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Top 25 Suppliers to Watch
Keep an eye out for these breakout concepts expected to do big things in 2017.

From accounting to store design and every aspect in between, suppliers are key to helping franchise brands provide the proven business model that they guarantee franchisees. When launching a franchise brand, there are hundreds of details to consider, and selecting the right suppliers can vastly improve the feeling of support that franchisees receive.

In a recent interview, 1851 spoke with SMB Franchise Advisors President and CEO Steve Beagelman. SMB specializes in helping concepts become franchises and then grow. While a supplier in its own right, SMB works with many brands to select other suppliers and vendors that will set a franchise up for success.

“Many franchisors forget that they don’t need to use the company down the street for their supplier needs,” Beagelman said. “One of the biggest changes that I have seen in this industry recently is that technology has really impacted brands’ ability to work with suppliers across the country to improve the quality of the service and products they receive.”

Below is a list of some of Top 25 innovative leaders in the supplier industry that are helping franchisors perfect their proven business models.

Technology

FranConnect

FranConnect is the most comprehensive franchise management software on the market. The company’s robust software suite makes franchise management much easier. From sales to marketing to financial analysis, FranConnect helps manage business operations so franchisees can focus on what they do best—growing their businesses.

Omnivore

Revolutionizing the worlds of hospitality and retail, Omnivore connects a retailer’s point-of-sale (POS) with new technologies, driving engagement through the full lifecycle of the consumer experience. Omnivore’s cloud-based platform enables a single integration through its API, seamlessly facilitating the connections to POS systems now and into the future.

Revel Systems

Revel is one of the most popular and powerful iPad POS’s available, especially for franchises. The brand’s software offers a POS solution for restaurant, retail and enterprises with integrated payroll, inventory tracking, customer relationship management and more. Revel is best for larger, multi-location companies in the restaurant and retail sectors, though its pricing plans are flexible enough that smaller businesses with just a couple locations can use it.

Foodler

Foodler is a premier online food ordering service that bridges the gap between consumers and restaurants. With a wide variety of restaurants for immediate delivery and individual recommendations based on order history, user ratings, discounts and free delivery, the app is truly one-of-a-kind. Foodler makes ordering a positive experience for both restaurants and customers by automatically remembering favorite foods, ingredients, payment methods and tip preferences.

Legal/Financial

Cheng Cohen

Cheng Cohen prides itself on providing uncompromising client service and sound, practical legal advice to franchise and distribution clients for a fair and reasonable fee. The firm was included on The US News and World Report’s 2016 listing of the Best Law Firms Nationwide for Franchising. Cheng Cohen is comprised of four practice groups including Franchise & Distribution, Litigation, International and Corporate to serve its clients.

Internicola Law Firm

Internicola Law is a specialized business and franchise law firm that assists and represents start-up, emerging and established entrepreneurs throughout the United States. The company focuses on growing and defending the business interests of expanding franchises. From intellectual property to shareholder disputes, Internicola is capable of solving any snag that franchisees may encounter. Its experts are able to review expansion models and provide expert legal counsel to add both value and safety to franchises.

DLA Piper

Serving more than 30 countries throughout North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific, DLA Piper leads global business law. Since its founding in 2005, the company has prided itself on serving clients ranging from multinational, Global 1000, and Fortune 500 enterprises to emerging companies developing industry-leading technologies.

Fisher Zucker

Fisher Zucker is a full-service franchise law firm with offices in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The company dedicates its national practice to franchise, distribution and licensing matters. The firm litigates on behalf of franchisors throughout the country and provides advice on franchise development, regulatory compliance, distribution and trademark, trade secret and copyright licensing and protection matters.

Citrin Cooperman

Citrin Cooperman is a nationally recognized full-service accounting, tax, and consulting firm in the Northeast region of the U.S. The company has steadily built its business by helping brands and high net worth individuals find smart financial business solutions.

BoeFly

When it comes to franchise financing, BoeFly is the place to go for loans, launches and increased revenue. Through BoeFly, franchisees can complete one loan request to get in front of thousands of lenders. There is no need to go from bank to bank getting multiple credit checks and poor deals with less than ideal terms. Franchisors can then easily track the status of those loans, which can predict deal closings and help with planning.

Guidant Financial  

Guidant Financial works with the goal of empowering entrepreneurs to take their first step into business ownership. The company is comprised of experts who help everyday people fund small businesses and franchises through a full suite of funding solutions including SBA loans, unsecured loans, portfolio loans and equipment leasing as well as Rollovers as Business Start-ups (ROBS).

