Of all these possibilities, franchising has many advantages, but being inexpensive is typically not one of them. In order to franchise, you have to prepare FTC-mandated disclosure documents and register the franchise opportunity in a number of states. This can easily represent tens of thousands of dollars in expenses for you before you even have a chance to start gaining revenue from franchise operations.
The best advice is to find a good franchise attorney and do an initial consultation to discuss the practicality of franchising your business. This type of conversation is usually free of charge, and you will receive a more accurate assessment of the various tasks and costs involved in becoming a franchisor.
You can get referrals to experienced franchise attorneys through the International Franchise Association web site.
Jeff Elgin has almost 20 years of experience franchising, both as a franchisee and a senior franchise company executive. He's currently the CEO of FranChoice Inc., a company that provides free consulting to consumers looking for a franchise that best meets their needs.