Learn About the Most Profitable Franchises in the USA

Any aspiring entrepreneur will appreciate a sense of security when launching their business. Fortunately, franchising can provide you a risk-free, profitable business. There are little to no risks with putting up a franchise business, and a stable base of customers is always waiting for your products or services. Best of all, there are numerous top franchises to buy in USA that you can choose from. These brands thrive even during a recession and guarantee a solid revenue for their products or services.

There is a reason why top franchises to buy businesses just keep on thriving. The brand already has a model they have proven and tested, and the products are polished, if not upgraded over time. For instance, if you open a Dunkin’ in your area, people will already know what to expect from your shop—good coffee, freshly-baked donuts, and munchkins. You don’t need to worry about the expensive costs of advertising or if any of these customers will show up—because they will no matter what.

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Franchising is a great opportunity for any aspiring businessmen out there. Hence, it’s normal for you to wonder what is the top franchises to buy in the USA. To help you choose the best business model for you, we have gathered a list of the best and most profitable franchise businesses in the USA below. Read on and find out which of these brands suits you the best.


How Profitable Are Franchises?

The prospect of venturing into franchising prompts a critical question for aspiring entrepreneurs: How profitable are franchises, and can they pave the way to financial independence? The hesitancy in making franchising a career move often stems from uncertainties about the stability of profits. While the franchise model offers the advantage of a recognized brand, a loyal customer base, and established operational systems, the extent of profitability varies across different franchises.

The success of a top franchises to buy business hinges on factors such as the industry, brand strength, management efficiency, and market demand for the products or services. Opting for a well-established and reputable franchise with a proven track record significantly increases the likelihood of financial success. However, success is not guaranteed solely by association; active and strategic management, adherence to brand standards, and a keen understanding of the market dynamics play pivotal roles in unlocking the profit potential of franchises. Careful research, due diligence, and a clear understanding of the franchisor-franchisee relationship are essential for making an informed decision about the profitability and financial independence that franchising can offer.


The potential long-term earnings of a franchise business

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of franchise success stories that you can find online. Aside from igniting your desire to start this venture, these stories are finally written to make it seem like earning is not only possible in franchising, but it is considered the norm. You can find many franchise owners in the United States who have retired early thanks to their franchise business.

While it is great to be inspired by these successful people, let’s look at the rea profitability figures. The possible outcomes of franchises are diverse, and just like other businesses, it is complicated. For instance, in a survey conducted by the Franchise Business Review, the travel and recreation industry has an average pre-tax income of $38,471. In contrast, the automotive industry has a pre-tax income of $106,000.

That being said, it’s crucial to choose the right industry. How profitable your franchise business is determined by several factors: industry, territory, brand recognition, and your prior entrepreneurial experience. Choosing the right industry will determine your success in franchising. Search for the most successful franchise industries and check if any of them are aligned with your specialized skills or something you are passionate about.


Here are some of the factors that can affect your profitability in franchising:

1.  Franchise fees.

Let’s face it—franchising is not cheap. You need to pay for the initial fee, finance the store’s establishment, hire workers, and other expenses to launch a business. There are also ongoing royalty fees that you are required to pay. Franchise fees can be as low as $10,000 and can reach over $1 million for more recognized brands. With these expenses in mind, you are expected to generate a stable income flow in six months and can even reach a year. In that period, you have to finance the business to keep it floating.


2.  Entrepreneurial experience.

As mentioned earlier, the entrepreneurial experience is crucial when it comes to franchising a business. Even if you are using a turnkey business model and the business has an existing customer appeal, it’s up to you to choose the right location, hire the right people, follow the rules established by your franchisor, and keep your team well-trained—individuals who have never owned a business before having higher chances of failing at their first franchise. But don’t let it discourage you. Make it a good learning chance so that you’ll be able to compete in the market competitively later on.


