5 Great Home-Based Franchises

The move to improve work-life balance has become a key focus for people across businesses and industries. Thanks to the benefits of the Internet and technological advancements, it's become easier than ever to communicate, conduct business, and do just about everything that once required you to be in a central physical location to do. For business owners and entrepreneurs, this benefit has come in the form of home-based franchises.

Home-based franchises are growing as people begin to realize the benefits of working from, well, home. The perks are plenty, including reduced commuting stress, flexibility to schedule the work day around children and other family needs — and even working in your pajamas..

Here’s a closer look at five companies that offer home-based franchise opportunities that just might be perfect for you.

1. Tutor Doctor

Tutor Doctor is a leader in providing affordable one-on-one supplementary education to students (and adults) through in-home tutoring. Tutor doctors are leaders in their communities, but not professional tutors (83 percent of franchisees have no background in education). With this company, it’s all about people skills. You must enjoy working with children and teenagers, and be active (or be willing to start!) in your local community. You’ll join the chamber, network like mad, speak at schools, and put up booths at community events that parents will likely attend. You’ll also recruit the best tutors you can find. It’s a fulfilling opportunity for someone who wants to make a difference in the lives of her customers. What sets Tutor Doctor apart from other tutoring businesses is its unique matching of the students with the right tutors based on each student’s individual needs — such as learning style, academic needs, and personality.  
Starting investment: around $60,000

2. CertaPro Painters

CertaPro is the largest painting company in North America, and its uniqueness lies in the fact that owners drive revenue from both residential (B2C) and commercial (B2B) clients. CertaPro offers extensive training and marketing support for franchise owners, who  scale up by adding salespeople for both residential and commercial sales. Most of the owners use subcontractors to produce the work, keeping overhead costs low. The company looks for executive management types with leadership, management, and/or some sales or client interfacing experience. As a franchise owner in this business you won’t be painting; rather, you’ll hire the painters, attend home improvement conferences and shows, network, and market your business using search engine optimization (SEO) and other traditional methods. CertaPro is also very female friendly and even offers a discount on the franchise fee for women.  
Starting investment: around $125,000

3. Budget Blinds

Budget Blinds was founded on the principle of providing high quality window coverings to consumers in a convenient and affordable manner. That was in 1992. Today, the Budget Blinds franchise system of nearly 1,000 franchises still strives to provide consumers with the same superior products through convenient, complimentary in-home consultations. This business ramps up quickly, requires few employees, and Budget Blinds boasts that 75 percent of consultations results in sales. Every year since 1996, Budget Blinds has been voted the leading window coverings franchise by Entrepreneur, and was recently named as an award winner in Franchise Business Review’s 2015 Franchisee Satisfaction Awards.  
Starting investment: around $75,000

4. CMIT Solutions

CMIT Solutions is focused on providing information technology services to small and medium sized businesses. Long term, flat rate contracts provide a predictable revenue stream and give your customers better and more consistent support. Due to the recurring revenue and the small number of customers needed to break even, this is a great option for building a very profitable business. This company has proven systems and partners, low overhead, few employees, and high margins. Plus, you can maintain standard business hours, as this is a B2B model. You will be developing long term relationships with your small business clients — CMIT becomes the outsourced IT provider — providing a one-stop shop for all their computer needs. The franchisor provides the back office support including a help desk for your clients and a 24/7 call line, freeing up the franchisee to focus on marketing and sales. The ideal owner has a business background, as well as sales and marketing experience, and candidates with IT management experience on top of that have an edge.
Starting investment: around $125,000

5. British Swim School

British Swim School is the leader among "learn to swim" programs. It was revolutionary in developing a program that teaches very young kids water survival techniques. Its program is not only effective in helping kids survive water accidents, but the approach is also gentle and fun, making it a number one choice for parents. The business model, with low investment and low overhead, makes it a highly profitable, easy-to-start and fast-to-break-even franchise option. British Swim School franchises require minimal capital to start and are easy to scale. Franchisees can select any region that has at least 20,000 children, since it appeals to a wide spectrum of potential users. They are then encouraged to open as many locations as they can find, contracting with fitness centers, schools, hotels, sports clubs, and the like (so you’re not only bringing in revenue for yourself, but also for those facilities that may otherwise be underutilized). British Swim School will teach you how to find pools, and even locate the first one for you, and develop a marketing calendar for your business. Ideal candidates are family focused, passionate about saving lives, and have business or management backgrounds.  
Starting investment: around $75,000

Home-based businesses are by and large service businesses, which typically offer high margins, fast ramp-up times, and low overhead. It’s no wonder they’re such a popular choice with folks who want to control their schedules and work out of a home office.

Jane Stein is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.