Franchising is a great way to be your own boss, but it can be expensive. Depending on the franchise, you’ll need to pay a startup fee and other start-up costs, plus continue paying franchise fees. If you don’t have a lot of money, it may seem like starting a franchise is out of the question. But it’s possible to find a franchise that fits your skills, interests, and financial limitations. You’ll just have to be creative and do your research.
The first step to opening a franchise is determining how much you can afford to invest. To do this, compile a balance sheet and assess your net worth. If necessary, seek advice from a qualified financial advisor to determine your financial capacity.
Next, research the franchise you’re interested in and attend a discovery day. This is your opportunity to visit the headquarters and meet with key business executives, so make sure you’re well-prepared. During your research, also consider how long the franchisor has been in business and whether they’ve seen a decline in new locations or closed franchises.
Finally, look into local and state programs that offer grants to help people start small businesses. The Small Business Administration also offers loans specifically for franchises. But you’ll have to put up collateral, such as your home, in order to qualify for a loan.