We have around 773,000 franchise establishments in this country—but what’s the draw for small business owners? Let’s look at it this way: say, for instance, that you’re a novice entrepreneur. Would you rather start a business from scratch or place your bets on an established operation? Many people just starting out would choose the latter. But franchises aren’t only for budding entrepreneurs. They’re for everyone: people looking to make more money, established entrepreneurs who want another source of income, or retirees who want to contribute to the workforce. Anyone can benefit from all that franchises have to offer. Advantages of Buying a Franchise Building a business from the ground up takes hard work and time. You have to set up everything yourself—your own processes, protocols, and procedures. You’re in charge of everything, and that comes with great responsibility: not only do you own every win, you also own every loss. And with this from-scratch model comes many hours of trial and error. A franchise opportunity gives you all the advantages of a business without having to start it yourself. You get the chance to utilize all the hard work and established processes that someone else has developed, which minimizes your risk. And the franchise’s whole package gets handed to you: a proven business model, brand recognition, a stream of customers, and continual support. But every franchise is not the same. If you’re considering buying a franchise, here’s what you need to look for in an establishment: \tIndustry growth potential. Look beyond the current state of the industry and examine future projections. Will the industry continue to grow or remain stagnant? \tStrong support system. What type of ongoing support—if any—does the franchise provide? \tGood management. Make sure the franchise has the right strategies, plans, systems, and processes in place. \tAdequate earnings. Consider if the projected income you will receive matches what you want or need. \tSatisfied franchisees. Talk to other franchise owners to gauge their level of satisfaction. Best Franchises for Under $10k Want to be a business owner but don’t want to break the bank? Read on for our top franchise picks that you can acquire for $10k or less. 1. Momleta This franchise is a great opportunity for fitness-passionate moms. If you love staying in shape and want to help other moms get in shape, Momleta may be the franchise for you. Unlike other sports franchises, Momleta doesn’t require a startup investment of well over $10,000—initial fees fall between $4,000–$7,000. This franchise is also under the Baby Boot Camp brand and includes several programs and fitness classes. 2. Social Owl If you enjoy working from home and would love to help small business owners succeed, you could consider opening a SocialOwl franchise. SocialOwl makes it possible to start your own social media marketing business. This franchise is unique because the model includes a SaaS (software as a service) starter pack. With this franchise, you’d work with local businesses to sell social media packages. Access to training, marketing materials, and your own branded website are all included for low investment fees of $179–$249 per month. Average ROI is also worth noting: according to SocialOwl, you can make around $300 a month per client. 3. Building Stars A Building Stars franchise will give you all the tools you need to build a successful cleaning business. They also offer training and ongoing support programs to help you sustain your franchise. Their focus is on commercial cleaning solutions for office buildings—a $117 billion industry that’s continuing to grow because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The total investment required for this opportunity ranges from $2,245–$8,295. 4. Jazzercise Another great opportunity for fitness buffs is Jazzercise. Their program makes working out fun and exciting: their dance-based, full-body routines will get you moving to popular music and help you whip others into shape. After applying to join the program, you’ll receive training over a 5-week period. At that point, you can choose to become a Jazzercise instructor or a small business owner. The total investment to own your own franchise falls between $2,415 and $3,200. 5. Complete Weddings and Events Complete Weddings and Events is the largest event-services provider in the United States. If you enjoy organizing events, planning, and making schedules, this may be the franchise for you. It’s also worth noting that the wedding industry took a dip due to the pandemic. Pre-COVID, the industry generated $72 billion per year. But since then, it’s taken a tremendous hit—in 2021, it’s expected to generate $51.2 billion. Now that the country is reopening, however, people will be planning more in-person weddings and other celebrations—and they’ll no doubt need the help of professional event planners. Complete Weddings and Events will give you all the training and ongoing support you need. They’ll also teach you how to price your services and hire other professionals, like photographers, DJs, and videographers. Startup costs are around $10,000. Franchises Under $10k in 2021 If you want the freedom of entrepreneurship but cringe when you think of everything that goes along with it—like building a business from scratch, growing your company, and marketing your brand—then you’ll probably benefit from a franchise. And if you can get in for $10k or less, your risk decreases even more. Before you buy a franchise, weigh all the pros and cons and consider if it’s worth it for you. $10k may not seem like a lot of money to some, but it’s unquestionably a substantial amount. And you want to maximize your investment regardless of how much it costs. When you choose a franchise, ensure that your chosen franchise model is a stable, quality organization who will offer you ongoing support—not an establishment that only reaches out to you when it’s time to collect your franchise fees. $10k may not be enough to buy into one of the most popular franchises, like McDonald's, Great Clips, or Anytime Fitness. But it’s enough to purchase a good franchise that will teach you, train you, and bring you a positive return on your investment.