A Few Broken Smartphones Lead to a Fix-It Franchise
iDropped retail stores fix broken smartphones and tablets for less than the cost of buying a new one. / Credit: Josiah Lewis
Charles Hibble never intended to make a career of repairing smartphones; he was just tired of replacing his wife s broken one.
She dropped her iPhone and smashed it two or three times, and anothertime, it slipped out of her hands into a hot tub, he said. Hibble, who runs a real estate company in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, was burning through upgrades. So he figured out how to fix damaged smartphones himself.
This started just to fix my wife s phone. Then word started to spread to friends and family members, Hibble said. It started to get so busy that we had to open a retail store. I had 50 or 60 people a month coming to me.
And so began Hibble s unlikely journey from real estate executive to franchise company CEO. He teamed up with a friend and business partner to open the first iDropped store in a mall inScranton, Pennsylvania,in 2011. The store was so popular thatthe team opened four more, all company-owned, and then sold its first franchise. Now, Hibble is focusing on franchising,with an aggressive plan to grow the business nationwide.
The demand has been overwhelming, said Hibble, who still serves as president of his real estate company, Weichert Realtors Hibble Associates. We re hoping to a have a few hundred locations in the next couple years.
Hibble may have fallen into this business, but he tapped an industry with high demand. A market research report by IBISWorld released in May said cellphone repair is now a $1.4 billion industry in the United States alone. The industry has grown about 5percent in each of the last five years, yet there are still no companies with a dominant market share. This large industry is made up mostly of sole proprietors and small businesses.
The cellphone repair industry has profoundly grown over the past five years due to several factors, including cheaper and more reliable mobile Internet and the exploding popularity of smartphones, which are more fragile and therefore more likely to need repairs, the report said. Smartphones also feature higher price tags, which have led consumers to repair [them] rather than replace them.
However, as smartphone replacement becomes less expensive and the market becomes more saturated, demand is expected to stall somewhat, the report said.
The cost of a repair at iDropped varies based on the type of phone and repair, Hibble said. Screen repairs, for example, cost an average of $99.99 for the iPhone 5 and $109.99 for the iPhone 5cand 5s. Hibble said prices are dropping almost monthly due to price decreases forparts. No appointment is needed for a repair, and work is guaranteed for one year.
Hibble s smartphone repair skills were completely self-taught. He had always been technically inclined, so he researched suppliers for Apple replacement parts and taught himself how to fix them. The company has since expanded to other types of cellphones, though it specializes in Apple products, including iPads, and the Samsung Galaxy series. Hibble has personally trained all of his 20 or so full-time employees toreplace screens, dock connectors, power buttons, volume buttons and batteries just about everything but the motherboard.
Hibble set out to make the stores lookappealing to smartphone customers. They are designed to be reminiscent of Apple stores, with clean layouts, bright lighting and no clutter.
iDropped has worked in the retail space, in partbecause malls nationwide are looking to fill vacancies, which has kept rental rates low. The U.S. mall vacancy rate reached a 12-year high of 9.4 percent in the third quarter of 2011, according to data from research firm ReisInc. It has fallen slowly since, but progress has stalled over the last year,with the vacancy rate remaining at 7.9 percent for four straight quarters.
To succeed in the future, Hibble said he knows the company will have to adapt to the times. New devices are being released every few months, and the company will have to keep up with the technology.
However, iDropped can already claim one success, aside from its rapid growth: curing Hibble s wife of her clumsy fingers.
Ever since I started this,she hasn t dropped her iPhone, he said.
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Mobile Franchise Opportunity Guide
Looking for a new business opportunity that allows you to be your own boss, be extremely flexible and highly successful? If so, the mobile franchise opportunities you’ll find at Franchising.com are the perfect franchising opportunity for you. Mobile franchises appeal to many entrepreneurs because start-up costs are typically less than those of other, storefront businesses. They also require very few employees. Today’s mobile franchise business opportunities are extremely diverse, beyond common mobile markets such as flower or pizza delivery.
For more information on the mobile franchises you can find at Franchising.com, browse our listings below.
Mobile franchise opportunities are as unique as they are varied. With low overhead, flexible hours and access to a wide number of customers, mobile businesses have the best of many worlds. From lawn care franchises to keep neighborhoods and homes looking green, to mobile gaming experiences for kids birthdays, to photography franchises for sports and events, these types of business opportunities never go out of style.
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Snap-Proof your Future
At Snap, we invest in the success of our franchisees. Many of our franchisees have used the Snap business model to transform their lives. We credit the success of our business operation to great customer service, a passion for innovation, clever market insight and quick adoption to technology.
