Buy your own tech company

Many South African IT professionals are opting to control their own technology businesses to boost their income, take control over their professional life and create more independence for themselves.

When opening a business, people typically make a choice to either go it alone, or purchase a franchise.

Going the franchise route has many benefits, including a proven track record and business model, an established brand, training and support, management assistance and bulk buying savings.

However, it also comes with some disadvantages, like a high initial capital investment, ongoing monthly fees, relinquishing some business independence and potentially lower profit margins.

South African technology and IT franchises

There are many franchise opportunities in the South African technology market, ranging from computer hardware and software sales to digital advertising.

Here is a list of some of the more prominent technology franchises, sourced from ‘Franchise Zone’ and ‘SA Franchise Warehouse’.

Matrix Warehouse Computers

The Matrix Warehouse Computers concept was founded in 2000, in answer to the market need for a reliable computer shop.

The shop opened amidst strong competition from other computer stores situated nearby, but within six months of opening it had achieved the highest turnover of all the computer stores in the area.

In 2001 four new stores were opened and by 2003 a head office move to bigger premises was necessary to accommodate the number of containers imported each month.

Name Estimated set-up cost (Ex VAT) Management fee Marketing fee Number of outlets in SA
Matrix Warehouse Computers R750,000 to R1.2 million 4% of invoice None 86

iFix

In 2006, iFix was born in a dorm room at the University of Stellenbosch to ease iPod owners’ frustration at the lack of service available through traditional Apple repair channels.

Satisfied friends soon referred numerous iPod owners in search of repairs and the first full-time technician was hired.

After six months working from a garage, iFix opened its Cape Town branch and more staff were hired full-time to serve Cape Town’s burgeoning iPod and iPhone owners.

For two industrious years, iFix operated on a drop-off system at the legendary Mabu Vinyl record shop in Cape Town. To satisfy demand in Gauteng, shops were opened in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Name Estimated set-up cost (Ex VAT) Management fee Marketing fee Number of outlets in SA
iFix From R750,000 7% of turnover 2.5% of turnover 4

MR Computer Services

M.R. Computer Services are a retail IT Lifestyle store group.

Their services range from computer hardware, software, networking, repairs, upgrades, new computers and complete IT solutions for home and business purposes, as well as complimenting multimedia and audio visual equipment.

Name Estimated set-up cost (Ex VAT) Management fee Marketing fee Number of outlets in SA
MR Computer Services From R550,000 2% of turnover 2% of turnover 6

digiADS

digiADS digital advertisement system is a new advertising service that gives businesses that want to advertise a better, personalised way to communicate their products and services.

Name Estimated set-up cost (Ex VAT) Management fee Marketing fee Number of outlets in SA
digiADS R250,000 to R425,000 R4,000 pm None 3

WSI Digital Marketing

WSI offers advanced digital marketing solutions to suit the needs of businesses from multiple industries.

The company has the world’s largest network of Digital Marketing Consultants operating in more than 80 countries internationally and a 100-person strong head office in Toronto, Canada.

Since the mid 1990s, small and medium sized businesses (SMBs) around the globe have drastically increased their revenues and expanded their markets with the lucrative online marketing services provided by WSI.

Name Estimated set-up cost (Ex VAT) Management fee Marketing fee Number of outlets in SA
WSI Digital Marketing R607,000 10% of turnover None 17

@lantic

@lantic is one of the largest independent consumer Internet Service Providers (ISP) in South Africa.

@lantic has 90 franchised outlets nationwide as well as 500 second tier resellers, and offer quality internet solutions to both private and small-to-medium-sized businesses. @lantic is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Vox Telecom Group.

Name Estimated set-up cost (Ex VAT) Management fee Marketing fee Number of outlets in SA
@lantic R50,000+ Not available Not available 90

Computer Troubleshooters

Computer Troubleshooters offer onsite computer and network services and onsite computer services. The company says it is is expanding into most major areas in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Name Estimated set-up cost (Ex VAT) Management fee Marketing fee Number of outlets in SA
Computer Troubleshooters R150,000 8% of GM 2% of GM 3

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Buy your own tech company