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5 Hot Franchises for 2014

Contributed by Franchise Financing Partner Guidant Financial Group.

Looking ahead to 2014, quick service food and cleaning services are perennially popular and lucrative franchise opportunities. Here are five white-hot franchises that may surprise you.

Painting with a Twist

Art, friends, and wine. Painting with a Twist is burning up our Facebook feeds and growing at a tremendous rate. Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney began franchising their Corks N Canvas business as “Painting with a Twist” in 2009 and there are now 106 locations to enjoy social art instruction.

School of Rock

Good times or bad, people will always spend money on their children, making kid-centric businesses virtually recession-proof. School of Rock combines music education and rock n roll with the added benefit of an unofficial tie-in movie (2003’s The School of Rock starring Jack Black). Franchising since 2005, there are over 100 schools worldwide with more than 10,000 little rockers enrolled.

Liberty Tax Service

Taxes may not be sexy, but they’re unavoidable. What makes Liberty hot? It’s on both the Entrepreneur list of Fastest Growing Franchises (#5) and the Forbes list of Top Ten Franchises for the Buck (#7). There are over 4,000 franchise locations in the U.S.

ShelfGenie

The company was founded in 2000 in Richmond, Va. and began franchising in 2008. Currently there are 123 franchise units in the U.S. ShelfGenie franchisees design and install custom shelving featuring the trademarked Glide-Out shelves. This business can be run from home and is an Entrepreneur Top 10 New Franchise for 2013.

HUMAN Healthy Vending

Everyone from the media to educators to the First Lady of the United States are waging a war against fatty, nutrient-poor food. There’s never been a better time to jump into the health food business, and this company does it in an innovative way: through vending machines. Founded in 2008, HUMAN Healthy Vending has been lauded in the press as one of “America’s Most Promising Companies” (Forbes) and Entrepreneur Magazine’s “100 Brilliant Companies” of 2011.

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How Curves Fitness Centers Became one of the Fastest Growing Franchises Ever

[Gary Heavin, Curves]: Thanks, Matt. I'm glad to be here with you today and with your listeners.

18 Perfect Businesses for The Modern Day Man

The Krystal Klear Water franchise specializes in providing clean, mineral-rich drinking water to their customers through specialized water filtration systems. Franchisees provide water contamination testing, preventive maintenance, and in-home, naturally purified water. The health and fitness nut will love this franchise because Krystal Klear's water systems have less pollutants than the competition. The systems are also low maintenance and do not add salt to the water like other water softening systems. This residential water filtration supplier targets an annual market size of approximately $2.6 billion, with sales growth projected to grow at rates of 6-8% per year. Sounds like the same amount some gym rats spend at GNC each month.

What is an Area Representative?

The reason why anyone would choose being an Area Representative is that they are paid a certain portion of the initial franchise fee of each new franchisee they solicit as compensation. Aside from the sales commission the area representative may get paid by the franchisor a portion of the royalties received for servicing franchisees. In some cases, franchisors will pay the area representatives a portion of the fee received from new franchisees in the reps’ territory even though the area representative may have had nothing to do with the screening or recommending that particular franchisee. However, all these and other contingencies- such as compensation for furnishing many of the pre-opening and on-going services to the franchisee- should be covered in the area representation agreement.