Franchising is a way to be in business for yourself without working all on your own. In buying a franchise, you are purchasing a proven system of doing business and your territory will be protected—meaning the franchisor will not open another franchise in your immediate area. You’ll have to determine if you are the type of entrepreneur that will like being a franchisee. You won’t be able to name your business, wear what you like, etc. You will be taking on a uniform system and must adhere to the various processes and methods of the organization.
Franchising is helping to drive the economy. Consider these statistics:
• the number of jobs filled within and because of franchised businesses (17,430,700)
• the number of franchise establishments (over 828,138)
• direct and indirect economic output of franchised businesses; ($2.1 trillion)
• Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of franchised businesses ($1.2 trillion)
There are two types of franchises.
Product Distribution franchises simply sell the franchisor’s products and are supplier-dealer relationships. In product distribution franchising, the franchisor licenses its trademark and logo to the franchisees but typically does not provide them with an entire system for running their business. The industries where you most often find this type of franchising are soft drinks, automobiles and gasoline.
Some familiar product distribution franchises include:
• Goodyear Tires
• Ford Motor Company
Although product distribution franchising represents the largest percentage of total retail sales, most franchises available today are business format opportunities.
Business Format Franchises, on the other hand, not only use a franchisor’s product, service and trademark, but also the complete method to conduct the business itself, such as the marketing plan and operations manuals. Business format franchises are the most common type of franchise.
USA Today reported that the 10 most popular franchising opportunities are in these industries:
• Automotive • Fast Food
• Restaurants • Service
• Business Services • Lodging
• Building and Construction • Retail
• Retail-Food • Maintenance
Some popular business format franchises include:
AAMCO, Midas, Budget Rent-A-Car
Comfort Inn, Embassy Suites, Quality Inn
Athlete’s Foot, Blockbuster Video,
Play It Again Sports
Sylvan Learning, Huntington, New Horizons
H & R Block, Signs By Tomorrow, UPS Store
Roto-Rooter, Stanley Steemer, ServiceMaster
Health & Beauty
Jenny Craig Weight Loss.
Great Clips, Pearle Vision, Inc.
Blimpie, Dairy Queen, Outback Steakhouse
Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Hardee’s
You can learn a lot about franchising and get answers to all of your questions at
franchise.org – the website for the International Franchise Association. We suggest you visit the site and learn about the franchise concept. The IFA provides a number of tools to help you investigate the options. Here are some of the questions they suggest you ask potential franchisors before you invest:
About The Franchisor:
• Does the franchisor staff attend seminars on franchising and management?
• Do field consultants offer help and guidance or merely act in a regulatory role?
• How many franchises are expected to be added each year?
• Where will they be located?
• What is the success rate of existing franchises?
• What method is used to protect franchisees from poorly performing franchises?
• Is there a franchise owners association?
• Is there a franchise advisory council?
• Who owns the trademarks, service marks, etc., and are they federally registered?
• Are there any disputes pending or threatened against the trademark?
• Has the franchisor complied with the FTC and state disclosure laws?
• Are any senior management or key personnel leaving the system?
• Does this company compete with the franchisees in the marketplace?
• Will the franchisor finance the costs?
• Is the franchisor willing to negotiate the terms of the franchise?
About Consumer Research and Marketing:
• What type of consumer research has the company conducted?
• What were the results?
• Has the franchisor conducted any market studies on the territory to ensure that it can support a franchise?
• What are the demographics required to support a franchise?
• What are the traffic counts required to support a franchise?
• What are the location, duration and additional costs of initial training?
• Who must attend the training?
• What is the cost of additional staff attending training?
• What is the training curriculum?
• Who conducts the training and what are their backgrounds?
• Who pays for transportation, room and living expenses?
• Does the franchisor provide training materials for training new staff in addition to the operations manuals?
• Does the franchisor provide hands-on assistance during the pre-opening, grand opening and initial period? Of what type, duration and cost?
What is the total investment required to own a franchise?
