If you have ever wanted to be your own boss, it might not take as much money to start a successful business as you think.
Franchise Business Review, which analyzes hundreds of franchises, recently released a report of 80 top-ranked brands that have minimum investments of under $100,000 and came highly recommended by franchisees of the business.
Franchising can have considerable benefits, Franchise Business Review CEO and Managing Director Eric Stites tells CNBC Make It. Usually little or no experience in the industry is needed to get started with a franchise he says, although some prior knowledge of business helps.
"You're investing in hopefully what is a proven business model," he says. "You've got a whole network of franchise owners doing the exact same business that you're doing."
Of course, nothing is without risk. "You still, as the business owner, have to go and make it all happen," he says.
Many of the most affordable franchises don't involve operating costly storefronts (like a McDonald's would, for example). Instead of real estate, the costs go to things like training — learning to be a real estate agent or exercise professional — and the endorsement of the brand. Plus, franchisees can often work from home.
To identify the companies on the list, Franchise Business Review collected data from 13,000 franchisees between October 2015 and April 2017.
"Total start-up investment" includes the "cash requirement," plus the amount franchisees would finance for other necessities.
Here are 10 franchises that have low costs, and were ranked in Franchise Business Review's 2017 report.
Cash Requirement: $4,000 – $6,000
Total start-up investment: $4,570 – $10,800
With Baby Boot Camp, franchisees, who are often owner-operators, train to teach fitness classes for new moms. Certified personal trainer Kristen Horler founded the company in 2001 after having her first baby. According to the company's website, the brand has over 100 franchise locations across the country.
"Most of our owners are young moms, making a career change to become an entrepreneur with Baby Boot Camp," Horler tells CNBC Make It.
Cash Requirement: $29,500
Total start-up investment: $31,742 – $38,500
Pennsylvania-based Soccer Shots manages coaches and provides soccer programs for kids.
Franchisees don't have to own their own facility, according to the company's website, and can instead host programs at "childcare facilities, preschools, elementary schools and parks." The brand is represented in 170 territories across 34 states, according to the site.
Soccer Shots cites the top earner in the company as making $1,696,717 in yearly revenue.
Cash Requirement: $17,500
Total start-up investment: $25,000 – $55,650
Amazing Athletes holds classes for children ages 2.5 through 6 years old on health and sports. According to its website, over 100 franchise units of the business can be found in 28 states, including Tennessee where the company's corporate office is located.
Cash Requirement: $15,000
Total start-up investment: $29,750 – $103,208
Illinois-based Image One Facility Solutions, which provides commercial janitorial services, launched franchising in 2010. The company has almost 100 owners across Chicago and other big cities like Detroit and Orlando.
Image One points to Jason Avila, 34, as a success story whose Chicago-area franchise is approaching $1 million in revenue this year.
Cash Requirement: $9,800
Total start-up investment: $3,245 – $21,850
Franchisees have the choice of becoming a travel agent with CruiseOne, which books cruises, or Dream Vacations, which books general travel. Free and reduced travel offers are listed as perks of being a franchise owner. The company currently has a total of 1100 franchise owners, according to the site.
"Work from home creating memorable vacations as a travel franchise owner and create the work-life balance you desire," the brand's website says.
Cash Requirement: $10,000
Total start-up investment: $30,350 – $48,650
At Complete Weddings and Events, photography, music, lighting and video are all specialties. Equipment like sound systems are an initial cost, according to the website, and franchisees must attend a 10-day training to learn the skills. The company has helped plan 300,000 events, and works on over 13,000 weddings a year, according to its website. Franchise Business Review reports the brand has 200 franchise units.
Cash Requirement: $10,000 – $13,500
Total start-up investment: $18,050 – $36,050
Rhea Lana Riner, now president and CEO of Rhea Lana's, which holds events to consign used clothing, got the idea for the company after inviting her friends over to buy and sell their children's clothes in her home, according to the company's website. In 1997, she turned the idea into a business. Now, the Arkansas-based company boasts 80 franchises in 21 states.
"It's exciting to see our franchisees find their way to success as they step out of their comfort zones, mature in their leadership abilities, give back in their local communities and value the moms and families we serve through our local children's consignment events," Riner tells CNBC Make It.
Cash Requirement: $45,000
Total start-up investment: $45,000 – $93,850
Franchisees at Sit Means Sit, a company that provides dog training services, can become certified dog trainers and capitalize on a growing market around pets, according to the company's website. Sit Means Sit cites consumer spending on pets to be billions a year, and says the brand allows franchisees to take advantage of the trend while working from home. According to Franchise Business Review, the brand has 81 franchise units.
"These businesses are cost effective for anyone who has a place to live, a car, a phone and a computer," according to the site. To learn the business of dog training, Sit Means Sit hosts an "intensive three-week training program."
Cash Requirement: $15,000
Total start-up investment: $16,690 – $44,435
Missouri based United Country Real Estate franchises broker real estate in small towns and rural areas, specializing in properties like country homes and ranches. The brand has nearly 500 franchisee offices according to the site.
Cash Requirement: $29,500
Total start-up investment: $4,730 – $50,195
Proforma provides things like printing services, packaging, uniforms and marketing to other businesses. It isn't necessary to have a store front, or an office space, the company says, and you can run the business out of your home. Based in Ohio, Proforma currently has over 170 franchisees that have made $1 million in sales, according to the website. In 2016, the brand had 651 U.S. franchises.
Check out all of the franchises listed in Franchise Business Review's report here.
This article has been revised and updated.
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