In a category that includes staffing firms, insurance agencies, IT solutions and more, the business services franchises in the Franchise Times Top 500 collectively achieved revenue growth of 25.6 percent to $7.9 billion in 2021
The Franchise Times Top 500 is an annual ranking of the 500 largest US franchise systems by global system-wide sales. In the staffing services segment, Nexstaff led the revenue growth with a 111.7 percent increase in system sales in 2021 to $55 million. Express Employment Professionals also had a great year, up 28.8 percent to $4.2 billion. It also advanced in the rankings, rising from No. 35 to No. 33.
Senior Vice President Dan Healy said that focusing on the things Express Employment can control is an important business strategy to ultimately grow revenue.
“I joke that in our industry you have about 15 minutes of balancing out about every 10 years with the number of qualified people and open positions,” Healy said. “Then, after that, it shifts dramatically. Things are always changing and now we know it’s a tight job market and technically we’re in a recession if you stick to the strict definition. So what we shared with our team is that we want to be able to control everything that we can because there are things that are literally out of our control.”
According to Healy, employee control ranges from more sales activity to better recruiting.
Another industry undergoing transformation is IT services. However, the change is one that will likely keep companies like Team Logic IT in a good position for years to come.
“The business model has grown in scale and demand as small business reliance on IT support has increased, and so has our product offering,” said Chuck Lennon, executive vice president of TeamLogic. “In the beginning we went in when something was broken. We would fix it and install new hardware or servers. But now things like cloud computing, cyber security and mobility issues have allowed us to grow in a big way.”
According to Lennon, the IT needs of many small businesses are much greater than in the past, resulting in significant revenue growth.
“Our same-office sales have been in the 30 to 35 percent range year over year,” Lennon said. “This year we’re tracking 34 percent. The outlook for our industry is exceptionally strong, our reliance on technology is increasing, and we see no hurdles in our future to worry about.”
#316 TeamLogic ended 2021 with $123 million in system sales, an increase of 29.6 percent. Another IT company in the top 500 was CMIT Solutions, which ranked #347 with $94 million in system sales.
In the insurance world, Brightway Insurance was the leading brand, entering the top 100 at number 99. Brightway increased revenue by 30.4 percent to $971 million in 2021.
“Brightway’s growth is the result of our dedicated, hard-working agents and our compelling franchise models coupled with product offerings that customers need,” said Brendan Gaine, Brightway Sales Director. “We enable our agents to provide trusted advice in their local markets and provide comprehensive insurance coverage from leading regional and national insurers to protect clients’ hard-earned assets.”
Gaine said Brightway has also been fortunate in that its franchisees have been minimally impacted by the pandemic.
“Many of our permanent agents have continued to nurture long-term relationships with their clients over the past few years,” Gaine said. “The pandemic isolation may have initially prevented some of our newer agents from going into their communities to quickly build their referral base, but many of them have switched to the digital channel to build their business.”
Elsewhere in the insurance segment, Keystone Insurers Group No. 130 grew revenue from $586 million in 2020 to $651 million in 2021, a jump of 11 percent. Pronto Insurance, meanwhile, saw its sales fall 28.7 percent as it fell to 418th in the ranking.
Also down the rankings is Dale Carnegie Training, which fell from 290th to 361st as its systems revenue fell 16.7 percent last year to $85 million.