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Employment Services

Typical franchises: Express Employment Professionals, Spherion Staffing

Why it’s popular: If business owners have learned nothing else during the downturn, it’s that they can do a lot with a contingent work force, said Miller. And, while the economic recovery means companies need more employees, many business owners aren’t ready to commit to hiring full-time staffers. So, it’s 1099 time for a lot of workers.

Due diligence: This is also a competitive market, the pros caution. “This one is for the tigers,” said Libava. “You have to have a thick skin. There’s a lot of cold-calling involved as you try to find companies that are looking to staff. It’s intense.” Miller noted that companies in this category offer diverse services and some specialize in particular niches such as technology and administrative work. Make sure you understand what type of industries you will be dealing with.

The upside? Unlike a lot of other franchises, “it’s mainly a Monday to Friday business,” said Libava.

Sample startup costs: Express Employment Professionals — $50,000; Spherion Staffing — $97,700 to $163,200

Photo: Mark Ralston | AFP | Getty Images