Home-Based Franchises - A full third of the companies on Entrepreneur Magazine’s popular Franchise 500 list for 2014 were home-based. It shows how strong is the lure of escaping the cubicle and working from the kitchen table or coffee shop.
There is a wide range to choose from in the home-based business opportunity field. The prices on the Franchise 500 list vary from less than $10,000 to less than $50,000, making them very reasonably priced for people new to business ownership.
Home-Based Franchises - Why The Rising Popularity?
Home-based businesses of all types, franchise or not, are growing. A study done by Small Business Success and checked by Emergent Research shows that there are over 6 million businesses in the country that provide at least half the family income.
Home businesses are a boon for the economy. Those in the study hired more than 13 million workers. These aren’t seat-of-the-pants businesses just producing coffee money. More than one-third generated over $125,000 in revenue. Almost 10% generated over half a million dollars for their owners.
After the economic downturn in 2008, many laid off workers looked for alternative ways to make money. And a home-based business typically has less overhead, which makes it an attractive choice for those with limited budgets.
With ongoing advances in technology, cloud computing and the universality of the Internet, it is easy to market, sell, collect money and communicate from the comfort of home. For example, video conferencing has made it possible for consultants to have clients all over the world.
As more workers telecommute, the gray reputation of working-from-home has all but dissipated. Especially among those in the Generation X and millennial demographic, working from home is seen as the ideal, something to strive for.
Their low cost and flexibility have opened up the possibility of owning a home-based business to people who could only dream about it a few years ago. The lower overhead and low-cost apps and programs make it feasible for people struggling with debt or lost paychecks to own a home-based business.
The flexibility makes it possible for mothers of young children to operate one. People still relying on a full-time job can run a franchise in the evening and on weekends.
Home-Based Franchises - Examples
According to Kiplinger Magazine, top home-based franchises tend to be home-based and service-based. Among the most popular are fitness classes - personal and business coaching and consulting - cleaning businesses for home and business - garden work and pest control - providing in-home care for - seniors and others with challenges - disaster restoration, like cleaning up after a flood or fire - providing tools for specialists and homeowners - marketing and printing services
One example in the category of home services is National Property Inspections. This home-based franchise, with a low-to-mid-range pricing, is popular with people who have sales, marketing or construction experience. It is also a solid choice for those new to property inspections because the company provides full training and a turn-key setup.
Popular low-cost franchise for the budget-strapped entrepreneur include medical billing, specialty pet food and travel planners.
Home-Based Franchises - How To Choose?
Experts recommend finding a franchise that you already have some background in. For example, construction workers naturally gravitate to the National Property Inspection franchise mentioned earlier.
If you have cared for a relative or child, consider putting that experience to work with an in-home care franchise. If friends constantly compliment you on how clean your home is, owning a cleaning business might be a good fit.
Be sure to check zoning regulations and other laws in your locality regarding a home-based business. Regulations may limit your seeing customers at your home or in taking in a great deal of inventory.
Be sure to have a realistic overview of your financial resources. Check with an accountant before you consider buying a franchise. Don’t invest in one that is too rich for your budget. It will put too much stress on you to make good quickly.
The Small Business Administration has a guide to help you evaluate franchises you can run from home.
With research and planning, you can join the rush to owning a home-based franchise. Leave the commute behind. Enjoy the freedom and flexibility of being a kitchen table entrepreneur.
SOURCES: Entrepreneur Magazine, Kiplinger Magazine, SBA, Emergent Research and The Brickell Media Group, LLC