If you’re looking to get in to franchising, you’ll be pleased to know that you won’t necessarily have to break the bank. Interested in investing in one of the UK’s most affordable franchises? Read on to learn more.
While everyone’s concept of “low cost” varies, the most affordable franchises generally expect an initial investment under £20,000. Don’t forget that one of the main benefits of franchising is the support, and that includes financial support. Many banks favour franchising over starting up a solo business. In fact many banks have specific departments that deal with franchise related business, some able to help lend up to 70% of the franchise fee!
Why Invest in a Low Cost Franchise?
One of the many reasons people like to aim for a low cost franchise, is because they’ve never been their own boss before. Understandably when you try something new that comes with a big investment, you want to start off spending as little as possible because you don’t know how it will turn out. First of all, it’s important to clear up that franchising should not be seen as an expense. If you’re not sure what franchising is, franchising is a way of replicating an already-successful business so that it reaches wider audience. That success can be taken elsewhere, be it another city or even country (master franchising).
You might also be interested in investing in a franchise as something to run on the side. Maybe you’re employed part time working up to 20 hours a week, or maybe family commitments mean you’re unable to work in employment. There are a low of franchises out there that offer the flexibility to work part time and we’ll take a look at some of these in this article.
Considerations When Buying a Franchise
One tip to be weary of is you’ll need working capital to keep the business running after investing. For example, if a window cleaning franchise costs £10,000 start-up investment, it’ll take you a few months to break even. In that time, you will need to buy stock, pay for monthly fees, fuel and any other ongoing expenses. If you have invested all of your available money into the franchise initial investment, you’re going to struggle to stay afloat.
The working capital required for each franchise will vary greatly so contact the franchisor to learn more about the break-even time, and how much capital you should expect to set aside.
Most Affordable Franchises in the UK
Let’s dive in and have a look at the most affordable franchises for sale. We’re not looking at franchise brands specifically, but collectively the sectors. Types of each franchise will usually be similar in investment, varying depending on their package. We’ve based these industries on their start-up cost and typical overheads going forward.
Vending businesses are widely regarded as low cost. Usually offered as an entry point to business ownership, vending tower franchises for example, can be run either part or full time. They’re scalable as well meaning you can take on more territories, more staff, more business. Vending franchises will usually see the franchisee supplying machines and making turnover from sales and the stock sold. As you supply more machines, on an ongoing basis, turnover goes up. If you start with a few machines, your turnover will be lower, but as you grow this usually increases.
Vending franchises are often van and home based, run on a solo or partnership basis, with minimal overheads. As one of the most affordable types of franchises, they can be as low as £500 for the initial investment. Of course, some vending machine franchises such as coffee will cost slightly more.
Home Based Franchises
From virtual assistants to home based travel businesses, home based franchises combine affordability and flexibility. One of the main benefits of home based franchises is their low overheads. Unlike coffee shops and retail where you’ll be paying extra bills and staff wages amongst other costs, home based working keeps things simple. Being so close to work means you’ll have more flexibility too. Saving time by cutting out commuting, you can take your kids to school and do other things that fit around your work.
It’s impossible to put a price tag on home based franchises, because most franchises can actually be run from home. The main expenses for the franchise are often training, support and the license. Plus any necessary software and marketing used to promote your franchise.
When it comes to cleaning franchises, there is a lot of variety. From window cleaning to chimney sweeping, oven cleaning to car washing. Many cleaning businesses can be run from home – these are called management franchises. Working the franchise from home lowers your costs, while you manage staff to who do the actual cleaning. But if you think that takes the fun out of running a business, or you prefer to engage with clients, it doesn’t stop there. Many cleaning franchises do enable you to get involved. To get your hands dirty so to speak.
Oven cleaning franchises are very popular. Whether franchisees are cleaning domestic or commercial premises, it offers a luxury of getting out there and meeting clients whilst still retaining affordability. Franchisors will usually have agreements in place with vehicle lenders, to help make investment more affordable. Overheads aren’t particularly high either. Take in to consideration your cleaning chemicals and fuel, plus any backend client management software, and you’ve got a comfortable business. When you think oven cleans can cost up to around £100 for a professional clean, just doing 5-6 cleans a week could net you almost £5k turnover a month!
In conjunction with home based working, internet franchises offer flexibility and affordability. Usually home based, internet franchises will often involve running a business online. So as you’d expect, ongoing overheads can be kept to a minimum. Ongoing you’ll be paying for hosting, marketing and this may be part of your management fee, so learn more from the franchisor to find out if this is managed for you. Some top types of internet businesses include:
- Internet travel franchise businesses
- Web design and digital marketing franchises
- Online eCommerce and Dropshipping
- Virtual Assistant and Call Handling
- Food Delivery and Ordering Franchises
With internet travel franchises, all you’ll really need is a laptop and a phone. A website will usually be provided, either your own one or a microsite on the main franchisor’s website. As you’d expect, these are work anywhere franchises so you can work from home, or a cruise ship – anywhere with WiFi.
Internet franchises will usually cost under £20,000 for the initial investment.
Mobile Coffee Franchises
At first glance, coffee van franchises might sound expensive. But for a franchise to be successful, the franchisor will have systems in place to make the business profitable, scalable and affordable. Thanks to the lending from banks we talked about earlier, combine that with vehicle leasing agreements, the initial investment won’t actually sound that bad. Ongoing, monthly fees will be higher, but coffee is one of the most booming sectors on the planet!
With mobile coffee franchises, you’ll be placing yourself in busy places attracting footfall. That might be train stations or local community events, anywhere there will be customers. Assuming you work the franchise Monday to Friday, you could turnover £100+ a day, a tasty £2000+ per month.
Buying a Franchise – Frequently Asked Questions
Vending and home based franchises are amongst the cheapest franchises to own purely because they require minimal investment and have low ongoing overheads. Scalable, home based and vending businesses enable you to take on more or less work depending on what you hope to achieve. While everyone will have their own verdict on what is considered a low cost, generally anything less than £20,000 can be considered a cheap franchise. Coupled with the support banks and lenders can offer, buying a franchise could end up being half that figure.
Businesses that can be run from home, including home based franchises, can be profitable. Regardless of the type of business model, the more work you’ll put in, the more you’ll get out. Whether the business is a white collar professional or executive role or one where you’re simply running an online dropshipping business, profitability depends on how hard you work.
Home based franchises are amongst the best businesses to run from an affordability perspective because the initial investment can be very low. Typically a home based franchise can be started from less than £20,000. However if you’re planning to own a franchise where you manage employees, you’ll need enough working capital to market the business and pay their salaries.
Most Affordable Franchises in Summary
Almost all franchise sectors will offer franchises in varying price range. With agreements in place with many banks such as Natwest, Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds, franchising is becoming a closer reach for many. These are just some of the types of affordable franchises out there. From children’s dance and baby sensory to man/woman-and-a-van home improvement franchises, there are many franchises under £20,000 just waiting to be explored.
Take a look around Franchise Planet today.