3.  Thin profit margins.

One of the notable challenges faced in the franchising landscape is the issue of thin profit margins. The rigorous framework that defines franchising offers very little elasticity, forcing the franchisee to operate and survive within tightly constricted margins. As a franchisee, you will need to navigate this challenging aspect mindfully, developing strategic and insightful decisions to sustain profitability.

Crucially, focusing on enhancing your store’s visibility and bolstering your appeal to customers should be among your key strategic priorities. It is equally important to make your brand stand out in a competitive marketplace. This can be achieved by offering excellent customer service, unique in-store experiences, innovative products or services, or superior quality.

Moreover, some franchisees tactically choose to offer products or services at a relatively lower price than the standard market rate as a means to attract more customers. However, it’s worth noting that while this may boost short-term sales, it might not necessarily impact the overall profit margins positively.


What are the Top Franchises?

To give you an idea of the brands that you can choose from when you start franchising businesses, here is a list of the top 10 most profitable franchises to buy in the USA and what makes each brand unique and unwavering.


1.      McDonald’s

Let’s face it, in the world of profitable franchising, McDonald’s will always reign. It is one of the top franchises to buy in USA. The brand originated in the franchise business model. Since McDonald’s is a brand known to many, you don’t have to worry about brand recognition. You need to choose a strategic location where you can attract new and old customers.

There are McDonald’s branches everywhere. Even in the most remote areas, it’s normal to spot a branch or two of this fast-food restaurant. While McDonald’s isn’t the cheapest on our list with a franchise fee of up to $2.2 million and initial investment, rest assured that you’ll be making a solid income by simply opening a place. It is well-recognized and one of the most stable and top franchises to buy in USA today. Remember to prioritize location above all, and you should do well in your new business.


2.      Special Strong Gym Franchise

Do you know that there are over 21 million American adults who have mental and physical disabilities? The numbers are growing, yet you can hardly find a decent adaptive fitness training gym in your area. This is what makes Special Strong a profitable gym franchise and a stable source of income. You can make the most of this rare opportunity to launch your own business without burning a hole in your pocket. Special Strong gym franchise is undoubtedly one of the top franchises to buy. 

Special Strong offers expert adaptive fitness training for adults and children who are mentally and physically-challenged. This low-cost fitness franchise provides faster financial growth and allows you to keep 90% of earnings. It utilizes an award-winning turnkey business model that allows you to set up your business immediately. The brand offers full training and support to ensure the success of your operation. It has weekly coaching and online training. With just a low initial investment fee, you can launch your own Special Strong territory. Not to mention that working in this industry is beyond fulfilling and enjoyable.


3.      Chick-Fil-A

This restaurant chain can earn over $4 million in sales annually.  The restaurant is one of the top franchises to buy in USA this year. According to the magazine QSR, the brand is one of the leading, most profitable franchises per-location. Other restaurants that were included in the study were not even close to this growing sales.

However, you can’t be the owner of the chicken empire. The agreement says that its location franchises do not include the ownership of the restaurant. Albeit you only have to pay a $10,000 franchise fee, you are simply the restaurant operator. The company still runs and controls it to ensure the success of each franchise branch.

Don’t think of being the local manager as a bad idea. In fact, if you can earn up to $4 million per year, the position wouldn’t matter. It just means that the brand wants to be hands-on to maintain their business’s reputation and doesn’t want to see you fail to try to navigate the industry on your own. This setup is ideal for starting businessmen who have zero experience in the industry before.

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4.      Smoothie King

Are you a lifestyle enthusiast? If so, you might have heard of Smoothie King before. This brand promotes a healthy lifestyle to their customers by offering a chain of smoothie bars and other nutritious smoothies. Most of their retail products are rich in herbs, minerals, fruits, and other natural ingredients. Aside from smoothie, they also offer sports beverages, sports nutrition products, healthy snacks, and even vitamin supplements. They are the go-to snack bar of gym-goers. The brand has different branches in the United States, Korea, Singapore, and the Cayman Islands.

