Hiring and managing employees can be stressful. So when you imagine starting your own business, you may think about becoming a sole proprietor, so you don't have to worry about a staff. However, the idea of tackling everything entrepreneurship entails, all on your own, can be just as intimidating.
Owning a "solopreneur" franchise gives you the best of both worlds. Running the business doesn't require employees, yet you'll have the support of an experienced brand behind you, ensuring that you're not alone. Here are 10 examples of franchises that can be run as a solo operation.
Do you have a knack for business strategy but also love to help others? Consider becoming a certified business coach through the AdviCoach franchise. Because of this business model's flexible scheduling and location, all you need to start your business as an AdviCoach — aside from the necessary knowledge and people skills — is a phone and an internet connection. Your initial investment includes training, operations and marketing support. [See Related Story: 4 Franchise Trends That Are Good News for Entrepreneurs]
America's Swimming Pool Co.
America's Swimming Pool Co. (ASP) says it is the country's largest swimming pool service-and-maintenance franchise, and the company serves both residential and commercial properties.
An ASP franchisee is not required to have any past experience in swimming pool service. The company provides dedicated training through its "Pool School," which provides everything the franchisee needs to run the business, from product information to marketing strategies.
Real estate can be a rewarding career for people who want to work independently. Century 21 is one of the most recognized names in the industry, and offers its franchisees comprehensive training, support and exposure to its global network of real estate markets. On the Century 21 franchise page, prospective entrepreneurs can take a personality assessment to see if they would be a good fit for real estate sales.
At CruiseOne/Dream Vacations, franchisees have the option to work from anywhere as they plan dream vacations and cruises for their clients. Entrepreneurs attend a six-day training session to get started, and are encouraged to continue with additional education if needed. Support for franchisees is also available six days a week by phone or email. In an effort to support diverse entrepreneurship, CruiseOne/Dream Vacations offers discounts on the initial franchise fee for military veterans and minority franchisees.
Fetch! Pet Care
If you love pets and want to own a business that allows you to care for them, investing in a Fetch! Pet Care franchise might be the right option for you. This pet-sitting and dog-walking brand offers opportunities in more than 1,500 national cities with all of the corporate support you need to get your business up and running quickly.
Fetch! franchisees must have a strong credit history and a minimum of $15,000 in liquid financial net worth. First-year franchise fees for a single area of operation include on-site training, equipment, marketing and supplies.
For many new mothers, the idea of a flexible career that allows them to work from home and spend time with their children is a dream come true. The Fit4Mom franchise takes this one step further by allowing "mompreneurs" to center their businesses around their babies. This group exercise program features pre- and post-natal classes for moms and moms-to-be, including stroller-based workouts where attendees bring their children along. Franchisees can set their own schedules and run classes from anywhere, with the help of corporate training, support and partnerships. A Fit4Mom franchise investment depends on the size of the territory and whether you want to run a part- or full-time business.
Like Fit4Mom, Jazzercise is a workout program franchise that's perfect for a fitness-minded solopreneur. Once you become a Jazzercise instructor, you'll have access to the brand's training, technology, choreography and other support so that you can begin teaching classes in your local community. With an initial franchise fee of just $500, it's one of the most affordable options on the market. Total up-front investments vary depending on whether you rent studio space or want to open your own Jazzercise studio.
While many Lawn Doctor franchisees go into business with a partner, this flexible opportunity is certainly manageable as a solo operation. Because the lawn care industry is founded on repeat service, franchise owners are well poised to achieve growth with the right customer service and marketing skills. Lawn Doctor franchisees should understand sales basics, but the company does provide franchise training for anyone who needs it. It also offers in-house financing for eligible franchisees, as well as the opportunity to convert an independent lawn care business to a Lawn Doctor franchise.
Entrepreneurs with a background in staffing and a great professional network should consider investing in Mom Corps, a national staffing firm that helps employers fill intermittent staffing needs. The initial startup cost includes new-owner training, a "Buddy" mentor program, operations and marketing systems, and back-office support. While there are ongoing franchise fees, a staffing business generally has low overhead costs, especially if you work out of your home.
Safeguard, a provider of business products, services and expertise, allows entrepreneurs to use their relationship-building skills to become expert B2B sales leaders and consultants. The company prides itself on helping franchise owners be in business "for themselves, but not by themselves," and offers support from corporate headquarters through its "Base Connection" program. Franchisees are connected with skilled Safeguard customer service reps, and can route any individual customer issues to the representatives. This allows franchisees to spend time building the business instead of handling administrative issues.
Additional reporting by Stephanie Taylor Christensen and Nicole Fallon Taylor.