When times are tough, many small business owners devote some or all of their resources to a franchise. The advantage is that you purchase a self-contained package, with a business model that already works. It takes all the guesswork out of the equation too. You don’t have to spend a lot of money developing and testing a new product, or worry about whether something ambitious will sell. If you hire good personnel, and you stick with the business model that’s been laid out for you, there are several opportunities to make money even when business in general is sour.
Franchising is an exciting way to get into business for yourself, but it does require dedication and focus. Here are some ideas on franchises that work well out of the box. Start your research with these suggestions, and make sure that you have found an opportunity worth pursuing.
The chain store 7-11 is the quintessential corner store. Its stores have something everyone in the neighborhood needs, from snacks to alcohol and other quick items. Most of their stores are open 24 hours a day, serving Slurpees around the clock. There are over 6,000 locations in the United States, and the franchise offers some training to owners looking to invest. The average investment to get started is just under $400,000, and US veterans receive a ten percent discount when applying.
Snap-On is a popular tool brand with a good name behind it. This franchise is a mobile brand, where the owner can take a truck full of tools to any location for demos or sales pitches. Purchasing a truck nets the owner a computer, a DVD player for demos, and wireless Internet. The average investment is significantly less than 7-11, and there were over 3,000 mobile stores in operation during 2013.
There are countless opportunities for investment in fast food, it’s a matter of what will succeed in your market. McDonalds is the most obvious choice in this category. The trend of improving locations to look more modern, offering Wi-Fi and a relaxed atmosphere, is catching on. McDonald’s seems to be going through a rebranding, which is good for franchise owners looking to operate a more sophisticated brand. McDonald’s also offers an average of 800+ hours of training to its franchise owners, but you will need $1.5 in starting capital to get off the ground.
Owning your own cleaning service can be very lucrative. The service Merry Maids has a low cost to enter, and it offers a members only area online where owners meet to discuss what tactics work well for them. There isn’t much training offered for the business, but the cost for entry is much lower than these other opportunities. There are also less than 1,000 locations operating in the US, which is good for someone looking for a market with less competition.
There are over 4,000 UPS Stores in the US, making it one of the larger and more established franchise opportunities around. Franchise opportunities tend to succeed by targeting non-traditional locations, such as a college campus or a near a hotel. The franchise also comes with support tools to pitch in and help if the owner ever feels overwhelmed or unsure. The company specializes in direct mail services, and makes decent money from recurring fees for mailbox rentals.
Gardening businesses are not immune to recession, in fact they have tighter margins than most businesses, but they are more likely to retain clients. The services are relatively inexpensive for the client, and the work is usually manual labor. Those who go for commercial clients will find even better job security, as those businesses regard lawn care as more of an expense. Expect a low startup fee to get started, but hard work is the norm to stay competitive.