The team at Snap firmly believe in work-life balance, and continue to operate just five days a week. Buying a business means becoming your own boss and nothing beats the satisfaction of being able to dictate your own working day and lifestyle. Check out what our franchisees have to say above in the testimonials about the Snap business opportunities they took advantage of.
If you’re considering buying a small business, a Snap franchise could be right for you.
Owning a Snap franchise is more than just a job; it’s one of the only 8:30am-5pm franchise business opportunities that will work seamlessly with your lifestyle. When it comes to Snap, people are what matter. The key to Snap’s enduring success is that we are good people to work with.
Caring about people, whether it’s our Franchisees, our Suppliers, our employees or our Group’s SME clients, is at the heart of our business and we offer our franchisees the highest levels of ongoing training and support.
Take advantage of our current small business opportunities and become part of the Snap franchise family. You will have the opportunity to:
- Work with the best in print and design technology to build your business
- Remain one step ahead of the latest industry trends with new business ideas
- Access the input of the most experienced minds in the industry
- Leverage a powerful and recognised brand
- Capitalise on a proven business model to drive business sales
- Receive strong support to help with business establishment, corporate sales, operational effectiveness, IT support, induction and ongoing training, branding and local area marketing
- Create a saleable asset
Start Your Journey with Snap Franchising Today
We understand that the decision to buy a business is big, but Snap’s proven track record and credible reputation in delivering high-quality, high-value print, web and design services means that you can choose to invest in the Snap brand with confidence.
Under the direction of a strong management, with Snap veteran CEO Stephen Edwards at the helm, we will continue to be progressive; to push the boundaries in our profession, and pave the way forward for our industry.
We invite you to join us on our journey. Take the first step towards buying a business today by filling out our enquiry form, or by browsing our site for business opportunities in Australia and small businesses for sale at selected locations. Contact us to find a franchise for sale in your area.
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Choose amongst the best Business Opportunities available for you!
Business Opportunities come in many shapes and sizes, from a countrywide recognized name to locally grown start-up businesses. The approach of many individuals becoming an entrepreneur has opened many doors for renowned companies looking for expansion.
Choosing the perfect business opportunity to start as a franchisee is amongst the most vital decision that can be help an individual settle in life with all the desires of future. Franchise business provides you with an added advantage of a head start from others.
Franchiseindia.com is here to help you in grabbing the renowned brands franchise and work for your own growth. We cater almost every big name providing business opportunity in form of franchise for reaching every corner of the world. All you need to do is just browse the business opportunities as per your interested sector & choose desired brand to be a franchise owner of a leading brand name to earn lucrative returns.
We cater all your needs of starting a new business with an already established name in a simplified manner. We have segregated business opportunities in 230 categories with which you can choose business opportunity as per your requirement. You can also browse the opportunities according to your investment capabilities.
Franchiseindia.com has proved to be the World’s best platform for searching a new business from host of business opportunities one desires. Buying a franchise is undoubtedly, one of the best things you can get to become a successful business owner in much shorter time as compared to a start-up from scratch.
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Want to be your own boss, but not willing to take on the risk of starting your own business from scratch? Franchising can be a great alternative if you want to have some guidance in the start-up phase of the business.
What is Franchising?
A franchise is a business model that involves one business owner licensing trademarks and methods to an independent entrepreneur. Sometimes, franchises are referred to as chains.
There are two primary forms of franchising:
Franchisor owns the right to the name or trademark and sells that right to a franchisee
Franchisor and franchisee have an ongoing relationship, and the franchisor often provides a full range of services, including site selection, training, product supply, marketing plans and even assistance in obtaining financing
Before Investing in a Franchise
Before you decide to franchise, you need to do your research. You could lose a significant amount of money if you do not investigate a business carefully before you buy. By law, franchise sellers must disclose certain information about their business to potential buyers. Make sure you get all the information you need first before entering into this form of business.
The decision to purchase a franchise involves many factors. To help you explore if franchising is right for you, consider the following questions:
You need a strategy before investing in a franchise. Doing your homework about the franchise first will help you gain a solid understanding of what to expect as well as the risks that could be involved.
- Be a Detective In addition to the routine investigation that should be conducted prior to any business purchase, you should be able to contact other franchisees before deciding to invest. You can obtain a Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC), which contains vital details about the franchise’s legal, financial, and personnel history, before you sign a contract.
- Know What You are Getting Into Before entering into any contract as a franchisee, you should make sure that you would have the right to use the franchise name and trademark, receive training and management assistance from the franchisor, use the franchisor’s expertise in marketing, advertising, facility design, layouts, displays and fixtures and do business in an area protected from other competing franchisees.
