Are Low Cost Franchise Opportunities a Good Investment?

08/09/2017 15:00 | Start a business

Being your own boss is a dream that can be achieved by buying a franchise business. And with the number of low-cost franchise opportunities on the rise, this dream is more attainable for even more budding entrepreneurs. Be mindful though that not every franchise opportunity is a necessarily a good one, and not every individual is suited to becoming a franchisee, regardless of how much it costs. If the relatively low set up fees of some opportunities are attracting you to start your franchise business, then firstly you should consider the advantages and disadvantages of buying a franchise.

Set-up costs:

The comparatively low set-up cost is one of the biggest advantages of starting a low-cost franchise. But what is this low cost compared too? Franchisees just starting out will still have to pay franchise fees and set-up costs that will vary between £1,000 and £15,000. But dont be fooled by the low cost of some opportunities. The old saying is often true, that you only get what you pay for. If a franchise looks very cheap its probably because the franchisor wont offer much training and support. If this is a factor that attracts you to franchising, then finding out about the level of support youll receive before committing is crucial.

Flexibility:

The large proportion of low-cost franchises are service businesses that you can run from anywhere, including your home. There are obviously pros and cons to not having to pay for premises when youre just starting out, but weigh up what you may save in rent, you might lose out on in brand awareness and customer foot fall. This is where the importance of a marketing plan to promote your business becomes key.

And its not just the location that can be flexible. With a low-cost franchise your working hours can also work around other commitments. There are many part-time franchise opportunities that can fit in with parenting or caring duties, or be run alongside another full-time job. As you would imagine though, your business will only thrive if you put in hours and dedication. So, if youre prioritising other aspects of your life before your business, dont expect your franchise to achieve as much as it could.

Responsibilities: Your franchisor will give you the rights to a proven business model and provide you with training and support, but for the franchise to be a success you must abide to the franchisors rules. Youll have responsibility for running the day to day business and providing customers with whatever service it is your franchise offers. Ultimately the franchisor controls the business, but you have an obligation to make your franchise a profitable one, no matter how small the investment may have been.

The good news is that there is no correlation between the amount of money invested in a franchise and the amount of money the business can earn. This is mainly because the amount needed to buy into a franchise is generally dependent on the industry. Restaurants and retail franchises are more expensive because of the steep rent costs, as well as the outlay required to fit and stock the retail space. Compare this to a franchise business in the service industry where no office space is required. Very often just a laptop and decent internet signal is all thats needed to start the business. This makes the initial investment much, much lower and any profit made realised much, much sooner.

Franchise Direct list various home-based, and therefore, low-cost franchises, that you could consider if you want the benefits of franchising without the debilitating costs:

  • Child related franchises

    There are a wide range of franchises involving children from personalised book selling with a minimum investment of £999, to a performing arts franchise with a minimum investment of £12,000.

  • Cleaning franchises

    There is a wealth of franchises available in the domestic and commercial cleaning services industry. Minimum investments vary from as little as £1,000 up to £29,997.

  • Education franchises

    As parents become increasingly willing to pay to improve their childrens grades in school and prepare them for exams, this is a great franchise opportunity for those with the relevant experience.

  • Internet franchises

    Unsurprisingly, as mobile apps, gaming and social media continue to rise in popularity, there are a whole host of IT franchises available. Minimum investment starts from as little as £450 as all thats needed to get started is a laptop and decent internet connection.

  • Photography franchises

    A great chance to turn a hobby into a money-making franchise based at home. Whether its setting up a portrait studio in the spare room or going on the road with a mobile photo booth, if youre into photography, this could be the franchise for you.

So, its time to put your pre-conceived ideas to one side, because there is genuinely money to be made from low-cost franchises. Its true that youll have to put in the hard work to make it a success, but you can get rich from a minimal investment. The franchise model is effective because just by following the prescribed training, marketing and management guidelines set by the franchisor, you can start a business with little or no experience. But dont underestimate the importance of the franchisors support. When youre researching brands to become a part of, make sure you review how much advice and guidance is offered by the franchisor, as only with this support are you likely to see a return on your investment.

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