• franchise fee
• furniture, fixtures, and equipment
• leasehold improvements
• lease deposits
• other deposits
• franchise training
• travel expense
• advertising and brochures
• grand-opening advertising
• pre-opening staff costs
• working capital until breakeven
• working capital – living expenses
Must the franchisee purchase products or services from the franchisor:
• Does the franchisor earn income on purchases?
• How much does the franchisor earn?
• How are the products distributed?
• How long does it take for the orders to be filled?
• What other initial or continuing services does the franchisor provide? What do these cost?
What are the continued financial costs, the basis used for calculation, method of payment and frequency of payment:
• royalties • advertising
ABOUT ADVERTISING AND MARKETING:
• What type of consumer advertising does the company recommend?
• What types of cooperative advertising programs are being used?
• What percentage of sales is recommended or required for advertising or marketing?
• How do the franchisees obtain their sales leads or customers?
• What is the franchisor’s national/regional advertising program and budget?
• What portion of the national/regional advertising contribution is used for administrative/corporate/agency expenses and fees?
• What are the primary advertising/marketing vehicles?
• What is the grand opening advertising program and cost?
• What are the roles and responsibilities of the field staff?
• How many locations does each franchise consultant work?
• What is the background of the franchise consultant I will be working with? Can I meet that person before purchasing the franchise?
• How often does the field staff visit a
• What is the additional cost of field
services if the franchisee requires it?
• Exactly what kind of assistance is given?
• What kind of supervision or quality control is there?
• What, if any, is the charge for assistance?
• What kind of business management systems are provided to boost sales and profits?
About Products and Services:
• Are there any new products or services under consideration for addition to the franchise?
• When are they going to be introduced?
• What is the estimated additional cost for adding the new products or services?
• Are there any restrictions on the
distribution or sale of the product?
• Is there a guarantee or warranty program?
• How is it administered and what is the cost?
• Is there a minimum purchase?
75 Franchises To Consider Now
Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas
Alamo provides a unique combination of theater and restaurant, showing both first-run and independent films.
$$$: $1,250,000 – $2,785,000
All Tune And Lube
Total car care.
$$$: $11k startup cash is required.
Total investment: is $150k
Alta Mere Toys For Your Car!
Complete auto aftermarket line of accessories including security, video, GPS, and paint protection.
Total investment: ranges from $131,482-$164,382
American Ramp Systems
Low priced ramps for disability access to enable the aging and disabled population to remain in their homes.
$$$: $75k startup cash;
Total investment: $200k
Aussie Pet Mobile
Mobile pet grooming service.
$$$: $35k-$75k startup cash;
Total investment: $63,437-$124,687
An independent profit control and revenue enhancement service for bars and restaurants.
$$$: $46,900 – $50,900
Indoor private events facility.
$$$: $75k-$125k startup cash
Total investment: $126,647-$624,896
$$$: $55k-$150k startup;
Total investment: $79,240-$153,070
Retail frozen dessert store.
$$$: Total investment range is $230,624-$390,124
The largest commercial and residential painting company in North America.
$$$: $129,000 – $154,000
Carpet cleaning with patented Hot Carbonating Extraction system.
$$$: $11,950-$40,750 startup;
Total investment: ranges from $27,950-$250k
Christmas Décor, Inc.
Professional holiday, landscaping service.
$$$: The total investment ranges from $11k-$50k
Weekly publication run from home.
$$$: Contact the franchisor for details.
ComForcare Senior Services
A premier franchised provider of private-duty, non-medical home care.
$$$: $67,500 – $87,500
An international franchise concept that provides in-home care for seniors, new mothers or other adults needing assistance.
$$$: $56,000 – $79,700
Turnkey, biz-to-biz computer tech education programs to public and private schools, daycare centers & more covering all phases.
$$$: $35k-$49,500 startup.
Total investment: $62,925-$73,250
Fitness Center designed for women that uses medically-recommended weight-bearing equipment.
Total investment required ranges from $34k to $49k
Family Hair Care Value priced, quality hair services and products for the family.
$$$: $76k-$184,800 startup cash required.
Coverall Cleaning Concepts
Commercial cleaning service.
$$$: $3950 to $27,200 startup.
