The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Franchising: A Smart Start for Beginners

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Imagine a business where the customer service model is well-established and you have the ongoing support of a parent company. That's the allure of franchising. The IFA is designed to serve as a guiding hand through operations, making it one of the best avenues for entrepreneurs. Notably, selecting the best franchise to suit your goals and financial situation is the backbone to enjoying these benefits.


  1. A Blueprint for Business Ownership
  2. Top Industries to Start Your Franchising Journey
  3. How Much Money Do You Need to Start a Franchise?
  4. Key Factors for a Successful Franchise
  5. Start Your Entrepreneurial Journey with IFA
3 benefits of franchising


A Blueprint for Business Ownership

Unlike starting a business from scratch, franchising provides an existing blueprint for success, allowing franchisees to leverage the brand's operational procedures. This model not only reduces the uncertainties typically associated with entrepreneurship but also offers a supportive network provided by the IFA and the franchisor. 

Franchising is a Risk-Averse Entrepreneurial Option

Franchisees often receive support from the parent company, including training programs, operational guidance, and ongoing marketing assistance, but this can vary between franchises. Having a support system in place significantly reduces the learning curve and increases the likelihood of success. Furthermore, franchising inherently carries reduced startup risk compared to starting a business independently, thanks to the proven business model and brand strength to build off of.

From fast-food chains and retail outlets to service-oriented businesses like fitness centers and cleaning services, there is a franchise out there to suit virtually every interest and investment level. This diversity allows prospective franchisees to align their passion with a profitable business venture, increasing the likelihood of long-term success and satisfaction.

Top Industries to Start Your Franchising Journey

Franchising showcases your determination to learn, adapt, and capture markets while simultaneously crafting your business ownership story. We cannot express this enough - the best franchise opportunities are the ones that align with your personal goals and are financially within reach. We chose the following industries based on the IFA 2024 Franchising Economic Outlook:

  1. Food & Restaurants

Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) franchises often have streamlined operational procedures and standardized menu offerings, making them accessible to beginners. Additionally, many fast-food chains provide franchisees with comprehensive training programs and ongoing support. Not only are table/full-service restaurants projected to grow in 2024, but Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) are expected to be among the fastest-growing industries this year with a projected growth rate of 2.2%

  1. Retail

Retail franchises, particularly those in the convenience store or specialty retail sectors, can be easy for beginners to enter. These franchises typically offer recognizable brand names, established supply chains, and operational support. Though there is a projected dip in purchasing power among consumers, the retail industry offers countless points of entry – a prevalent one being second-hand goods retailing. To keep an edge when entering this industry, trends in AI should be investigated to optimize operational efficiency.

  1. Automotive

Whether it's automotive repair, maintenance, or detailing, franchising in the automotive industry provides a strong business model. As consumers continue to prioritize vehicle care and convenience, franchising in the automotive sector allows you to tap into a resilient market with strong growth potential. The automotive industry is in a strong position for 2024. Franchisors should be prepared to incorporate key changes with newer technologies to remain profitable in the long haul.

  1. Health, Personal Care & Fitness

Personal service franchises, such as hair salons, fitness centers, and cleaning services, offer opportunities for beginners to enter industries with high demand and recurring revenue streams. These franchises often provide training and marketing support to help franchisees succeed. Especially since the surge in attention on health and wellness from the COVID-19 pandemic, this group of personal services is projected to grow by 3.0% in 2024.

  1. Home-Based and Mobile Businesses

Home-based and mobile franchises allow beginner franchisees to operate businesses with lower overhead costs and flexible schedules. These franchises may include home cleaning services, lawn care, and mobile pet grooming.


Projected growth of franchise output (source: IFA)


How Much Money Do You Need to Start a Franchise?

There’s no ballpark estimate since costs vary across industries. However, there are certain financial considerations you can expect to come across when starting up a business. Understanding the financial commitments involved is crucial for prospective franchisees to make informed decisions and set realistic expectations. Here's a breakdown of the key financial considerations:

Minimum Liquid Capital: Setting a Financial Foundation for Success

Minimum liquid capital refers to the amount of cash or easily convertible assets that a prospective franchisee must have available for initial investment. This capital serves as the initial financial foundation for launching and operating the franchise.

