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Picture this: a terrier, smartly dressed in a red bandanna; a German shepherd wearing a police badge; and a springer spaniel, lovingly held by its owner. These are some of the clients Bill and Peggy Cain snap in their Bow, New Hampshire, portrait studio.
When Bill started his photography business 12 years ago, he noticed many customers wanted their pets included in family portraits. That gave him the idea for Dog Gone Portraits, a portrait studio for man's best friend and other critters.
The Cains' studio averages some 1,000 sittings each year. At $70 per sitting, including pictures and frames, that's nothing to bark at.
The Cains have just begun franchising their concept. Start-up costs of $22,400 to $36,000 cover the $15,000 franchise fee, equipment and training. The Cains run their studio from home, and franchisees can do the same by working with pet stores and pet-related associations that sponsor on-site photo programs in return for a percentage of sales.
A photography background is helpful but not necessary; training involves photography lessons and tips on posing the furry subjects.
For more information, call (888) 414-1492
By Keasha Dumas
If you scrutinize everything, put your eye for detail to use as a World Inspection Network (WIN) franchisee, providing home inspections for realtors, builders and people buying or selling houses.
Franchisees charge an average of $250 to $300 for each two-hour home inspection. A four-week training course teaches franchisees how to inspect 300 major items in the home, including foundations, roofs, heaters, plumbing and electrical systems. Franchisees also learn to conduct lead testing, water quality analyses, swimming pool and spa inspections, and asbestos testing.
Franchisees receive continuous support from WIN's Franchise Service Center in the form of phone consultations, weekly updates on changes in the industry and access to a network of WIN franchisees.
WIN finances up to half the $19,000 franchise fee; total start-up costs average $30,000. There's also a 7-percent royalty fee and a 2-percent advertising fee.
For more information, call (800) 967-8127 or visit http://www.wini.com
By Michelle Prather
For some women, changing their eating habits isn't as horrifying as doing leg presses in uncomfortable fitnesswear surrounded by male bodybuilders. As a Curves International Inc. franchisee, you can provide a place to exercise in a comfortable atmosphere--a place for women only.
There are no scheduled classes at Curves--clients simply stop by during operating hours and engage in half an hour or so of fun fitness, sans the crowds of larger fitness centers. "Women want to get up in the morning, throw on old sweats and work out," says Gary Findley, president of Curves.
The $19,900 franchise fee includes company-manufactured circuit equipment and a one-week training course in Waco, Texas. Training includes equipment certification and instruction on nutrition, exercise, physiology and servicing clients. A toll-free line provides ongoing support.
Additional start-up costs of $5,150 to $10,250 cover building deposits, furniture, stereo equipment and a sign-in counter. Royalty fees are $395 per month.
Call (800) 848-1096 for more information.
Curves International Inc., fax: (254) 399-9731
Dog Gone Portraits, (888) 414-1492, firstname.lastname@example.org