The franchise fee for the Smoothie King is up to $30,000, and it requires an initial investment range of $263,550. It’s one of the most profitable franchises to acquire in the USA, increasing brand recognition and healthy products. If you want a steady income flow while inspiring others to be fit and healthy, choose Smoothie King.


5.      Dunkin’

If your go-to coffee is Dunkin’, you should consider investing in this brand. Do you know that Dunkin’ has higher brand loyalty compared to Starbucks? In the realm of coffee shops, Dunkin’ reigns due to its affordable yet heavenly coffee. Moreover, the brand recently dropped the Donuts in their brand name but still kept the DD logo. According to the brand, dropping it is a good decision as it boosted sales from all over the world.

Opening a franchise business with Dunkin’ isn’t cheap, but it will guarantee you solid success. The initial franchise fee and investment can cost up to $1 million. The rental estate isn’t included in the franchise fee, but it will give you the ultimate freedom to choose where to open up a new Dunkin’ store. Fortunately, wherever you decide to open a new Dunkin’ coffee shop, there will always be customers who will flock to your shop due to brand recognition. It is one of the most profitable franchises in the USA that is worth every penny of investment.


6.      Pearle Vision

If you ever need to acquire reading glasses before, chances are, you’ve gone to Pearle Vision. When it comes to eye exams and eyewear, Pearle Vision is undoubtedly the go-to optician firm of most people. It was first established in 1961 by Dr. Stanley Pearle and is now under the ownership of Luxotica.

The optician firm provides a wide selection of eyewear and eye exams with the top ophthalmologists residing in the firm. As of today, Pearle Vision has over 400 franchises in the USA and 16 branches overseas. The initial investment fee costs $721,000. As a franchisee, you can benefit from leading full-scope training, branding materials, and seminars that will ensure your investment’s good returns in the long run. Since it has high brand recognition, rest assured that it is profitable as it is stable.


7.      Proforma

Proforma aims and claims to make millionaires out of their franchisees. With just a minimum investment of $4,730, you can launch your own business with this Cleveland-based brand that provides printing services and promotional products to their corporate customers. It was first established in 1990, and in 1995, the franchising started. The brand has created the Million Dollar Club, and in its recent data, it claims that one in every seven franchisees of Proforma had become millionaires.

As of today, Proforma has over 600 franchises in the US and 49 in Canada. If you have experience with the business industry, you know how crucial marketing is. Proforma is one of the top franchises to buy in USA for established business owners or corporate professionals. You can benefit from the higher profit margin with Proforma. You will not just create a profitable business, but you have a higher chance of becoming a millionaire as well.


8.      Fit Body Boot Camp

It’s not a secret that America’s obesity rate continues to grow every year. Hence, fitness centers are popping out everywhere. There is no better year for the fitness industry than this. The Fit Body Boot Camp has over 400 franchises in the USA. The brand offers a franchise model for as low as $35,000.

What’s great about this business is that you don’t need to spend thousands or even millions to open a big-box gym filled with the latest workout equipment and technology. You don’t need 50 personal trainers that will eat up most of your income. In Fit Body Boot Camp, you can operate a business with just three expert fitness trainers and a front-desk person. If you are passionate about fitness and healthy living, the brand will not hesitate to teach you the business model that’s been keeping their business profitable for years.


9.      National Property Inspections

National Property Inspections is one of the top franchises to buy today. We’ve all had this moment in our lives—when you’re doing the same job at the same desk just on a different day, and you realize this is not what you want. You have too much potential and ideas to be cornered in a 9-to-5 job. This is what Bob McDonough, a National Property Inspections franchisee felt years ago. He entered the industry just as when the housing market is fully tanked.

