Finding the Best Franchise Opportunities for 2015

It’s a tough thing to sort out all these “top franchises” lists. They all use different metrics to determine which is the “best” franchise on the market. Some are geared toward the franchiser’s total profit, others toward the franchises with the minimum investment required to join, and still others toward more obscure metrics like ‘delta-S’ — the change-per-franchise in the brand’s total market share. But for your purposes, there needs to be only three statistics examined: franchisee satisfaction, franchisee success, and the cost-of-entry.

Fortunately, industry research firm Franchisee Business Review has already done the work and given us a list of the ‘best’ franchise opportunities. We’re going to break down three of those opportunities for you to show you what we consider ‘ideal’ opportunities in some very different industries.

National Property Inspections, Inc.

  • Cash Required to Start: $44,000 (Franchise Fee: $34,900)
  • Franchisee Satisfaction: 4.1/5
  • Unique Pros: No other employees required; work solo/from home
  • Unique Cons: Getting wrapped up in Tyvek suits and crawling through confined spaces

A franchisee with National Property Inspections is expected to come in with a modest supply of startup cash (see above), the desire to learn and work hard…and that’s about it. NPI will train you in both home and commercial building inspection and provide you with a complete step-by-step for running your business successfully. So long as you’re willing to get down and dirty (literally!), and you can follow a plan to the T, NPI is a great low-cost opportunity for people who want to fly solo.

Firehouse Subs

  • Cash Required to Start: $128,760 (Franchise Fee: $20,000)
  • Franchisee Satisfaction: 3.8/5
  • Unique Pros: Profound vetting system means if they take you on, you’re probably going to succeed.
  • Unique Cons: Your main competitor (Subway) is far-and-away the most dominant force in the industry and you have to be something special to steal their customers away

Firehouse Subs was started by a pair of firefighters who understood what their fellow public-service personnel — love (hint: meat.) They also have an intense focus on making every store successful (somewhat the opposite of Subway’s “open everywhere, see who fails” model), which on the one hand means it’s quite possible to get your application for a franchise declined — but if they do accept you, you can be assured they’ll do everything in their power to help you make it.

Payroll Vault

  • Cash Required to Start: $69,000 (Franchise Fee: $28,000)
  • Net Worth Requirement: $250,000
  • Franchisee Satisfaction: 4.2/5
  • Unique Pros: A thoroughly white-collar, B2B affair — franchising from a desktop
  • Unique Cons: Lots of legal details; most be attentive to minutia

If you’re interested in a franchise but you don’t want to deal with scheduling shifts, manual labor, or corporate uniforms — if your skillset is in financial advising or business capital — Payroll Vault might be a great fit. With a relatively modest startup fee and great training opportunities that include shadowing existing franchisees on the job, you can start a payroll outsourcing firm and start building your LinkedIn network and brushing up to your local Chamber of Commerce like any other suit-and-tie corporate professional.

These are just a few examples of the best franchise opportunities for 2015. There are hundreds of other brands that have proven successful business models with relatively low barriers to entry. A franchise broker can help you perform a more efficient search by sifting through the hundreds of possibilities and narrowing your search down to the handful of franchises that best suit your passion, tastes and budget.

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