Starting a business can be an exciting opportunity for new and aspiring entrepreneurs, with many turnkey franchise solutions available that require low investment. Franchises for under $5,000 typically call for minimal start-up costs and come with some degree of support and guidance from the franchise company.
Though you may have already heard of franchises such as restaurants and fast-food systems that require significantly greater investments, there are many franchise options that offer success on a much smaller budget. In this article, the International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG) answers the most frequently asked questions about cheap franchises and offers some advice and guidance for entrepreneurs looking to invest in franchises that cost under $5,000.
What Are Some Affordable Franchise Opportunities?
It may surprise you to learn that most franchises are available with investment options as low as $1,000 to $5,000, with many options offering higher returns and support from the franchise company. Some low-cost franchises include, but are not limited to:
- Business-to-business service franchises, like cleaning services, painting and repair services, and pest control
- Donut, bagel, and other food franchises, such as smoothie bars, ice cream shops, and pretzel sellers
- Computer services franchises, such as IT support, computer repair, Website design, and software development
- Retail franchises, such as convenience stores, pet stores, retail kiosks, and impulse item shops
Do Many Franchises Under $5,000 Require Employees?
Most affordable franchise opportunities offer the ability to operate as a small business without employees, or to operate as a sole proprietorship. While this could mean long hours and more work for the entrepreneur, it also comes with the additional benefit of being able to control expenses and managing cash flow.
There are also franchises that do require the hiring of employees. These opportunities could be similar to options such as those within the restaurant and hospitality industries. While these require higher start-up costs than some of the small business franchises, they also offer the potential for larger returns and higher profits.
Do Low-Cost Franchisors Offer Support?
Franchisors offering investment opportunities for less than $5,000 will, depending on individual operations and franchise combinations, typically offer support to franchisees. Support systems offered could include comprehensive training programs, marketing materials, on-call support, site selection advice, networking opportunities, and more.
It’s important to take your time when researching several low-cost franchise options to ensure that you have a full understanding of both the franchise’s core business and investment model, and are confident that the support infrastructure is in place to support your business.
What Else Should I Consider Before Investing in a Franchise?
When selecting a franchise, consider how working with franchisors can give you an edge in the market. Franchises can provide established branding, customer experiences that have previously been road-tested, as well as potential alliances with other businesses in the same industry.
Also, consider the franchisor’s history. Make sure they have a proven track record that’s been in operation for several years. Evaluate how the franchisor has traditionally responded to the digital age—do they include technology-based solutions, such as e-learning and online support? If so, the franchisor is more likely to be better prepared for any future changes and challenges.
You should also research potential competitors, their offerings, and the local market to gain a better understanding of the viability of the business you’re considering.
Finishing off, due diligence and research into any franchise investment is key. Consider hiring a reputable franchise consulting group to help you review and validate any potential franchise investments. The IFPG has over 1,300 franchisors, franchise brokers, and vendor members who specialize in helping entrepreneurs through the process of identifying and investing in franchise businesses and can provide guidance throughout the decision-making process.