Marketing

Clayton Kendall

Clayton Kendall is designed to help franchise communities and multi-location companies efficiently source and distribute branded merchandise to their end users. The brand provides online stores for clients to centralize the ordering and distribution of branded merchandise including apparel, signage/POP, promotional products and marketing collateral.

Qiigo  

Qiigo is a digital marketing company that serves national brands and their locations to unlock their digital potential. The brand’s mission is to build unity and success by helping businesses get found locally. Qiigo solidifies relationships with clients and provides them with successful, measurable and manageable results through its technology platform.

Safeguard

Number of Distributors: 270+

For more than 60 years, Safeguard, through its network of distributors, has been providing the products, services and expertise needed by business owners to help their businesses grow. Through innovation, dedication and a commitment to quality and integrity, Safeguard has transformed itself from a small check printing business to a fully diversified business solutions enterprise.

No Limit Agency

No Limit Agency is a full service communications agency focused on the franchise industry that offers PR, marketing, social media, advertising and digital services. NLA has changed the franchise PR game with its early and effective utilization of social media and third-party content marketing strategy in 1851 Franchise Magazine.

Welcomemat Services

Number of Units: 63

Investment Range: $58,830 - $87,180

Welcomemat Services is a new mover marketing and technology company that provides loyalty-marketing solutions designed to target families who have recently changed their address. The brand was named to Entrepreneur’s 2015 and 2016 “Franchise 500” and since 2003, Welcomemat Services’ technological innovation and marketing sophistication has enabled the brand to change the face of the direct-mail marketing industry.

The Crush Agency

The CRUSH Agency is a full-service marketing and advertising agency with a core focus on digital marketing strategies, robust SEO and SEM campaigns, targeted social media and ingenious branding and design services. Especially useful for growing brands, CRUSH capitalizes on engagement through interactive online marketing, especially when supported by public relations solutions and media buying plans.

Brokers

FranNet

Number of Units: 66

Investment Range: $44,265 - $81,415

FranNet is the industry’s most respected leader in franchise consulting services, with more than 25 years of experience and over 100 consultants across North America. FranNet uses a proprietary profiling and consultative process to determine a business model unique to each client’s goals, skillsets and interests, and has matched thousands of prospective business owners with rewarding small business franchise opportunities.

Proven Match

Proven Match evaluates franchisee candidates from a scientific vantage point and the company takes all the guesswork out of recruitment. By utilizing behavioral assessment tools and neuro-linguistic programming techniques, Proven Match has linked countless franchises to their ideal new additions.

Other

SMB Franchise Advisors

SMB specializes in helping concepts become a franchise brand and then grow. The leadership team is comprised of members of franchisor executive boards and provides consultant services to legacy brands looking for a fresh perspective before investing in new initiatives. Whether it is franchise sales and development, training, manuals, operations or financial services, SMB has experience to help execute plans to drive franchise growth.

Ford Transit Connect

Mobile franchise concepts and home service companies rely heavily on the vehicles that run their businesses daily, so choosing the right vehicle is an important decision. Ford Transit Connect is a fully enclosed vehicle, which provides product security during operations. There is also convenient shelving so materials stay in place, since the vehicle serves as an office for many franchisees on the go. An added bonus The Ford Transit Connect gets about 22 miles per gallon. 

Franchise Business Review

Franchise Business Review is the leading market research firm in the franchise industry specializing in franchisee satisfaction and performance. The reviews measure the health of franchise systems that participate in research, based exclusively on the feedback of franchise owners, to provide data that offers insight regarding franchisee satisfaction.

Triad Manufacturing

Triad Manufacturing provides custom fixtures and store environments for every type of franchise company. For the past 25 years, its state of the art equipment, 1.2 million square foot plant in St. Louis and hundreds of skilled craftsmen allow it to handle all types of projects, big or small. The company diminishes the need for multiple vendors and provides better, faster and cheaper store build-outs.

Services4Franchising

For more than 31 years, Services4Franchising has provided consulting for to match entrepreneurs to exceptional franchise opportunities. They have matched more than 800 people with franchises. Additionally, the brand provides franchisors with the ability to outsource feasibility assessments, best practices, KPI identification and franchise lead generation. 

Forum Analytics

Established in 2001, Forum Analytics was created with the goal of providing analytics powered by advanced modeling and mapping tools, turning data into powerful business intelligence. Based in Chicago, the company provides solutions to Fortune 500 firms and small enterprises seeking modeling and mapping solutions to enhance their enterprise-wide decision making.

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