Franchising doesn't have to cost a fortune to turn a profit. There are plenty of franchise opportunities available to those interested in entering the space. Franchisees may also be eligible to receive financial support to cover startup costs.
Read on to discover the top five affordable franchises for becoming your own boss without breaking the bank.
Identifying Low-Cost Franchise Opportunities
In the traditional franchising arrangement, an independent business owner, a franchisee, enters into a formal agreement with a corporation, a franchisor. The franchisee pays the franchisor an initial fee and subsequent payments, and in return, they receive a license to use the business name, systems, products, and trademark.
While business owners gain access to a lot of resources early on, the traditional model required a hefty initial investment.
With today's franchise business model continually evolving to meet different market and industry needs, a range of untapped business opportunities now exist. Business owners who want to manage their financial risks and invest in franchises under $10k should consider the following factors.
- Initial Investment: This is the upfront costs for opening a franchise. This generally includes all fees and expenses required to open your franchising business.
- Franchise Fee: Franchisees pay this fee to license the name and likeness of a franchise.
- Training Expenses: These may include the cost of instruction, books, supplies, and other training materials.
- Property and Equipment Expenses: Some franchise businesses require specific equipment and property specifications. Account for all potential expenses to get a big picture of your budget and determine the amount of capital you’ll need.
- Royalty Fees: A royalty fee is usually calculated as a percentage and is periodically paid by the franchisee to the franchisor. This expense covers the costs of your ongoing support, such as professional development support and access to the processes and systems.
- Advertising Fees: Fees paid by the franchisee to the franchisor to cover the costs of national advertising and other marketing programs.
- Minimum Cash Required: This requirement is a safety net that ensures a minimum cash reserve is available in a separate account to close the gap in case of low cash flow.
- Total Investment: All expenses accrued during the investment process, including the sum of the categories mentioned above, taxes, and administrative costs.
Administrative expenses (deposits, permits, licenses, etc.) and cost of inventory are often an additional expense. Franchisees must assess their agreement when determining potential profits and liabilities.
Franchise Options Under $10k
Franchise costs run the gamut. You have to consider not just the initial investment but also how much you’ll need over the long term. Here are five franchise opportunities that have an initial investment under $10,000 on the low-end. In some cases, initial investments can vary widely, and your high-end investment cost could be much more. Be sure to read the details of your franchise agreement.
But for now, let’s get into five franchises that you can get started with for under $10,000.
1. Corvus Janitorial Systems
Corvus Janitorial Systems uses top-tier cleaning and a network of franchises to bring high-quality service to customers and independence to entrepreneurs. They provide franchisees with a suite of support services that include helping secure office space, sales and marketing guidance, ongoing operational training, administrative resources, and access to the latest technologies and systems.
Corvus prides itself on being a low-cost and high-value franchise opportunity. However, they are only available in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Los Angeles, and Missouri. Below is the amount of money new businesses owners will invest in a new franchise:
- Franchise Fee: $6,500
- Royalty Fees: 10%
- Minimum Cash Required: $5,000
- Total Investment: $8,075-$35,000
2. Baby Boot Camp
New moms, parents, and fitness enthusiasts may want to consider a franchise opportunity with Baby Boot Camp. The franchise was founded in 2001 by a new mother who was having difficulty finding an appropriate fitness class after having her first child. She was inspired to package her personal trainer and fitness experience into a custom workout regimen that caters to moms who want a routine they can do with their baby stroller.
Today, Baby Boot Camp offers a range of training programs to accommodate new moms. In addition to a balanced business model that allows moms to build a healthy lifestyle and future for their families, new franchisees should expect to pay:
- Initial Investment: $3,690-$9,700, including the $2,900 franchise fee
- Royalty Fees: $115-$265 per month
- Minimum Cash Required: $3,690
- Total Investment: $5,050-$12,629
SlipDoctors is a floor safety company based in the United States that has more than 10 years of experience in providing solutions to prevent injuries from a slip and fall. They provide industry-leading products and installation services to make homes and workplaces safer. Franchisees benefit from lead generation and training programs to help build a successful business for entrepreneurs of all backgrounds and experience levels.
SlipDoctors also provides a comprehensive startup package that includes all required products, equipment, marketing materials, and training. They’re currently accepting inquiries in all 50 states and have over 200 locations nationwide. The cost of a SlipDoctors franchise investment includes:
4. College Pro Painters
A small business success story, College Pro Painters is a 40-year-old business that was founded by a college student to help other students pay for their tuition and educational expenses. The company offers commercial and residential window cleaning and painting services on a full-time basis during the summer months and part-time throughout the school year.
College Pro Painting has thousands of locations in the U.S. and Canada and has used its profits, $1 million to date, to improve housing for underprivileged communities. It's common for those who start working as students to matriculate through the company to become franchise managers and owners. The comprehensive training and financial support provide a low barrier of entry for new franchisees, whether they're new to the company or not.
The financial investment for College Pro Painters involves the following:
- Franchise Fee: $0
- Royalty Fees: 20%
- Advertising Fee: 4%
- Minimum Cash Required: $1,500-$5,250
- Total Investment: $2,925-$14,010
5. Buildingstars Commercial Cleaning Solutions
With a Buildingstars franchise, franchisees provide cleaning services for commercial and medical businesses. They offer nightly cleaning, carpet treatment, floorcare, and green consulting. Buildingstars’s flexible approach to franchising allows you to work part-time to make some extra income or full-time to build your career.
Their StarsBuilder Account Profiling Program sets this option apart from similar cleaning franchise opportunities as it provides franchisees with desirable leads to help business owners maintain a consistent workload and attract quality talent. In addition, their Rising Star Management program provides a clear path for achievement (from technician to onsite manager and eventually to corporate leader).
- Initial Investment: $2,245-$53,200, including a $795 franchise fee
- Royalty Fees: 10%
- Minimum Cash Required: $1,000
Those might not float your boat. Want a better way to invest $10K?
If you’re looking to invest under $10,000 in a business, you have more options than your standard franchise model. Highly motivated future business owners should consider applying to Main Street. We help you become your own boss by providing you with training, an extensive network, access to world-class resources, and a technology platform. We provide hands-on support throughout the process that makes it easier to start and grow your business in no time.
Unlike the world of franchising, Main Street helps you create a business that is unique to you and your story. And you learn how to leverage that to create a one-of-a-kind marketing plan and brand identity. Business owners invest less upfront and don't have to pay long-term royalty fees or advertising costs.
What Is the Best Option for New Business Owners?
So what's the right answer? Which approach should you take to launching your business? The truth is, it depends. Prospective business owners should thoroughly research each opportunity to pick the option the best aligns with your business goals and skill set.
Our recent article on cheap franchises will give you some more low-cost franchise ideas plus the steps to expect when moving throughout the process. Entrepreneurs who want to make sure 100% of their investment goes toward building their own company should apply to join Main Street's next cohort of future business owners.