Total investment: $10,750-$32,200
Crack Team (The)
Foundation repair specializing in the use of epoxy-injection.
$$$: The total investment is $38,600 to $69,100
Creative Colors International
Repair and reconditioning of leather, vinyl, fabric, plastics and carpeting in the automotive and
$$$: Startup ranges from $19,500 to $27,500;
Total investment: $37,500-$71,400
Cruise One, Inc.
Cruise-only travel enterprise.
$$$: $9,800 startup.
Thirty-minute fitness and weight loss centers for women.
$$$: Total investment required ranges from $36,425 to $42,850
DirectBuild Franchising LLC
Consulting programs to clients that enable them to build or remodel a home without using a contractor.
$$$: Startup is $20k-$30k
Total investment required ranges from $99k to $195k
Dr. Vinyl & Associates, Ltd.
Vinyl repair and conditioning, plus leather, plastic and windshield repair.
$$$: Startup ranges from $15k-$20k;
Total investment: $44k to $69,500
DreaMmaker Bath & Kitchen
Bath and kitchen remodeling.
$$$: $87,500-$314,500 startup;
Total investment: is $112k-$339k
Decorative and architectural features.
$$$: $50k-$65k startup;
Total investment: $150k-$205k
Coffee and baked goods.
$$$: $240,100-$1.667 million total investment.
Fresh fruit bouquets.
$$$: $50k startup cash;
Total investment: $150,950-$291,200
EduFit Franchise, Inc.
A franchised fitness concept providing convenient, appointment-based personal training services at reasonable prices.
$$$: $164,500 – $281,000
One-stop shop for custom embroidery, screen printing, promotional products, personalized gifts and other items.
$$$: Startup ranges from $43k-to $48k;
Total investment ranges from $179k-$185k
Express Employment Professionals
A sales business focused on the desire to help businesses and job seekers through temporary staffing, professional search and HR solutions.
$$$: $153,750 – $241,500
Express Oil Change, LLC
A leader in the quick-lube and auto service industry.
$$$: $300,000 – $350,000
Fantastic Sams Hair Salon
A full-service cutting edge hair salon for your family.
$$$: $50k-$75k startup.
Total investment: $125k-$231k
Flip Flop Shops
The Sunglass Hut of Flip Flop Shops
$$$: $25k startup cash.
Total investment: $167,300-$245,500
Floor Coverings International
Floor Coverings International is a mobile, shop-at-home floor-covering retailer.
$$$: $150k startup.
Future Stars Sports Photography
Providing high quality and innovative sports photography products and services.
$$$: $19,500-39k startup.
Total investment: $19,500-$45k
Geeks On Call
On-site computer solutions for businesses and residential clients.
$$$: $60k-$121k startup.
Total investment: $60k-$180k
Glass replacement for homes, businesses and autos.
$$$: $75k startup.
Total investment: $109,681-$261,681
Lessons and instructions.
$$$: $35,000 startup cash.
Total investment. $111,475-$427,675
Maintenance and repair of grout.
$$$: Total investment ranges from
Growth Coach (The)
Small business coaching, goal-setting franchise.
$$$: $7k-$33,900 startup.
Total investment: $38,200-$58,400
World’s largest retail hobby franchise offering hobby, toy and entertainment products.
The total investment: $175,000 to $350,000
Home-based non-medical personal care for the elderly.
$$$: $7k to $31,900 startup.
Total investment: $41,700 to $73,300
Home Instead Senior Care
Companionship and home care services for the elderly.
$$$: $39,050 to $52,050 total investment.
HomeTeam Inspection Service
The leading residential home inspection service in North America.
$$$: $58,000 – $71,500
A nationally franchised, professional handyman
service and a leading property repair, remodeling and maintenance company in North America.
$$$: $86,000 – $112,500
Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems
$$$: $950-$36,500 startup required.
Total investment: $2800-$44k
Jani-King International, Inc.
World’s largest commercial cleaning franchise.
$$$: $2,000 to $70,300 startup.
