10 Best Franchises to Buy in 2019

Close-up of a tablet showing the word 'franchise' written over a map of the world

Do you think you need to come up with a new concept, product or service to embark upon your entrepreneurial dream? Well, just one word will dispute that false premise: franchise.

Let's be candid: it can be risky to start a business, especially one that is unique and unknown to the rest of the world. You might sell the greatest steak and cheese sandwiches on the planet or offer used books in great condition at a low price, but if consumers are unaware of your brand, then it can be harder to convince shoppers to first enter your store and then depart with their hard-earned money.

A franchise is different because consumers are already aware of what the brand is. They know how scrumptious a Big Mac is, how satisfying a double-double is, or how reliable the tutoring service is. Recognition, awareness and trust are the chief tenets in the corporate world. Once you complement your entrepreneurial skills and characteristics with franchising, your bank account can see a few extra zeroes.

So, are you interested in buying a franchise? Let's explore the best franchises to buy in 2019.

1. McDonald's

Rumours of McDonald's death have been greatly exaggerated. Once the top dog in the fast food landscape, the company went through a down period where the brand's reputation took a beating, sales stagnated, and revenues endured a deep dive. In the last several years, however, McDonald's is experiencing a resurgence and has become one of the best companies to invest in, particularly if you're an entrepreneur seeking out franchise opportunities.

There is no better time to hop on the McDonalds bandwagon, because the brand is doing everything to stay ahead of the competition and adapt to the market environment, from digital menu boards to its mobile application.

Just be sure that you have around $1 million to $2 million because that is the initial investment you will need to open a McDonald's in any neighbourhood around the world.

2. Dunkin'

Dunkin' recently made headlines by announcing that it would be ditching the name Dunkin' Donuts in favour of just Dunkin'. Moreover, the company is concentrating on beverages, introducing a new espresso option, a new tap system for customers and a new green-friendly, Styrofoam-free cup. While it is still selling doughnuts, the company is evolving to get its share of the coffee pie and be the best alternative to overpriced Starbucks products.

It is also a reasonable investment for business-savvy folks because it requires a minimum of $230,000 to open. That is not bad compared to other top franchises in the industry.

3. Kumon Education Centers

Have you seen test scores lately? They are abysmal. Kids cannot do basic arithmetic, reading comprehension is in the dumps, and students cannot find Turkmenistan on the map.

Because households have more money in their pockets, families are sending their children to tutors to help boost their test scores and better grasp adding, subtracting and maximising the utility of a gift exchange when the recipient rather than the giver dictates how the capital is used.

You might not know it, but the Kumon Education Centers franchise has consistently ranked in the top 20 of global franchise opportunities. It makes sense, considering the trends occurring in public education and dissatisfaction among parents.

The biggest chunk of your $120,000 investment will be on labour – you want the best people for the job; that is your selling point.

4. Supercuts

Who the heck wants to spend $100 on a haircut, especially if you're a guy, these days? For men, a simple cut, trim and style will suffice. That is why Supercuts is probably one of the best hair salons to frequent as a patron and own as an entrepreneur: because it satisfies a demand for simplicity. All it costs for a quick haircut is $10 to $15, and that is not bad for something that will just grow back. Well, mostly…

To purchase a Supercuts and erect a location in an area of your city, you will need a $200,000 investment. A large chunk of this money will go to equipment and employees because you do not want dilapidated tools and unskilled hairdressers.

5. Planet Fitness

Thanks to technology, fitness centres have turned into inexpensive places for both investors and customers. You come across a lot of 24/7 gyms that only have a handful of employees on hand during the day and an automated system during non-business hours, which allows people to lift weights, run on a treadmill or box punching bags in the middle of the night. This makes monthly subscriptions cheap; Planet Fitness sells monthly memberships for as low as $10.

To own a gym in today's world is comparable to a savings account. You put a pile of cash into an account and accrue interest. Well, it's similar to owning an automated gym: you invest between $950,000 and $4 million, which is what you will need for a Planet Fitness franchise, and allow your money to grow.

