The numbers are in: global construction output is growing faster than the economy as a whole.
In other words, businesses that support the industry are in a prime position for success. If you’ve got experience within the construction industry and an entrepreneurial mindset, now is your time to make a move.
But starting your own business involves a lot of risk. Nine out of ten startups fail, and those that succeed often take years to become profitable. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who’s made it work before — if that’s the case, I don’t need to tell you how challenging it is.
Thankfully, there’s another way to grab a piece of the growing construction industry: franchise ownership.
Franchise ownership allows you to leverage established brand names and business models as well as proven support structures to get a business off the ground fast. But what kinds of construction franchises are worth it?
Separating the Wheat from the Chaff
Searching for construction franchise businesses reveals listings in a few major categories: subcontractors, small construction companies, service companies that support the industry, and technology companies.
Subcontractors & small construction franchise examples: Plumbing, painting, doors and windows, roofing, siding, floors, kitchen and bath, closets, irrigation, electrical, swimming pools
Construction service company franchise examples: Equipment rental, inspection, cleaning, environmental services, real estate, property management, waste disposal, moving
Construction technology franchise examples: Construction documentation, digital marketing, IT managed services, solar services, drone photography
In the right hands, franchises in each of these categories would be able to convert some portion of construction industry growth into profit. However, the potential upsides vary widely from business to business.
While it’s difficult to make universal statements, subcontractors and small construction businesses probably aren’t the best choice for entrepreneurs with an eye toward long-term gains. Work like roofing and painting is typically low-margin, and due to the hierarchical structure of construction projects, it can be difficult to win bids and take a long time to get paid for jobs you do land.
These businesses are also hard to scale up — construction work tends to be very localized and territorial, and expanding into other areas means competing with established businesses and their networks.
Service companies might offer more opportunities, but franchise owners in this category face similar challenges to subcontractors. Competition in areas like property management and real estate is fierce. Other options, like cleaning, waste disposal, and moving are also less closely tied to the construction industry, so they might not be the best bet for those who want to capitalize on the sustained upward trend.
Construction technology companies generally offer the most potential for long-term profitability. Because many construction technologies are relatively new to the scene, there’s less competition and fewer established players to be concerned about. Also, construction businesses are increasing their adoption of technology as the industry as a whole grows, meaning the upside for these franchises is two-fold.
The Best Construction Technology Franchise Business
Multivista is the largest and most established of the construction technology franchises.
Multivista is an international company with a presence in more than 75 global markets. To date, they’ve been contracted to document projects totaling more than 325 million square meters.
These franchises offer full-service visual documentation solutions like photographic documentation, video documentation, UAV photography and mapping, 3D images, 3D walkthroughs, and webcams.
Since 2003, Multivista has been at the forefront of construction documentation, and to date has no true competitors offering similar services at a similar level. Meanwhile, construction documentation has been adopted widely by the industry as owners and contractors realize its potential for risk reduction, improved speed, and cost savings.
Multivista has been recognized as a top 50 construction technology company by Constructech, is a member of the International Franchise Association, and was cited as one of the top 500 franchises across all categories by Entrepreneur Magazine.
Always Capitalizing on the Latest Technology
One of Multivista’s greatest strengths is its continuous research and development efforts, the rewards of which are reaped by its franchise owners.
Multivista started with photographic documentation, and built a robust platform for delivering these photographs. Since then, they’ve been among the first construction technology companies to offer webcam, drone, and 3D walkthrough services.
Multivista has stayed at the vanguard of construction technology through partnerships and close relationships with other leading companies in the field, including Procore, Autodesk, Bluebeam, and DroneDeploy. Their latest advancement comes from a partnership with their sister company Leica Geosystems — it’s called 3D images.
Multivista’s 3D images service, delivered by its local franchises, makes use of an advanced 3D imager and the existing Multivista Platform. This service makes measurable 3D images available to Multivista customers via their web browser — they can actually measure length and depth of different parts of a project from their computer with high levels of accuracy.
Few franchise businesses can claim to have the support of a world-class R&D department behind them, but with Multivista, it’s just part of the deal.