Start-up minimum: $8,500
Candy Bouquet prides itself not only on having gourmet chocolates in its candy arrangements, but on being a true small business with low start-up costs -- according to the IFA, as little as $8,500 to $36,000. The total initial investment ranges from $10,220 to $46,600. Included in the franchise fee, which can start at $7,000, is training on how to create the bouquets, how to design a showroom and how to manage the storefront or home-based business, according to the company's Web site. Chief Operations Officer Jim Benham says a few things come into play when deciding start-up costs. "We base our franchising fees on populations of ZIP codes. ZIP codes are exclusive territory for franchisees. They own those exclusive territories for active marketing purposes. So it's a sliding scale based on populations," he says. Another thing that comes into play: Whether a franchisee is buying a single or multiple territories. Overhead expenses will also depend on whether they are going to be home-based or a storefront (many of Candy Bouquet's franchisees already own existing stores, such as flower shops and candy shops). New franchisees must also pay for inventory. Roughly $4,000 of inventory should make about 200 bouquets. The company has between 350 and 400 active franchisees. -- Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York. To contact Laurie Kulikowski, send an email to: Laurie.Kulikowski@thestreet.com. To follow Laurie Kulikowski on Twitter, go to: http://twitter.com/#!/LKulikowski >To submit a news tip, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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