6. Merry Maids

Let's be candid: nobody has time to scrub toilets, wipe down the garage and remove soap scum from the top of dish liquid bottles.

What was something reserved for the wealthy years ago, maid service has become more accessible and affordable for everyone. Because of this, more households are opting to spend a few dollars extra a month so they can have more time to lick the back of stamps for their collections and watch their home team lose another game.

Surprisingly, Merry Maids has landed on multiple lists of the greatest franchise opportunities for several consecutive years. When you think about it, it makes a lot of sense: the initial investment is below $100,000, the biggest expenses will be equipment and supplies, and being hands-on can reduce labour costs.

7. Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons has transformed from a small shop in Hamilton, Ontario to a national juggernaut that sells everything from the double-double to the Beyond Meat breakfast sandwiches. The company has expanded beyond the borders of Canada, including in the United States, Saudi Arabia and China.

It is true that the business has experienced a series of hiccups in the last couple of years, such as lagging same-store sales and franchisees upset over fees and practices. That said, according to various studies over the years, Tim Hortons is one of Canada's most trusted brands. If customers trust your company, then they are more likely to frequent your establishment, making your $200,000 investment worth it.

Like Dunkin', there is a market for a simple cup of coffee, unlike the home of Venti caramel latte with black coffee instead of espresso, six pumps of caramel, five pumps of vanilla, four pumps of cinnamon dolce, three pumps of butter pecan and one pump of amaretto.

8. 7-Eleven

When you think of some of the best brands in the world, 7-Eleven typically does not spring to mind. In fact, even if 7-Eleven entered the conversation, the average person would joke about the packaged food and uncouth customer service clerks. But experts say that the convenience store giant is one of the best franchises to buy because it has gone global. In fact, most of its franchises are located outside of the US, including the Philippines, Mexico and New Zealand.

There are some requirements to owning a 7-Eleven, such as an initial investment of at least $47,050 and liquid cash of at most $250,000. But franchisees will concede that it was worth every penny; sales are up, units are increasing, and head office is investing $3.3 billion into more than 1,100 stores.

9. The UPS Store

Entrepreneur magazine listed The UPS Store as the fifth best franchise to own in 2019. The people agree, since it is No 1 in its industry, thanks to its advanced technology that facilitates its distribution capabilities, shipping track record and impeccable reputation. The downside, however, is that it costs more than $1 billion to sustain these operations.

For franchisees, there are two primary concerns: profitability and requirements.

To see a profit, your store will need to generate more than $30,000 every month in sales. To even open up a franchise, you need as much as $350,000 to open a store, pay a $30,000 franchise fee and an ongoing royalty fee of 8.5%. However, these numbers do not seem to be deterring owners, because the number of units each year increases by 2% – at home and abroad.

10. Budget Blinds

Everyone knows how difficult it can be to install blinds. This is even more so for renters who hop from place to place and need to erect new blinds after every move. Can someone smell opportunity?

Well, Budget Blinds did in 1992 when it allowed customers to shop at home for window coverings, provided free in-home consultations and sold many different name-brand blinds and curtains.

Franchisees' interest has been piqued, with units surging nearly 15% in the last year. It is not hard to know why:

  • an initial investment of $110,000
  • a net worth of $100,000
  • liquid cash of $65,000
  • a $20,000 franchise fee
  • $300 ongoing royalty fee
  • $1,000 ad royalty fee

As long as you have some expertise in this field, your business can thrive.

Franchising is big business, and a lot of young entrepreneurs do not consider it when they become a business-minded professional. In the US alone, there are nearly 1 million franchise businesses in 300 industries that provide 18 million jobs and contribute $2.1 trillion to the economy. That is one big meatball – yes, you can franchise IKEA stores, too!

So, now that you know what some of the best franchises are in 2019, are you ready to take that plunge and start selling to customers convenience store sushi, never-frozen quarter-pounders with cheese, and impeccable cleaning services?

What franchises are you surprised didn't make the list? Let us know in the comments section below.