Types of Franchises And How To Find Them


What Types of Franchises Are There, And How Much Do They Cost?

There are 3,000 different franchises available in the US, and they fall under five general categories.  Cost-wise, they range from $50,000 to over $1,000,000.


Food Service

This category includes everything from:

  • ice cream shops like Dairy Queen, ($382,000-$1,828,000 total investment);
  • to fast food franchises like Buffalo Wild Wings, ($1,389,200 – $3,148,200 total investment);
  • to sandwich shops like Subway ($84,300 – $258,300)

Since food-related franchises are the most visible of all franchise types, (as well as being the highest percentage of franchises) it’s a common starting point for would-be franchise owners, who like the idea of associating with a popular type of business.


This category of franchising is a highly visible one. Retail franchises are for people that want customers to come to them, as opposed to having to go out to find them. For instance, The UPS Store ($150,984 – $337,946) has thousands of locations. Other retail franchise businesses include:

It’s common for retail franchise owners to own more than one store; they’re called multi-unit franchisees.

Personal Services

This sector of franchising tends to cater to busy families, and more recently, seniors. Service Brands International is a great example of a franchisor that focuses solely on this busy segment. Their brands include:

Franchisors like US Lawns, ($48,500, $56,000) and 1-800-Got-Junk, ($107,400 – $140,400) also provide much-needed services.

When it comes to keeping our senior citizens in their homes, (as opposed to a nursing home):

Those are just three of the over 30 different senior care-related franchises being offered. Read about the senior care franchise numbers.

Business to Business

This category of franchising attracts sales and marketing minded folks. These types of franchises are outbound franchises; franchisees go out to find their clients and customers:

  • Servepro ($127,300 – $174,700) is a company that specializes in water and fire damage clean-up and restoration.
  • Jani-King ($13,150 – $93,150) is in the commercial cleaning business, servicing office buildings, restaurants, and stadiums/arenas.
  • TeamLogic IT ($91,850 – $148,850) is a franchise that provides IT consulting services to small businesses.

Several types of home-based franchises fall into the B2B category, too. OneCoach ($40,100 – $318,800) franchisees offer consulting/coaching services to small businesses. Cost-cutting is an important part of running a business, so franchisees of Expense Reduction Analysts Inc., ($66,100 – $81,750) consult with business owners and executives on how to do just that.

Children’s Services

When it comes to children, consumers generally spend their money, freely. Opportunities in this sector abound, and for people that love children, this is a popular sector. In January of 2002, President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind bill, which increased funding for school systems. Since then, the school systems have reached out to the franchisees of Sylvan Learning, ($179,069 – $305,090) and Huntington Learning Centers, ($197,450 – $382,450) to help them with students who may be struggling in school.

Parents that need a place to hold their children’s birthday parties can go to Pump It Up, which offers an indoor arena featuring giant inflatables. Child safety is an important topic these days, and the 250 locations of Ident-A-Kid,($34,005 – $44,205) work with schools and community centers to provide identification cards for children.

Next we’ll cover how to find and research franchises.  Click on page 2 below to continue . . .


Joel Libava - Franchise Expert

Joel Libava Joel Libava is the Franchise Expert for Small Business Trends. Joel, The Franchise King®, equips today’s prospective franchise owners with time-tested, proven techniques designed to increase odds of success. He does this through one-on-one coaching, and gobs of useful content that can be found on places like Small Business Trends, SBA.Gov, and his award-winning franchise blog, The Franchise King Blog . He’s been featured in Entrepreneur® magazine, and is frequently called upon by national media outlets and publications for his no-spin insights into the world of franchising.

11 Reactions

  1. Anita Campbell

    All I can say, Joel, is there must a lot of money in chicken wings! A Buffalo Wild Wings franchise for $1 to $3 Million! If you bought one of those franchises you’d have to invest in some of those signs with the cow that says “eat more chicken”. 🙂

  2. Yes…they are big money.

    Big places, lots of fixtures, and the rent is ginormous.

    Lots of activity on sporting event nights though, and their gross receipts probably reflect as much.

    It’s still an awful lot of money. And some franchisees own more than one unit!

    One more thing; I love wings….

    The Franchise King®

  3. The most popular franchise industries right now include healthier fast food chains, vending franchises like DVDNow, cleaning franchises and senior care franchises. People are starting them up left and right. We also have a comprehensive list of hot franchises by industry, region and initial investment. Check us out!

  4. It is very important when selecting a franchise, to choose a business model that is right for you and fits with your personality and ambitions. You need to be to be passionate about the products and services of your chosen franchise. Another important consideration is how well are you going to get on with the franchisor and its management team.

    • Thanks for commenting, Jason.

      Actually, I’m going to disagree with you here.

      One doesn’t need to be passionate about the products or services that they are selling…especially at the beginning.

      I don’t know too many people that are passionate about cleaning huge office buildings, for instance.

      But, these people-these franchisees, ARE passionate about some or all of the outcomes that business owners have.

      Like being the boss…

      The Franchise King®

  5. “How do you rate the marketing and advertising?” is a great point. Having infrastructure without exposure is useless.

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