Top Five Least Expensive Franchises
Franchise opportunities aren’t just for the well-funded; many affordable franchises cost under $25,000. Franchises start-up costs are approximate and may change, but here are five of the cheapest franchise opportunities around:
1. Cruise Planners/American Express. This cruise and tour travel agency is a low-investment business that needs less than $10,000 in capital. Like many of the low-cost franchise opportunities, this is a home-based franchise and can be full- or part-time. Franchisees make money by selling cruises to travelers and making commissions off the sales, as well as on sales of additional features like trip insurance and shore excursions. Cruises are big business, and millions of Americans embark on them every year.
2. Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems. Jan-Pro provides commercial cleaning services, and franchises require only $1,000 in capital. The commercial cleaning industry touts itself as recession-proof, and office buildings are the top commercial cleaning clients.
3. Jazzercise. The fitness franchise that blends aerobic exercise with jazz dance, can be started with just $3,000 and offers two types of Jazzercise franchises. With an instructor franchise, entrepreneurs can enroll in a training program to become Jazzercise-certified training instructors and teach Jazzercise classes. With a business franchise, entrepreneurs own the classes and manage a team of instructors who teach these classes. Jazzercise also offers specialty junior classes for kids to attract different audiences.
4. Proforma. This business-to-business (B2B) franchise provides printing services, such as forms, business documents and promotional products. Franchisees act as salesman, explaining the different products to potential clients and showing them which would be best for their particular needs. Franchisees have the actual printing done by printers hired by the franchise. Proforma franchises can be based at home and started for under $20,000.
5. Disaster Kleenup International. DKI franchises specialize in insurance restoration services. Unlike many other relatively inexpensive franchises, Disaster Kleenup franchises are designed for existing contractors to expand their business as a franchisee. As a franchisee, contractors have access to a large network of connections to potential clients and mass marketing as well as shared resources. The total investment for the franchise is $33,000.
Franchisor Training and Support
The franchise agreement should spell out all initial and continuing training obligations of the franchisor in detail. You should also query the franchisor about the following:
Three Keys to Franchise Success
The first is to understand the key drivers of success in your business -- that is to say, the three or four major strategies or operational processes that make up the engine of profitability and success for your organization. As an example, for a restaurant these factors may include things such as speed, consistency, freshness, cleanliness and friendliness. For an auto parts store the key drivers will probably include inventory availability, customer service, expertise and pricing/margins. Once you understand the key drivers, it is critical that you focus on them incessantly and help everyone in your organization understand that it is their responsibility to make sure those drivers are the top priority for them every day at work.
18 Questions for Potential Franchisees to Ask Themselves: Part 1
Franchises are among the most profitable business options available, but potential franchisees often have no idea what they should know or ask themselves before they get started in franchising. We've talked to franchisors and franchisees to compile this list (In a two-part series) of the 18 questions you must ask yourself as you explore getting into franchising.