- Watch Out for Possible Pitfalls. The contract between the two parties usually benefits the franchisor far more than the franchisee. The franchisee is generally subject to meeting sales quotas and is required to purchase equipment, supplies and inventory exclusively from the franchisor.
- Seek Professional Help The tax rules surrounding franchises are often complex, and an attorney, preferably a specialist in franchise law, should assist you to evaluate the franchise package and tax considerations. An accountant may be needed to determine the full costs of purchasing and operating the business as well as to assess the potential profit to the franchisee.
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How to start a vending machine franchise: Starting a business advice and business ideas
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How to start a vending machine franchise
Vending machines are pretty much part of our everyday lives. Drinks, snacks and all manner of personal goods are dispensed into our waiting grasp at the push of a button. But just because this process involves no human interaction doesn t mean the machine did it all by itself.
A vending franchise is the means to this end and it often proves to be a surprisingly varied career opportunity.
What is it?
The world of vending machine franchises is not large but considering the products on offer, it is significant. Unusually among franchises there are a number that can be run on a part time basis as well as full time so you can largely choose your hours. Although be aware this is not the case with all.
Drinkmaster largely does what it says on the franchise. It provides machine dispensed coffee, tea, chocolate and soft drinks as well as soft drinks like orange, blackcurrant and so on.
The franchisee s job is to promote the brand to potential customers throughout a designated territory, deliver products and provide customer care. And although it is their job to grow the territory, they have an existing client base from day one.
SSL International is the parent company of Durex vending, which services mainly pubs with condom vending machines. Unlike the others this is only a fulltime franchise but you make your own appointments so is therefore still flexible in terms of hours.
Some technical aptitude is required for the work as you are required to service machines as well as re-stock and collect money. But to really grow the business, you will also need to find new business so a good way with people is also a helpful attribute.
A Vendor supplies bottled Evian and Volvic flavoured water to any public space that might provide a marketplace: schools, leisure centres and so on. This is really a part time franchise at least to start with 10 machines can be serviced in one day. It is ideally suited to people who want an extra income.
Want to run a more profitable business?
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#how to finance a business
How to Finance a Franchise Purchase
- Be prepared to put down about 20% of the cash you will need from personal funds.
- If conventional lenders turn you down, look into an SBA-backed loan.
- Consider tax implications if you’re considering tapping a retirement plan.
Commercial banks fund many franchises, so look to these lenders first. The single most important issue in landing bank financing is your credit rating. You will need to present a complete loan package including a personal financial statement, copies of personal tax returns for three years, and verification of the source of your down payment.
Bankers favor businesses with brand names and long track records of consistent cash flow, so your choice of a franchise system can help or hurt you. Ventures with few locations are less attractive, in part because they lack proof that they can do well in all types of areas or economic climates.
Bank loans unsecured by collateral are relatively rare, even for those with good credit. In addition to securing a loan with a mortgage on your home or other asset, be ready to be asked to put your own money into the deal, typically about 20% of the amount needed. Even with healthy businesses and solid collateral, most bank loans to new franchisees occur when a borrower has established relationships with a banker, or has previous experience, or is a figure in the community. If that’s not you, consider a loan backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
SBA loans are partially guaranteed by the government, making them less risky. The standard SBA loan for franchisees is known as the 7(a), which is issued by a bank or other qualified lender, and partly guaranteed against default by the government. Because of that backing, such loans are seen as relatively low-risk.
SBA loans of five- to six-year maturities can provide short-term working capital and equipment. Real-estate loans can run for 20 years or more. About 10% of all SBA loans go to franchisees, with the size running between $250,000 and $500,000, and maximum of $2 million. Most of that money is for franchise entry fees, improvements or working capital. Borrowers must be creditworthy, typically must contribute some equity, and are expected to repay the SBA loan out of the franchise s cash flow.
Many SBA loans carry fluctuating interest rates. While the actual rate is negotiated between the bank and the borrower, it s subject to SBA maximums, which are tied to the prime rate. While a low rate may be attractive initially, make sure you can generate enough business to cover the payments if the rate rises.
Another government lending program involves the Department of Veterans Affairs. The program, called Patriot Express because of its relatively fast approval time, makes loans up to $500,000 to active-duty military preparing to transition to civilian life, as well as to spouses and survivors of veterans. The loans come with the SBA s lowest rates.
A few franchisers offer internal financing. For example, a company may defer a portion of the initial franchisee fee, essentially financing the deal. Interest rates are likely to seem high compared to other options. However, you may not have to put up collateral.
