For decades, small business owners and corporate America workers have relied on business service centers like The UPS Store for all of their copying, printing and shipping needs. While the business services industry at large has had to adapt to the new ecommerce frontier, business services are still fighting to stay afloat. Growth remains flat, but revenue was $8.7 billion as of 2016, according to an IBISWorld report. Thanks to adaptions to digital technology, the industry still provides a viable path to business success.
Here are the top business service brands of 2016, one of which offers franchising
While it’s not a franchise, Staples’ unique business model of combining an office supply store with business services has proven profitable. The company operates more than 1,300 stores in the United States to date, and revenue was $20.4 billion in 2016, according to IBISWorld. It holds 4.8 percent of the business services market share.
Staples’ offerings include an international delivery service, which accounts for much of its sales, and its ecommerce site, Staples.com, which keeps this company relevant with the influx of online purchasing. The office supply giant even developed a mobile app to stay competitive and increase ease of access to its products and services. In 2015, Staples attempted a merger with Office Depot, Inc. but was denied in 2016, and their revenue has suffered from this challenge. That said, Staples has future plans that include focusing on a different client base, expanding with smaller companies, and adding to its sales force. Currently, Staples does not offer franchising, but its business model is one to keep an eye on in the future.
Office Depot is one of the largest in-store retailers of office supplies in the U.S. Aside from office supply sales, Office Depot also offers digital imaging, promotional products, mailing and shipping services (sent using UPS, FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service). Office Depot acquired OfficeMax in 2013 in an attempt to better compete with Staples. As a result of the merger, Office Deport closed hundreds of stores to consolidate businesses, but it stills holds as estimated 3.7 percent of the business services market.
2. FedEx Office
With 14 percent of the market share, FedEx Corporation is the second largest business in this industry, with total revenue for 2017 projected at $52.3 billion, according to IBISWorld. One of FedEx’s four main business segments – FedEx Office – applies to the business services industry (the other three do not).
FedEx Office occupies approximately 1,800 locations in the United States. In 2004, FedEx acquired Kinko’s (remember them?), and rebranded to FedEx Office, as it’s now known. Services at these stores are plentiful, and FedEx Office has embraced the new e-commerce environment. According to its website, FedEx Office offers copying and digital printing, professional finishing, document creation, direct mail, signs and graphics, Internet access, computer rental, shipping and an online printing solution for customers and clients. However, at this time, the website says FedEx does not accept franchisees.
UPS is the giant of the business services industry and was founded in 1907 in Seattle, Washington. The company’s signature brown truck (and various other vehicles) deliver packages each day from 1.6 million customers to 8.4 million consignees in more than 220 countries and territories. All of this domestic and international shipping – combined with its other business services such as supply chain, freight and its retail business “The UPS Store” – brings the total company revenue to more than $60 billion in 2016.
The UPS Stores are the franchised part of the business. According to IBISWorld, The UPS Store now has 4,550 franchises in the United States as of 2016, and 345 in other countries around the world. Services include packaging, shipping, copy/print/fax services, mailboxes, computer time rentals and more.
If you’re interested in franchising The UPS Store, which ranks No. 4 on Entrepreneur’s “Top 500 Franchises” list, the company provides a high level of support to franchisees. You’ll start with a nine-day training course at its headquarters, followed by ongoing assistance in the form of newsletters, meetings, a toll-free access line, Internet, security and tons of marketing materials from ad slicks to regional and national media. To get started, prepare to pay an initial investment of $29,950 and ongoing royalty fees of 5 percent. The company also provides veteran incentives, including $10,000 off franchise fees and 50 percent off the initial application fee.
Other top business services franchise brands include:
- Minutemen Press, a printing franchise which offers innovative marketing and branding solutions to businesses.
- Postal Annex, which offers postal and shipping services.
Understanding the top brands in an industry is just one way to determine if that industry is right for you. Take the next step and view our in-depth industry report and infographic to get a little more information on the business services industry and what the future holds.