Finding low-cost franchises is as easy as looking at our list. Finding low-cost opportunities to get into mid- to high-cost franchises, however, takes more investigation. Look for innovations such as work-to-own programs or companies that allow "silent" partnerships, where one person with know-how and another with the money can form alliances. Or look for franchisors that are teaming up with local government and redevelopment agencies to open stores in nontraditional and/or underserved urban or rural markets.
Whatever solution you find to meet your budget, always keep the bottom line in mind-franchisors want someone who's prepared not only to invest money and sweat equity, but also to demonstrate an intense long-term commitment to building a successful business.