1. The Dwyer Group
Probably known best for her recent appearance on the TV show Undercover Boss, Dina Dwyer can't take credit for the original vision of The Dwyer Group. When her father started Rainbow International, originally a carpet dying and cleaning company, in 1981, he wanted to have "a collection of franchised companies serving the same customer base," she says. But she can take credit for bringing his vision to life and expanding it.
Between 1989 and 1996, The Dwyer Group launched or acquired other service-related brands -- Aire Serv, Glass Doctor, Mr. Appliance, Mr. Electric and Mr. Rooter -- and has expanded to become a fire and flood restoration company for residential and commercial properties. In 2010, The Dwyer Group partnered with Canadian landscaping company The Grounds Guys to build out its U.S. operations. The group has more than 1,300 franchises in the U.S. and Canada and runs several hundred more through master licensees internationally.The secret to The Dwyer Group's success, Dina Dwyer says, is in its ability to centralize each company's infrastructure, such as accounting, IT, marketing and legal, to support multiple brands without adding a lot of overhead or personnel. Segreto likes that there are many opportunities for a franchisee to expand, both within geographic markets and with other services under The Dwyer Group umbrella. "It gives people a lot of different opportunities," he says. He also points out that the company's code of ethics is strong. "You have a lot of two-income families. They need something local in the market. They want one source they can turn to," he says. "The wrapping of the brands, their processes and values of cleanliness and communication with customers ... consumers are clamoring for that type of customer experience."