If cultivating relationships with banks, brokers, real estate agents, and other referral sources sounds like fun to you, consider franchising National Property Inspections. The market is slowly reviving, and it will be more profitable than it has ever before. The brand already has 220 franchises in the USA and 30 overseas. Ever since it launched in 1987, it has generated solid revenue for its franchisees, making it one of the top franchises to buy in the USA. 

10.  Weed Man

If you are a typical American homeowner who had spent weeks trying to manicure and perfect your green lawn, you know America’s obsession with this. In 1970, Weed Man began operating, and six years later, it started franchising. It was originally established in Canada and spread throughout the United States in 1996, making it one of the top franchises to buy in USA. There are over 180 franchises in the USA and 277 in Canada. The company provides fertilizing, insect control, and weed control to their customers.

You can tell that the business is profitable when many renowned landscapers are now working with Weed Man to help them extend their trimming, mowing, planting, and raking services. The CEO also said that he sees many franchises from outside the industry due to their in-demand services. As a franchisee, you need to pay the initial investment cost of $43,700 to start training with the brand. They also provide in-depth marketing support and a computerized operations system to ensure your success.


How to Finance a Franchise Business

Now that you have an idea of the best franchises to start a business on, it would now be wise to turn your attention to how exactly you’ll finance this business. You can have the best ideas in the world but if you don’t know the financial aspect of the business, you’ll hardly earn money. Below are some tips on how to finance a franchise business.
Franchisor Franchising

Traditionally, franchises look for finance from the franchisor itself. This is the first conversation you should be having and if all expenses and assets will be dealt with the franchisor. There are cases in which some businesses do not want to get into franchising or are just letting go of some branches. This is the case when they are losing money or are concerned with quality control.

However, if your business handles all the ins and outs of the franchise then you will have a lot of benefits. Since you’ll only be talking to the franchise heads, you don’t need to stress about who to pay, where to buy the equipment, and everything else. Many corporations with financing business models will exclusively design financial solutions for their franchises which will help you in the long run.


Bank loans

This is another option but may be tricky if your business isn’t that well known. Banks tend to be strict with their guidelines and you will need to present a personal credit rating and business credit rating. These will be carefully assessed as they’ll want to know if you’ll have the capability to pay them back in the future.

The logic of a bank loan is they’ll offer you cash upfront and it will be your duty to repay, plus interests and monthly installments through a specific time. It can be said that if you have a lot of money stored in the bank and if your identity doesn’t show any misdemeanors, then you are likely to get better terms and interest rates for your franchise.


SBA loans

SBA Loans are loans partially backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) which will be funded by their intermediary lending partners. The SBA loan follows a very similar model to other term loans and bank loans. It can also be quite difficult to get accepted if you don’t have the best credentials in your personal and business credit rating.

SBA Loans are also known to take a long time to process or to even get validated, this is not a good idea if you require cash and would just want your business to start running. The most popular SBA Loan would be the 7(a) loan program as it is said to be the safest and most effective loan process out there. It is not for everyone because if you loan 350,000 dollars or less, this will be investigated.

The SBA will carefully look into your credit history and FICO SBSS score and your application may be denied if it does not pass their standards. If you are well off and you believe you possess the right credentials, then SBA Loans are the way to go as they are known to be the most risk-free.


Final Thoughts

International expansion is easier and faster, thanks to the continuous growth of technology today. As a growing business, you can benefit from their stable base of customers and brand loyalty. It is easier to generate profit and become a successful businessman with a franchising business. Choosing from the top franchises in USA can be a daunting task, but rest assured that these brands are proven and tested to be profitable at all times. You can launch your own business without the risks of losing your money down the drain. The franchisor will deliver a comprehensive operations manual that you can follow and grow under a common brand. Even if you manage and own it independently, rest assured that the original company owners will always have your back. In the industry, collaboration is crucial to success.

Special Strong provides adaptive fitness for children, adolescents, and adults with mental, physical and cognitive challenges. Start your own Special Strong gym franchise today and create a lasting impact on your community.