Sometimes it makes sense to tap 401(k), Individual Retirement Account or other retirement funds rather than seek a loan. But rather than just taking an early withdrawal, which may be subject to taxation, you may want to consider setting up a C corporation that will own and operate the business. Then roll over money from your self-directed retirement account into that corporation s profit-sharing plan and direct that those funds be invested into the franchised business. But this is a risky option: If the franchise fails, your retirement fund can be wiped out. Check with a professional on possible tax implications, and consider the tradeoffs carefully.
Related WSJ Articles and Blog Posts:
- Franchise Opportunities Directory — A database of more than 1,200 franchise systems, searchable by industry, keyword, start-up cash, investment and other criteria, from the International Franchise Association.
- The Franchise Registry — A searchable database of franchises whose Small Business Administration (SBA) loan applications receive a streamlined review, from franchise information and analysis provider FRANData and the SBA.
- VetFran Directory, from the International Franchising Association — A list of more than 250 franchise companies offering financial incentives to veterans who have been honorably discharged.
- Finance Start-Up Guide — A list of links to information about small-business funding, from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
- SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program Overview — An introduction to the most-used type of loan of the SBA’s business-loan programs.
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Franchiseindia.com has unique business opportunities in Premium, Domestic and International domain. For our readers who seek opportunities, we have segregated various spectrum of sections like What’s New for Industry articles and stories, Interviews section for Company/People profile and the news section which offers a daily dose of what’s happening in franchising across the world.
Our investors and opportunity seekers even get an opportunity to get featured in the weekly Franchiseindia.com newsletter that goes straight into the inbox of thousands of brands & investors. Franchiseindia.com also provides a chance to promote the brand directly on the Social Network Websites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more.
Here’s why your brand should be there on Franchiseindia.com
- Besides, the abundance of business and franchise opportunities, Franchiseindia.com also has regular updates of the upcoming events in the franchise industry like India’s largest franchise show, FRO (National Franchise Retail and SME show), BOS (Business Opportunity Shows) and also all the franchise and retail award shows by Franchise India.
- Visitors can start a new business by just registering on the website and that too for FREE. Franchiseindia.com users can browse from thousands of brands and choose the ideal opportunity.
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- Advertisers can also take benefits of the books and reports on Franchise India by clicking on the Bookstore section.
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#work from home ideas
You want to launch your own business, but you’re not sure where to start. You don’t have a business plan, and you’re not sure about the logistics of marketing, sales, human resources, customer service, accounting, legal compliance AND you d like an opportunity that has a low-risk potential. A home-based franchise may be the perfect home business solution for you!
A franchise is basically a business-in-a-box or business model that can be easily replicated. That s the beautiful thing about a franchise; all the hard work has been done for you; you basically pay for the franchise, and you’re given a detailed manual, training, and tools on how to replicate the business exactly. Many franchises have well known established brand names too, so you spend less money on marketing your business.
You ve heard of famous franchises like Starbucks and McDonald s, but there are also some great franchises out there that will allow you to work from home. With over 1,500 different franchise companies in the USA, you re bound you find one that fits your interests and skills.
Now that you re sold on the idea of a home-based franchise there are some important factors to consider before you make the leap.
Franchise Costs and Fees.
The downside of owning a franchise is the initial cash requirement is generally a substantial amount, and many franchises require you to pay monthly maintenance costs. Besides the initial cost and ongoing fees, you ll want to look into the profitability of the franchise. Talking to individual franchise owners can be a good place to start, but know that location can sometimes be a big factor in how successful your franchise is. Before you start looking for funding options ask for a comprehensive earnings list of current franchise owners so that you can evaluate the real earning potential of the franchise.
Again, the great thing about a franchise is it s an easily replicated business with a proven business model so you ll want to find out all of the nitty gritty details.
Here are some questions you ll want to ask:
- Is training in-person, online, or via printed materials?
- Do they offer on-going support?
- Does the company provide location/territory exclusivity?
- What are the royalty fees? Are there on-going marketing fees?
- How are you allowed to market your franchise?
- Whats systems do they use for marketing, bookkeeping, payroll, content management, and legal advice.
Determine if You Have the Right Personality to Be a Franchise Owner.
One of the downsides to owning and running a franchise is that you don t have complete freedom over how you execute the business. You ll need to adhere to rules and policies set forth by the franchising agent. If you re found breaking the rules you could end up in mediation, arbitration, or your franchise contract could be terminated. This is why it s so important to make sure that you fully understand all the terms and policies before signing a contract. If you re the type of person who wants more creative freedom, starting your own business from scratch may be a better option.
What Home-Based Franchise Opportunities Are Available?
Here s a list of some of the home-based franchises with low to moderate startup fees. Please note, this list does not cover ongoing fees associated with each franchise you ll need to check with the individual companies for complete, up-to-date information, prices, and related fees.