Start-up minimum: $13,800
Steven Seabaugh, director of franchise development for tile and grout specialist The Grout Medic says for $13,800 an entrepreneur can get everything needed to buy a franchise, including tools, equipment, inventory and magnetic signage for vehicles. But when all is said and done, Seabaugh says it will be more like $30,000. On top of the franchise fees and training, new franchisees should allot about $2,000 for hotel, airline and spending during their week of training, $2,000 for office furniture, about $3,000 if they decide to finance a new car, $3,000 for operating capital and $6,000 for the first three months of local marketing, he says. "You can be frugal and do it for under $30,000 ... but for $30,000 I feel extremely comfortable in talking to people about having a start-up," Seabaugh says. The company emphasizes how quickly new franchisees take appointments -- after their week of training, upon returning to their territory, appointments have already been set up for them. "The very next week you can go out and start generating income," he says. Grout Medic has about 35 franchisees, who are allowed to own more than one territory.