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Small Business Ideas For The Enterprising Individual

Chickie Maxwell

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With the global economy in transition, opportunities abound for folks looking to go into business for themselves. Of course, the small business failure rate is always high and has been exceedingly so for the past few years as consumers and potential client businesses watch their expenses carefully, excising impulse buys and deferring large purchases until their confidence returns. In such an environment, why not adopt small business ideas that offer high potential payoff for relatively low risk? Owning and operating a proven franchise business is one such idea.

Many different kinds of franchises are available to the enterprising small business owner. The quick-service restaurant industry, for example, is dominated by successful franchise businesses. Whether it's burrito joints like Chipotle and Panchero's, upscale soup-and-sandwich outfits like Panera Bread and Zoup!, or guilty indulgences like Coldstone Creamery and Mrs. Field's Cookies, in-and-out restaurants are a relatively inexpensive starter franchise that provides plenty of ownership experience and room for growth. Simple small business ideas like these provide owners with management and ownership experience as well as serious room for growth.

Restaurants are fast and easy to set up, but there are other small business ideas out there as well. Folks looking for a fulfilling source of business income need look no further than the many childcare and educational franchise opportunities currently available. Many different franchise businesses exist in this space, from more educationally-focused childcare concepts like Goddard Systems Inc. and Tutor Time LLC to concepts that focus on supervised playtime like Adventure Kids Playcare.

Separately, many franchisees make their living running nanny- and babysitter-placement services, which are far cheaper to start up than full-scale preschool concepts. For entrepreneurs just starting out on the road to financial freedom, these cheaper small business ideas may be the way to go.

While it's true that starting any business requires a significant upfront investment, some small business ideas are more likely to pay off than others-especially when they involve a proven franchise concept. The actual investment required of a potential concept owner depends on many factors including the franchise's success rate, its average per-store revenue and profit figures, the cost of setting up the business's physical location, and the geographical location in which the business operates.

Proven franchises like McDonald's and Taco Bell require a larger upfront payment from potential franchisees on account of their stellar reputations and low rates of failure. As with any investment, interested parties buying the rights to a coveted franchise name must pay a premium for the security offered by the name. While smaller or newer franchise concepts are not poor small business ideas, concepts just beginning to gain traction may not be able to offer the corporate-level support or troubleshooting that more-established businesses can. Thus, potential small business owners looking to get in to a new concept on the ground floor should expect to do more of their own legwork. Regardless of the franchisee's ultimate choice of concept, it's small business ideas like these that will drive the nation's economic recovery.

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