Now Serving

Make money with tennis lessons, disaster clean-up.
This story appears in the May 1998 issue of Startups. Subscribe »

With the tennis season underway, pros are inspiring droves of children to pick up a racket and follow in the footsteps of Martina Hingis and Pete Sampras.

Janet Grossman knows that feeling. Grossman, co-founder of the Manhattan Beach, California, franchise company TennisKids Inc., which offers tennis classes for children ages 2 through 10, is also a former world-ranked, professional tennis player.

Grossman, 36, taught tennis for 11 years before starting TennisKids with her husband, Douglas, in 1991. The idea scored so well with kids, the Grossmans franchised it in 1994; now the 22 TennisKids franchises conduct lessons in backyards, parking lots . . . wherever the homebased businesses can set up their portable nets. For $10 each, students are taught in groups of six, according to age.

TennisKids, which also sells a line of clothing and merchandise, recently reached an endorsement agreement with Spalding Sports Worldwide to manufacture TennisKids' rackets and equipment.

The total start-up cost for a TennisKids franchise is less than $12,500, including the $10,000 franchise fee, equipment, proprietary software and two weeks of technical training--for the franchisee or the franchisee's hired tennis trainer--that covers all aspects of the game. There's also a 2-percent advertising fee and a 6-percent royalty fee.

The benefits of working with TennisKids are not just for the future aces. "Watching these little, tiny kids rally," Grossman says, "and seeing how excited they are to hold the racket . . . It's a lot of fun."

For more information, call (800) 959-1322

A Fine Mess

By Jesse Hertstein

With the news inundated with reports of El Niño, floods and ice storms, you may wonder who cleans up all Mother Nature's messes. Servpro Industries Inc. offers a franchise for people willing to do this dirty work.

Gallatin, Tennessee-based Servpro has created a network of disaster restoration and cleaning companies that are always on call and ready to come to the rescue. "No job is too big or too small," says Sue Steen, CEO, whose parents founded the company. "You'd be surprised how many small, day-to-day property losses there are." For larger disasters, Servpro incorporates individual franchises into larger teams.

Servpro franchisees are supported during start-up with an at-home study package; intensive hands-on training at national headquarters; and assistance in marketing, management and making contacts. The $44,999 franchise fee includes ongoing regional instruction and certification. Additional costs include a computer, a van and office space, but many franchisees keep costs to a minimum by running things from home. Royalties range from 5 percent to 10 percent.

For more information, call (800) SERV-PRO.

No Place Like Home

By Michelle Prather

Caring for the elderly is an increasing concern for their families. But many seniors don't require the medical supervision offered by traditional nursing homes. To bridge the gap between living solo and living in a nursing home, Paul Hogan co-founded Home Instead Senior Care, a nonmedical companionship and home care franchise, with his wife, Lori, in 1994.

"Seniors prefer to remain at home, where they're healthy and happier," says Jim Fowler, vice president of Home Instead. To meet that need, franchisees provide a variety of services, from light housekeeping and meal preparation to errand-running.

"With Home Instead, you don't need a health, medical or social work background to get into the business," Fowler says.

The $14,500 franchise fee includes five days of training in Omaha, Nebraska, for the franchisee and an employee or partner. There's a 5-percent monthly royalty fee,

and additional start-up costs range from $5,500 to $11,200 for office supplies, office space, a computer and administrative expenses.

For more information, call (888) 484-5759.

Edition: December 2016

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