If you’ve been wanting to start your own business but are worried about going it alone, a franchise may be your answer. You’ll still operate independently, but you’ll be backed by the name recognition, marketing power, supply sources, processes and products of an established company.

 

Fast food restaurants, gas stations and real estate agencies are just three types of business that are often franchised — each location has a different owner, but they all look like they belong to the same, strong company.

 

The tricky part is that the requirements for buying into the franchise can be quite steep. To get a McDonald’s franchise, for example, could cost you more than $1 million up front. Other companies demand that you have a lot of previous experience in their industry.

 

Here’s a select list of franchisors who offer more reasonable investments, a great reputation and most importantly, high growth potential in an up-and-coming field.

 

 

 

— build STEM skills with fun activities

 

STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) skills are hot commodities in the job market. As a Bricks 4 Kidz franchisee, you’ll host birthday parties, workshops and camps that set children up for career success in an entertaining environment.

• Initial investment: $33,800 to $51,050

• Franchise fee: $25,900

 

 

 

— make a living planning parties

 

Make a couple’s big day everything they dreamed. You’ll coordinate every detail, including music, photography and flowers — supported by Complete Weddings + Events’ 45 years of experience and huge network of experts.

• Initial investment: $30,000 to $60,000 (includes $5,000 operating account and 1 year of equipment)

 

 

 

— help seniors meet their new living needs

 

The “silver tsunami” isn’t going away anytime soon, and thousands of families need to find the right independent living, assisted living, In-home care and memory care solutions for their loved ones. Your services to them are free; you get paid by their insurance provider in a nationwide, 20,000+ network.

• Initial investment: $64,400 to $82,450

 

 

 

— cash in on the health food boom

 

Provide a welcome alternative to traditional junk snack vending machines. Healthy You’s business model is exceptionally flexible, brings in passive income once installed, can be operated by one person, and offers total operational freedom — perfect for a side gig.

• Initial investment: less than $100,000

• Franchise fees and royalties: None

 

 

 

— open a sushi bar inside an established business

 

One of the hardest aspects of opening a restaurant is securing a location. Hissho Sushi dodges that problem by setting up shop inside a supermarket, university, hospital or cafe. With 875 locations, it’s already a proven success.

• Initial investment: $21,050 to $238,950

• Franchise fee: $14,450 to $194,250

 

 

 

— clean up with a commercial cleaning business

 

Every business needs a cleaning service, so you’ll never lack for customers. Plus, commercial accounts are often more reliable about paying their bills than residential customers.

• Initial investment including first year’s franchise fee, equipment and supplies: $14,500 to $33,850 (or more if you opt for Plan E)

 

 

 

— refinish wood cabinets, furniture and floors

 

The U.S. home restoration industry rakes in $450 billion a year. Get a piece of that pie with a refinishing business that serves homeowners and real estate professionals alike. N-Hance consistently ranks in Entrepreneur magazine’s fastest-growing franchises list.

• Initial investment: $62,212 to $160,909, (minimum $50,000 liquid capital)

• Franchise fee: $21,712 to $42,842

• Royalties: $346 to $692 per month

 

 

 

— provide an essential service to home buyers

 

With low risk, low overhead, low up-front investment and flexible scheduling, Pillar to Post offers an easy way to jump into a franchise business. They also work hard to make you a success, with expert mentors and proprietary technology.

• Initial investment: $35,350

• Franchise fee: $21,900

• Royalties: 7% of gross revenue

• Advertising fund: 4% of gross revenue

 

 

 

— resell children’s clothes in your own home

 

Thanks to the upcycling trend, consignment businesses are exploding. Here’s one that’s perfect for stay-at-home or working parents. Rhea Lana provides the framework for you to sell fashionable, gently used kids’ clothes at home parties that fit your schedule.

• Initial investment: $20,000 to $22,000

• Franchise fee: $11,500 to $14,500

• Royalties: 1% to 3% of sales

 

 

 

— enjoy long-term growth in lawn care

 

Established more than 45 years ago, Weed Man is the number 1 ranked lawn care franchise by both Entrepreneur and Franchise Business Review magazines. The company provides training, ongoing support, marketing and CRM systems.

• Initial investment: $43,700 to $58,540

• Franchise fee: $20,000 to $23,750

• Capital investment: $103,700 to $118,450

 

We’ve barely scratched the surface of franchise opportunities that await you in 2020. Whatever your area of expertise — from beauty/fitness to photography to sports — there’s one that’s just perfect for you to ease into business ownership. Here’s to a prosperous new year!