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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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Franchise Disclosure Document for Dummies – Part 2

If a franchisor does not offer refunds or installment terms (which is not unusual), it should include a “negative disclosure” to this effect in Item 5 (i.e. “We do not offer full or partial refunds under any circumstances.”).

Cottage Inn Gourmet Pizza Expands Midwest and Offers New Franchise Opportunities

Famed Ann Arbor pizza brand, Cottage Inn Gourmet Pizza, a family brand founded in 1948, recently announced its plans to expand in to the Midwest and offer new franchising opportunities, as it enters a new phase of aggressive growth. By the end of this year, Cottage Inn Gourmet Pizza hopes to launch 10 new locations in Ohio, Illinois and Indiana. The group also has international ambitions, with plans to open up to 200 new shops in China within the next 15 years. The company currently operates over 50 establishments in Ohio, Florida and Michigan.

Why Do Companies Franchise?

The most successful entrepreneurs, however, eventually come to recognize that achieving long-term success requires that they step back and put in place the right systems, processes, and people to expand their company beyond what any one individual -- no matter how motivated and sleep deprived -- could possibly manage on his or her own. Once a business owner sees what's possible when employees take on operational responsibilities that free management to actually manage instead of act like their own employee, he or she quickly understands the enormous power that scalability means for a business.