Total investment: $8,170 to $74,000
Beautifies and maintains asphalt & concrete pavement.
$$$: Total investment ranges from $35k -$100k
Preschool and school age sports and fitness programs held at day care centers and other venues.
$$$: The total investment is $35,200 to $41,200
Diverse selection of quality merchandise for just-a-buck.
$$$: Total investment ranges from $136,900 to $228,200.
Kennelwood Pet Resorts
Safe & healthy pet boarding.
$$$: $55k startup cash.
Total investment: $799,287-$1,059,499
Dance, gymnastics, motor skills for kids.
$$$: $12,000-$40,000 startup.
Total investment: $14,950-$46,100
Kindergolf PTE LTD
The company is based in Singapore.
$$$: visit the website for information.
Residential and commercial remodeling business offering cabinet refacing, new cabinetry, tub lining systems, closet organizers and more.
$$$: The total investment ranges from $83k-$90k
Tree, shrub, lawn care services.
$$$: $60k-$74,900 startup.
Total investment: $89k-$99,900
Liberty Tax Service
Computerized tax preparation service that specializes in electronic filing and refund loans.
$$$: Total investment ranges from $35,350-$63,900
Liquid Capital Corp.
An international network of franchise owners or “principals” who help small and medium-size businesses grow and succeed through factoring.
$$$: $50,000 – $130,000
LTS LeaderBoard Tournament Systems Ltd.
Uses cutting-edge proprietary software technology to transform the way charity, corporate and pro-am golf tournaments are scored and managed, making them more entertaining and profitable. Utilizing a unique scannable scorecard that makes it possible to computes 100 percent accurate tournament results in just minutes, LTS
$$$: Startup ranges from $18k -$71,100
MAACO Franchising, Inc.
“America’s body shop” with nearly 500 franchised locations across the continent boasting systemwide sales that approach $500 million.
$$$: $385,000 – $472,000
McAlister’s Corporation Quick/casual restaurant chain featuring efficient counter ordering, attentive table service, high-quality deli-style foods (sandwiches, spuds, salads) and great price value.
$$$: $400,000-$1,475,000 total investment.
Quick service restaurant.
$$$: The total investment ranges
Meineke Car Care Centers, Inc.
A full-service automotive maintenance and repair franchise specializing in brakes, maintenance
services and general repair.
$$$: $182,000 – $427,000
$$$: $21k-$29k startup.
Total investment: $26,350-$57,450
Mountain Mudd Espresso
Specialty coffee kiosk.
$$$: $66k-$203,500 total investment.
Mobile computer and technology service.
$$$: $30k-$54k total investment.
Nitelites Outdoor Lighting
Residential and commercial outdoor lighting.
$$$: $84k-$164,050 total investment.
Lawn care service offering minimal or no pesticide treatments to primarily residential homeowners.
$$$: $75k to $125k total investment required.
Oreck Franchise Services, LLC
Oreck Clean Home Center featuring innovative and quality products for home care.
$$$: $30k startup.
Total investment: $171,800-$230,500
Outdoor Lighting Perspectives
Residential and commercial architectural and landscape lighting and lighting control automation.
$$$: total investment $77,500-$215,000
OXXO Care Centers
Boutique-style more eco-friendly dry cleaners.
$$$: Total investment range $100,000-$1 million
Panchero’s Mexican Grill
A quick-service, fresh-Mexican franchise concept featuring homemade tortillas.
$$$: $305,175 – $629,000
Paws & Remember LLC
Pet memorialization and cremation.
$$$: Contact the franchisor for information;
in biz since 1997, franchising since 2007.
Multi-surface restoration, specializing in the renewal of worn or damaged kitchen fixtures and bathrooms.
$$$: Startup $3,500 to $5,000
Total investment: ranges from
$29,500 to $42,500
Pirtek is the world’s leading service provider of ETA 1 Hour On-Site Hose Replacement centers and a fleet of 1,500 mobile units
$$$: $120k-$150k startup;
Total investment: $500k-$600k
Printwear Xpress Franchising Corp.