Pro Tip: Consulting with financial advisors can help determine the appropriate level of liquid capital needed to support the franchise venture effectively.

Total Investment: Understanding the Full Scope of Financial Commitment

Total investment encompasses all expenses associated with starting and operating a franchise business. 

Prospective franchisees should conduct thorough due diligence and review the franchisor's financial disclosure documents, including the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), to gain clarity on the estimated total investment. 

Pro Tip: Consulting with existing franchisees within the brand can provide valuable insights into the actual costs associated with launching and operating the franchise business.

Franchise Fees: Initial Costs and Long-term Benefits

Initial franchise fees are one-time payments made to the franchisor for the right to use their brand name, trademarks, and business system. Franchise fees vary widely depending on the brand's popularity, industry, and level of support provided by the franchisor.

Pro Tip: It's essential to evaluate the value proposition offered by the franchisor and assess the potential return on investment relative to the upfront costs incurred.

Net Worth Required: Evaluating Financial Viability and Stability

Franchisors often require prospective franchisees to meet a minimum net worth threshold to ensure they have the financial resources and stability to support the franchise business effectively. Net worth is calculated by subtracting liabilities from assets and serves as an indicator of financial strength and investment capacity.

Pro Tip: Conduct a thorough assessment of their financial assets and liabilities to determine their net worth and ensure they meet the franchisor's minimum requirements. 

Key Factors for a Successful Franchise

The success of a franchise operation hinges on many factors. By carefully evaluating these and selecting a franchise opportunity that aligns with your goals and values, you can embark on a rewarding journey toward entrepreneurial success and make a meaningful impact within your community.

Streamlined Operations and Support:

Opting for a franchise with streamlined operations and strong support systems enhances the ease of opening and running the business. Look for franchises that offer comprehensive training programs, operational manuals, and ongoing support from the franchisor. 

The IFA is here to serve as an added layer of support in your business endeavors. We stay on top of best practices and share valuable insights, as well as host a webinar series for labor and hiring. From mentoring to networking, we ensure a team effort to best support our members.

Having support ensures that franchisees are equipped with the knowledge, tools, and resources needed to navigate challenges and thrive in their operations. 

Proven Business Model:

A successful franchise operation is built on a proven business model that has demonstrated success in various markets. Assess the track record of potential franchise opportunities, considering factors such as brand recognition, customer satisfaction, and franchisee profitability. 

Choosing a franchise with a solid track record increases the likelihood of replicating success and achieving profitability more efficiently.

Alignment with Personal Interests and Community Needs:

Selecting a franchise that aligns with personal interests and community needs is the best hack for long-term success and fulfillment. Consider your passions, skills, and values when evaluating franchise opportunities. Every successful franchisee will tell you that operating a business that resonates with your interests increases motivation and satisfaction. 

Assess the demand for the franchise industry’s products or services within the local community, ensuring that it addresses prevalent needs and preferences.

Trendsetting in Franchising: Fast Food, Fitness, and Beyond

The franchise world seems never-ending, with sectors like fast food, fitness, and home services at the forefront of business ownership trends. Companies like Zaxby’s continue to innovate, while cruise planners ride the wave of travel enthusiasm. 

To launch your own business with the potential for longevity, it's crucial to consider factors beyond the financials. Aligning business ownership with your passions, mastering extensive training, and understanding your local market are the keystones for a successful business.

Start Your Entrepreneurial Journey with the IFA

As the preeminent voice and leader for franchising globally, our association works to educate and advocate for individuals venturing into franchising, not only in the United States but across the world.

Our mission is to protect, facilitate, and champion franchising, fighting for the future of this powerful business model. By choosing to become a franchise owner with the International Franchise Association, you’re becoming part of a determined community of people with the same goals. 

Already a franchisor or franchisee? Become a member of IFA to gain access to countless resources and a community that you can lean on!