5 unusual franchise opportunities

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unusual franchises

Let’s face it – some franchise opportunities are more well-known than others. Many people think franchising only exists in the retail sector. Others have heard of the famous restaurant, gym and estate agency franchises, for example, but are in the dark about what other opportunities are out there.

We’re here to tell you that there is a whole myriad of franchises in a range of different sectors, and they’re all just waiting for you to pick up the phone – or laptop – and make contact. Here, we look at some of the more unusual franchise opportunities to grace our directory.

1. Inspire the next generation with a Progressive Sports franchise

You’ve probably heard of some of the famous gym franchises like énergie Fitness and Snap Fitness 24/7, but you may not be aware of this exercise franchise. Progressive Sports is one of the primary providers of sport and physical education to children aged three to 13. If you’re passionate about making sport easily accessible to everyone, inspiring others and helping youngsters increase their self-confidence, owning a franchise with Progressive Sports could be for you.

Life as a Progressive Sports franchisee is varied and rewarding. Not only do you offer sports classes to parents, teachers and community group leaders but you also get to teach children how to dance, perform gymnastics, play football and much more. These activities not only improve children’s health but can increase their social skills and academic success too.

Progressive Sports is one of our low-cost franchise brands, with an entry-level package costing just £7,950. As far as affordable franchises go, Progressive Sports can help you generate an impressive return on your investment. As well as being able to take advantage of multiple revenue streams, such as after-school clubs and parties, you’ll have high levels of repeat business, which results in high-profit margins and year-round profit.

2. Sample new flavours with an Auntie Anne’s franchise

You might ordinarily consider pretzels to be an American treat but, thanks to Auntie Anne’s, the moreish snack is becoming ever more popular outside of the US. With an Auntie Anne’s franchise, you’ll not only sell classic sweet and savoury pretzels. The menu also features delights such as hot dogs wrapped in pastry and peperoni pretzel nuggets, placing this franchise firmly in the comfort food category.

As the name suggests, this business is a real family affair. It all came about in 1988, when “Auntie” Anne and Jonas Beiler started a pretzel and lemonade stall at a local farmers market in Pennsylvania. Their warm, flaky treats proved immensely popular among those who tried them, giving the Beilers the opportunity to launch their very own business. By the early 1990s, there were 100 Auntie Anne’s stores operating across the US. Since then, the brand has added more than 1,700 units to its network. It has also expanded across the world to find a global customer base in 25 different countries.

Auntie Anne’s isn’t content to stand still – the business is still evolving today, and its franchisees benefit from this constant development. In recent years, it has introduced its famous pretzel dogs and, of course, mini pretzel dogs, and started to open food vans at amusement parks. It has also taken advantage of new technologies; the My Pretzel Perks app gives repeat customers awards for their loyalty.

3. Get away from it all with a GoCruise franchise

If you believe that travel broadens the mind, why not start a GoCruise franchise outlet? This unique opportunity gives you the chance to send your lucky customers on the trip of a lifetime. In partnerships with big companies like P&O Cruises and Royal Caribbean International as well as smaller, more niche businesses, you will be able to help plan the holidays of hopeful holidaymakers.

The popularity of cruises is on the rise; in 2018, 28.5 million people stepped on board, a figure that represented an increase of almost seven percent since the previous year (The Cruise Lines International Association). That’s why GoCruise is one of the best franchise opportunities if you want to start your own travel agency.

Not only does GoCruise give you the chance to run a profitable business, but it offers you fantastic flexibility too. With GoCruise, you have the option to work part or full-time. You can even choose to run your business from the comfort of your own home.

You don't need to have any travel industry know-how to start your own franchise – just an interest in cruising and a passion for offering excellent customer service. You also won’t need any experience of running your own business, as GoCruise has a dedicated team that will help you support you with any marketing queries, administration and technical guidance, as well as provide training and coaching on quality lead generation.

4. Set up a home-based business with Tubz Vending

One of the most uncommon franchises is Tubz Vending. This is a vending machine business that cures cravings and hampers hunger pangs. On finding this franchise opportunity, many entrepreneurs have questions about Tubz Vending’s business model and the responsibilities of the franchisee.

It’s true that this franchise operates a little differently than many other ones. As a franchisee, you'll put your vending towers in areas with high public footfall. You don't even need to find the right location for your towers; an in-house marketing team will take care of that for you. But you’ll be able to pick up any profit made after paying royalties to your franchisor.

Tubz is the leading sweet vending franchise and the great news is that it can be operated almost entirely from home. This means there are minimal overheads and no staffing or premises costs, so you’ll be able to earn a cash income straight away. This makes it an attractive proposition for many prospective business owners.

Tubz is interested in partnering with entrepreneurial, enthusiastic people who are looking for the ideal low-cost, home-based franchise to start an exciting new business venture. If you like the sound of this, Tubz could be one of the best franchise opportunities to invest in.

5. Have fun with a Jo Jingles franchise

If you’ve always dreamed of owning a franchise that is designed to make young children happy, you may want to consider Jo Jingles. This business delivers 30 to 45-minute, music-based classes to children aged between three months and five years. The classes concentrate heavily on singing, dancing and movement, and introduce themes like colours, shapes, numbers and animals. You’ll also be using nursery rhymes, games and props to engage your attendees.

The classes are all designed with children’s development in mind. They’re packed with activities that stimulate children’s developing senses, as well as educating and entertaining them. Not only will you be able to help your participants improve their balance, coordination and speech, but you’ll also play a part in teaching them key social skills. You will probably also provide their first exposure to singing and playing percussion instruments.

This is a great choice for entrepreneurs who enjoy meeting new people and helping young children develop and grow. It can be incredibly rewarding, particularly when it’s time for one of your long-term attendees to leave your class and start school. What’s more, you’ll probably find that you have fun too.

Established in 1991, the franchise now boasts over 700 centres and a network of more than 90 franchisees. To become one of them, you’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £6,500 plus VAT. In return, you’ll receive a week of training at the business’ head office, help with digital systems and business management issues, and access to regular training, networking seminars, workshops and conferences.


As we’ve shown, franchising offers you the chance to join established businesses in a huge range of industries – some of which, you may not have previously considered. From vending machine companies to cruise agencies, there are plenty of successful – and unusual – businesses to choose from, so there’s no need to take the conventional route to business ownership.

Luckily, these more uncommon franchises are no less profitable or successful than their well-known counterparts. Many even offer incredibly low start-up and franchise fees, allowing entrepreneurs to smash their profit margins sooner than they otherwise would.

What’s more, many of these relatively obscure businesses have the advantage of tapping into a product or service that is about to take off. For example, while pretzels may not be the snack of choice for the majority of Brits today, it certainly has the potential to become hugely popular in the future. By becoming an Auntie Anne’s franchisee, you can benefit from an uncrowded market whilst enjoying the security of a proven business model.

If you love the sound of this but don’t have experience in the sector you hope to join, don’t worry. Many of the franchises in our books don’t require their franchisees to have any experience of the sector or of business ownership at all. The majority offer exhaustive training schemes for new franchisees and provide ongoing support throughout the length of the contract term.

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