6 Low-Cost Franchise Areas to Explore If You're New to Franchising

April 2, 2021 4 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Franchising a business may be the right way for you to realize your dream of becoming a business owner without a startup's inherent risk . According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as reported by Fundera, about 50 percent of businesses fail by the end of the fifth year. By the end of the decade, that number rises to 70 percent. In contrast, a study of 2019 U.S. Census data suggests two-year franchise survival rates being around seven percent higher than that of independent businesses. Part of the franchising model's success is that it allows you to profit from a franchisor's proven business model and brand power while owning your own business.

Franchises today have evolved from expensive bricks-and-mortar companies to innovative businesses in almost every industry.If you prefer a more traditionalroute, a well-known brand costs upwards of $50,000, but recently there has been an emergence of less expensive franchising options. If you're looking to purchase a franchise at a lower price point, you have options in various industries. Whether you have a year's worth of extra savings set aside, severance from a previous employer, access to startup capital or the opportunity to leverage government funding, you don't need to break the bank to get started.

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These six emerging low-cost franchise areas have many great business opportunities to explore:

1. Foodservice

Many people dream of opening a restaurant, but that can be risky and extremely expensive. Today we see new franchisees gravitate towards food trucks , food stands and even food delivery. One particularly appealing option for many is franchising vending machines, which can require an investment as low as $2,000.

2. Home improvement and maintenance

If you have skills around the home, home improvement and maintenance franchises may be the right fit for you. These franchise businesses have come a long way from the stereotypical college painters. Pool services, landscaping, repairs and upgrades, cleaning and even blinds and flooring are among the more popular options available.

Plan for When You’re Not There. Make sure your pets are provided for during those long hours when you’re away. Dr. Becker suggests technological options. “DOGTV has stimulation and relaxation channels, and there are apps that control contraptions that talk to your pet, or dispense treats. Pheromone sprays can also reduce anxiety, creating that kumbaya atmosphere.” And, of course, daycare and dog walkers are a great way to enrich your pet’s day. “Know someone who wants exercise? Maybe they’ll walk your dog.”

3. Pet care

If you have a passion for our furry friends, pet care franchises are booming. According to U.S Census Bureau data from 2017, sales of pet care services have doubled over the past decade. You can explore franchises for pet sitting, grooming, training, and even pet food and nutrition in the area.

4. Educational services and children

Suppose you have a strong background in education or a passion for working with children. In that case, you can explore tutoring, babysitting, nannies or enrichment activities like piano, STEM education or art programs delivered to the client's home or a third-party facility.

5. Business advisory

People who leave the corporate world often would still like to use their business acumen and continue working in the setting — but on their own terms. Many franchises deliver business coaching, leadership development or even enable you to open your own professional services firm for recruitment or staffing. Depending on the franchise model you pursue, startup costs can range from $25,000-$50,000.

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6. Fashion and beauty

If you prefer to completely depart from the corporate world and enjoy fashion and beauty, there are a growing number of franchise businesses that may interest you. Some ever-increasing areas are large consignment events, eyelash extensions, blow dry and makeup artist at-home services and even portable spray tans.

As with all investments, franchise opportunities can be inspiring and very profitable — but do your homework first. Talk to existing franchisees, run the numbers and do a gut check to ensure you are up for the challenge. Also, be sure to always have a plan. Giving up a 9-5 job doesn't mean less hard work, as working for yourself usually means more hours. However, there is something rewarding about being your own boss that makes the hours go quickly and the hard work worthwhile.

Help Them Adapt to New Environments. “The only thing that likes change is a four-week-old baby in a wet diaper.” Though puppies and kittens are easygoing, mature pets often need guidance transitioning into new spaces. Dr. Becker advises introducing them slowly. “Don’t just dump them in a new house and hope for the best.” Pheromone sprays are handy for making strange houses more inviting. “Cats,” notes Dr. Becker, exist as both predator and prey, and in predator mode, they need vertical surfaces like climbing towers to feel safe.”

If you're interested in exploring more low-cost franchise ideas, check out this comprehensive list based on Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 .