Franchising has long been a popular choice for entrepreneurs who want the freedom to run their own businesses within the context of established companies. The business model, the product and even the marketing have already been handled for you when you invest in a franchise — but the solid structure and lowered risks of franchise ownership come at a price, and it's not always cheap.
Considering that buying into many franchises costs hundreds of thousands of dollars (sometimes even upwards of $1 million), finding a lower-priced opportunity means you can join the growing ranks of successful franchisees without breaking the bank. Here are eight great options for franchises with total investments of $100,000 or less.
Caring Senior Service
With longer life expectancies and an aging baby boomer population in the United States, Caring Senior Service meets a growing need. An in-home care franchise with more than 50 locations in 18 states, the company believes that every senior should be able to remain "happy, healthy and home." It uses its GreatCare method to offer customers quality caregivers, care solutions and active involvement. Franchisees receive all the front- and back-end support they need to be successful, including administrative programs and technology, marketing tools, and office equipment.
Total cost:$53,950 to $93,050
Doc Popcorn empowers its franchise owners to produce fresh-popped popcorn in a variety of all-natural flavors, and have fun while doing it. Co-founder Reneé Israel said the company is revolutionizing how people snack in high-traffic venues by offering a better-for-you snack option, and the business has become one of the world's largest popcorn retailers. Doc Popcorn's flexible, scalable business model has made it an appealing choice for entrepreneurs looking to get into the food-service industry.
Total cost: Starts at $46,500 (single unit)
Handyman Matters aims to bridge the gap between skilled "technical" home-improvement workers and superior customer-service professionals. Franchisees are able to offer customers reliable, high-quality home repairs, as well as a positive, well-organized experience. Founder Andy Bell, who started the company in 1998 with a group of 50 Denver, Colorado-based craftsmen, has expanded his franchises into 34 states and three countries, and said he expects to continue growing into hundreds of other territories in the near future.
Total cost: $58,230 to $100,000
JDog Junk Removal
Military veterans often face challenges finding employment after they leave the service. That's why former Army member Jerry Flanagan started JDog Junk Removal, a franchise opportunity offered exclusively to current or former U.S. military members and their families. This waste-removal company will sort, haul, recycle and discard junk, garbage and recyclables for its customers. Even at the lowest-priced Starter level, JDog franchisees receive 24-hour operational support, PR and marketing materials, and a full business startup kit to help them on the road to success.
Total cost: $50,000 - $75,000
Popular women's fashion is always changing. While some clothing stores may find it challenging to keep up with the latest trends, national franchise Mainstream Boutique has found success learning the core tenets of the women's retail industry. Co-founder Marie DeNicola said that most independent boutiques don't last more than a year, but Mainstream franchisees have the advantage of the company's proven business model: providing great customer service, convenience and most importantly, unique items at an affordable price. The company's experienced buying staff, marketing programs and vendor discounts ensure that all franchisees have the opportunity to succeed and turn a profit.
Total cost: Starts at $46,850
Painting with a Twist
"Paint-and-sip" entertainment franchises have popped up everywhere in recent years, but Painting with a Twist was among the first to hit it big. The company began as Corks N Canvas in 2007, aiming to make instructional art a fun group activity to be enjoyed with friends and wine. In 2009, Painting with a Twist was born, and it quickly became the largest paint-and-sip franchisor in the country. Cathy Deano, co-founder, said that franchisees love how fun the business is to run, as well as the fact that social good is built into the business model: Each franchisee is given a complete community outreach program to help support local initiatives.
Total cost: $70,000 to $80,000
Weed Man Lawn Care
Founded in 1970 and franchised in 1976, Weed Man's network of locally owned and operated lawn-care professionals provides environmentally responsible fertilization, weed control and integrated pest-management services. In addition to ongoing brand support and special military opportunities, the company also offers financial assistance to qualified franchisees through its partnership with franchise lender BoeFly.com.
Total cost: $40,000 to $50,000
Fitness franchises have always been popular, and 9Round Fitness is no exception. This specialized gym, fitness center and health club is dedicated to boxing and kickboxing training, which differentiates 9Round from all-purpose gym franchises like Crunch. The company gives its worldwide franchisees access to its corporate support staff during the workweek, as well as assistance with choosing the right location and hiring the right trainers.
Total cost: $57,514 to $93,014
Additional reporting by Business News Daily social media specialist Dave Mielach.