Franchises That Fit

Looking for a business opportunity that matches your passion and pocketbook? Try these hot and affordable franchises on for size.

they are confused and overwhelmed. “What we offer is kind of a matching service and matching qualified candidates to the company that they best profile for…that profile is based on their lifestyle, what they can afford, investment level, and skill levels,” he says. “We assist them in the process of weeding through thousands of franchises down to the ones that are the best fit.”

Consultants spend four to six hours with each prospective franchisee to gauge what they like and dislike, as well as educate them about the franchising system. If preliminary conversations reveal that the person may be a good fit for a franchise, he or she is then given eight to 10 businesses to do what Kiekenapp calls “window shopping.” That list is cut down to two or three companies. The prospects are then sent to the respective franchisors to either make a sale or discontinue the process, and the franchisee doesn’t pay for the service. If a deal is made, the franchisor pays the consulting firm.

DeBolt encourages prospective franchisees to use this type of service and recommends similar companies, including Entrepreneur Source and FranChoice, all of which can be found on the IFA Website.

“They are the tools you can use to help you make a decision,” he says. “Nothing obligates you to do anything with these companies beyond talking to them. On the other hand, you may want to spend your whole investigation process working with them.”

Five Franchises Under $50,000
Company Type Black-
Owned
Units
Domestic
Franchise
Units
Start-Up
Costs
2002
Average
Sales/Units
Soft-Temps
1280 N.E. Business Park Place
Jensen Beach, FL 34957 772-232-0103
Computer Services 4 34 $3,985 — $4,985 N/A
West Sanitation/Aerowest
3882 Del Amo Blvd., #602
Torrance, CA 90503 310-793-4242
Commercial Cleaning 16 72 $5,000 N/A
Tax Centers of America
1611 E. Main St.
Russellville, AR 72801 479-968-8012
Tax Preparation 7 191 $8,950 — $13,500 $4,500
OpenWorks
2777 E. Camelback Rd., Ste. 350
Phoenix, AZ 85016 602-224-0440
Commercial Cleaning 29 380 $11,500 $60,000
Liberty Tax Service
4575 Bonney Rd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23462 757-493-0694
Tax Preparation 54 919 $38,050 — $49,400 $50,000
SOURCE: BE RESEARCH
Five Franchises: $50,000 — $200,000
Company Type Black-
Owned
Units
Domestic
Franchise
Units
Start-Up
Costs
2002
Average
Sales/Units
Mini-Tankers USA Inc.
4739 University Way N.E., #1620
Seattle, WA 98105
877-218-3003
Business-to-Business/
Fueling Services
4 30 $14,100 — $64,000 $422,700
Geeks on Call America Inc.
814 Kempsville Rd., Ste. 106
Norfolk, VA 23502
757-466-3448
Computer Services 6 75 $37,350 — $89,150 $91,053
Sign-A-Rama
1801 Australian Ave. South
West Palm Beach, FL
561-640-5570
Business Services 10 450 $120,000 N/A
Express Personnel Services
Oklahoma City, OK 73162
405-840-5000
Staffing Services 11 407 $140,000 — $160,000 $2.5 million
Cottman Transmission Systems L.L.C.
2nd New York Drive
Fort Washington, PA
19034 215-643-5885
Automotive Services 11 370 $170,000 — $186,5000 $553,741
SOURCE: B.E. RESEARCH
Five Franchises: $200,000 — $500,000
Company Type Black-
Owned
Units
Domestic
Franchise
Units
Start-Up
Costs
2002
Average
Sales/Units
Total Car Franchising Corporation
642 Century Circle
Conway, SC 29526
843-347-8818
Automotive Services,
Fueling Services
5 277 $50,000 — $500,000 $100,000
Ben & Jerry’s
30 Community Drive
South Burlington, UT 05403
802-846-1500
Food 4 268 $129,500 — $316,000 N/A
Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery Inc.
3958 Park Ave.
Bronx, NY 10457
718-583-0360
Food 64 65 $135,150 — $325,851 N/A
Meineke Car Care Centers Inc.
128

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