"Most people would never think there are franchises you could buy for under $50,000," said Eric Stites, CEO and managing director of Franchise Business Review, which annually analyzes more than 900 franchises. "Most of us think of food or retail brands that we know," many of which require $1 million or more in upfront costs.
Well, put your assumptions aside, because here are successful franchise opportunities that, with a ton of hard work, can ring up millions in sales every year and make owners rich. This is a diverse group of sectors — such as travel agent, kids' soccer coach, home inspector, wildlife trapper — that require daily, hands-on effort from the owner. Prior experience is helpful but not mandatory, and all franchisors provide proven training, marketing and management tools. Top earners suggest that if you just follow those blueprints, you'll be successful.
Still, there are intangibles to consider when shopping for a franchise, Stites said. The franchisor's support culture is key. Look for ones that host regular, interactive get-togethers. "The biggest value is that network of franchisees," who share sales and marketing advice, tips on driving costs down or their financials, he said, adding, "Having that support culture is a huge piece."
— By Bob Woods, special to CNBC.com
Posted 11 May 2016