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By Gillian B. White, Reporter
| November 20, 2013
With the economy recovering at a less than robust pace, the thought of finding a new job or starting your own business from scratch can be daunting. But with tried-and-true business models and corporate support, a franchise can mitigate some of the risks of striking out on your own.
There's a lot to think about when considering opening a franchise: franchise fees, net worth requirements, customer demand and, finally, the growth prospects for the business. To help, we’ve identified seven franchises with reasonable start-up costs and net worth requirements that are poised for more growth in the year ahead. Check them out.
Courtesy The Grounds Guys
Revenue growth over past 5 years: 233%
Net worth requirement: $100,000
Franchise fee: $28,000
Headquarters: Waco, Texas.
In 2010, Tim van Stralen and his nine brothers joined forces with The Dwyer Group, turning their landscaping business, formerly known as Sunshine Grounds Care, into a new franchise: The Grounds Guys. The franchise offers grass cutting, landscape design, irrigation, outdoor lighting design and snow removal. Existing businesses that offer any of these services can fold into a Ground Guys franchise and immediately receive franchisor support in adding services. New franchisees can expect hands-on training at the company’s headquarters, where they will learn about marketing, technology and operations and be walked through the financials of a Grounds Guys franchise.
Service: Staffing services
Revenue growth over past 5 years: 21%
Net worth requirement: $200,000
Franchise fee: $35,000
Headquarters: Oklahoma City, Okla.
Express Employment Professionals provides a wide range of solutions when it comes to the challenges of staffing. From hiring temporary and contract staff to providing human resources solutions, Express Employment Professionals works with both job seekers and employers to create mutually beneficial relationships. The company is considered one of the best in the staffing industry and provides training for new franchise owners. In addition to its domestic locations, Express Employment has expanded to the international market, with locations in Canada and South Africa.
Service: Fast food
Revenue growth over past 5 years: 79%
Net worth requirement: $400,000
Franchise fee: $30,000
Headquarters: Richardson, Tex.
Wingstop franchisees have continuing support from corporate headquarters that includes a full month of training and ongoing access to a franchise consultant who can help owners create an efficient, profitable operation. With restaurants in more than 30 states, the franchise’s brand and name recognition is continually growing. Since a high percentage of Wingstop’s business is takeout, franchisees can run their restaurants with a relatively small staff.
Courtesy BlueGrace Logistics
Service: Transportation management
Revenue growth over past 5 years: 494%
Net worth requirement: $150,000
Franchise fee: $47,500
Headquarters: Riverview, Fla.
BlueGrace Logistics helps companies tackle not only shipping logistics but also comprehensive supply chain management. The company uses specialized technology to help clients better manage their data and consolidate their shipping needs. BlueGrace has been recognized as one of the fastest-growing franchises in the U.S., and it received an award for franchisee satisfaction from the Franchise Business Review in 2013.
Photo by Poon Watchara-Amphaiwan
Service: Outdoor pest control
Revenue growth over past 5 years: N/A (less than 1 year old)
Net worth requirement: $250,000
Franchise fee: $10,000
Headquarters: Virginia Beach, Va.
Mosquito Joe focuses on -- you guessed it -- mosquito eradication. Less than a year old, the business boasts a low franchise fee and a flexible work schedule, so it can be run as a part-time supplement to another business. Franchisees are offered training on equipment, management, and marketing at MoJo University, located at the company’s headquarters. With growing concern over insect-related illnesses, such as West Nile virus, Mosquito Joe franchisees have good growth potential. Read more about how Kurt and Melissa Godwin, pictured here, got their Mosquito Joe franchise started.
Service: Graphics and sign making
Revenue growth over past 5 years: 27%
Net worth requirement: $250,000
Franchise fee: $36,500
Headquarters: Carrollton, Tex.
FastSigns allows franchisees who already own their own printing or signage businesses to co-brand, keeping their original brand while adding the name recognition and support of the FastSigns company. The brand was included in Entrepreneur magazine’s top 500 franchises for the past five years, climbing to number 79 in 2013. FastSigns provides its franchisees with training support, onsite visits and plenty of financing options.
Courtesy Red Mango
Service: Frozen yogurt
Franchise growth over past 5 years: 422%
Net worth requirement: $350,000
Franchise fee: $35,000
Red Mango represents one of the fastest-growing franchises in the extremely popular frozen yogurt and smoothie industry.
What sets it apart? Its focus on healthy and low-fat options, appealing to more and more people who are trying to eat healthier. The company’s yogurt contains probiotics and also comes in dairy free varieties. Moreover, instead of mostly sugar-laden toppings, you'll find diet-friendly options such as fruits, nuts and other healthy add-ons. The franchise offers franchisees the option of operating full-service or self-serve stores, giving them greater flexibility with staffing needs and store operations.