchise owners with a trusted, well-recognised brand.”

 

In addition to cutting-edge technology and marketing, franchisees benefit from extensive training, which includes Cruise Planners “university”.

 

Prospective franchisees are also encouraged to attend franchise opportunity webinars, which highlight the benefits of owning a Cruise Planners franchise.