Personalized branded apparel.
$$$: Startup $40k-$50k;
Total investment: $148k-$170k
A chain of 1980s-themed fitness centers with exciting and affordable workout environments for all fitness enthusiasts.
$$$: $638,900 – $1,452,000
A franchise concept that designs, builds and installs Glide-Out shelving systems
$$$: investment range is $70,100 to $125,500
World’s largest sign franchise.
$$$: $44k-$46k startup.
Total investment: $148k-$155K
Signs By Tomorrow
Visual communications consultant that utilizes state-of-the-art sign-making technology to offer a wide variety of customized sign products and services that provide creative and affordable solutions to businesses.
$$$: $19,000-$263k total investment.
Smoothies, nutritional snacks, vitamins under one roof.
$$$: The total investment ranges from
Spring-Green Lawn Care Corp.
Delivers lawn and tree care services nationwide, to both residential and commercial customers.
$$$: $ 87,650 – $98,840
Cleaning & disaster recovery services worldwide.
$$$: Startup $25k-$80k
Total investment: required $55k-$150k.
Freshly made sub sandwiches and more.
$$$: The total investment ranges from
Value hair salon owned by Regis Corporation.
$$$: Net worth of $300k and liquid capital of $100k req.
Sweet & Sassy
Children’s retail, spa and party.
$$$: In business since 2004, franchising since 2005.
Contact company for details.
The world’s leading provider of great tasting,
good-for-you frozen desserts.
$$$: $253,700 – $431,410
TSS Photography, Inc.
Youth sports, school and event photography.
$$$: Startup range $15,500-$29,660.
Total investment: $38,750-$74,150
An economy extended-stay lodging and short-term residential property brand.
$$$: $3,500,000 – $7,000,000
We The People
We The People is a franchised high-quality, affordable legal document preparation service for consumers who choose to represent themselves in simple, uncontested legal matters.
Wild Birds Unlimited, Inc.
Largest retail franchise system specializing in backyard birdfeeding.
$$$: The total investment range is in the $98k-$154k range.
Young Chefs Academy
Cooking school for kids.
$$$: Total investment $89,350-$208k
DUE DILIGENCE IS KEY TO SUCCESS
Like starting any business, buying a franchise involves a risk. Studies show that successful franchisees:
• conduct their own marketing
• use their own financial and legal
• develop thorough marketing and
• have prior work experience in
Prospective franchisees must devote a vast amount of time researching the franchises available and evaluating the strength of the franchisors.
MEASURING THE STRENGTH OF FRANCHISING
A new economic index that provides a current reading of the economic health of the franchise sector, The Franchise Business Index (FBI), increased 0.3 percent in February to 107.7 (Jan 2000=100) – the sixth consecutive monthly gain, the International Franchise Association announced recently. The index was up 1.4 percent compared with February 2011.
Designed to provide more consistent and timely tracking of the growing role of franchise businesses in the U.S. economy, the index was developed by IHS Global Insight on behalf of the IFA. The FBI combines indicators of growth in the industries where franchising is most prevalent and measures of the general economic environment for franchising.
“The franchise industry is a unique business sector and a vitally important contributor to the U.S. economy spanning some 300 lines of business, supporting nearly 18 million jobs, 825,000 establishments and providing for over $2.1 trillion in economic output,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “Measuring the strength of the franchise industry through the Franchise Business Index provides another indicator of the health of the economy as a whole. While the index shows we are moving in the right direction, more certainty in the tax and regulatory environments would help franchise businesses grow faster, creating more jobs and economic output at the local, state and national levels.”
Following a period of flat to declining values in mid-2011, the FBI turned up in September and has shown increases of 0.3 percent in three of the last five months.
Increases among the components of the index tied to the labor market and small business optimism contributed most to the February gain in the FBI. An improvement in consumer demand, which had been flat at the end of last year, gave a small boost to the index. Credit conditions showed no change in February.
IFA also released an update to its 2012 economic outlook prepared by IHS Global Insight in December 2011. The updated forecast shows little change from the initial forecast.
“Since our December 2011 forecast report was prepared, there have been a number of positive economic releases,” said James Gillula, managing director at IHS Global Insight.