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Top 25 Home-Based Franchises to Watch in 2017

Looking for a low-cost, stay-at-home business to invest in? 1851 serves up the hottest home-based brands in the franchise industry.

By Michael Palm<p>1851 Contributor</p>
SPONSORED 11:11AM 01/05/17

Like the idea of running a business from your own home? One that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg to get off the ground? Whether you’re looking for supplemental income through a part-time gig, or wanting to launch a full-time career as your own boss, these home-based businesses should not be ignored.

Industry veteran and VP of Franchise Development for Premium Franchise Brands Scott Thompson sees a bright future for the home-based industry.

“I see more and more people from all walks of life wanting to take control of their financial futures by working for themselves in this shared economy, like Uber, Air BnB, Maid Right and JAN-PRO,” Thompson said. “I see residential cleaning in particular growing rapidly over the next few years, especially as the economy picks up steam and as we’re seeing more and more time-starved households needing help with the cleaning chores.”

Dive deeper as 1851 serves up the hottest home-based brands in the franchise industry.

Mosquito Joe*

Unit Count: 167 U.S. Franchises
Investment Range: $69,600 - $122,500

As Zika fears continue to rise, so too does the demand for pest control. From the brand’s proven model to its superior customer service, everything about Mosquito Joe’s franchise system is designed to set its local owners up for success.

Fresh Coat*

Unit Count: More than 117 U.S. Franchises

Investment Range: $53,850 - $81,750

As one of the fastest growing painting franchises in the world, Fresh Coat provides an unparalleled service in the industry by using only bonded, insured and background-checked painters—not subcontractors. Since 2006, they’ve more than tripled their number of locations.  And with their sophisticated technology platform, it’s easy to stand apart from the rest, securing job after job.

Home Helpers

Investment Range: $70,850 - $117,600

Home Helpers provides both medical and nonmedical personal care services for seniors, new moms, working parents and those recovering from injury or illness.

Alair Homes

Unit Count: 61 Franchise Locations in the U.S. and Canada

Investment Range: $168,820 - $363,850

As the only builder in North America that performs all custom home projects exclusively using the Client Control™ method, creating value and quality in everything that they do is the cornerstone of the Alair culture and philosophy. Currently serving prominent communities in Canada, Alair is rapidly expanding throughout the U.S.

Caring Transitions

Unit Count: More than 170 Franchised Locations

Investment Range: $49,799 - $78,479

As the baby boomer populations ages, the need for professional and compassionate relocation and household liquidation services is growing rapidly.  Caring Transitions is the only national organization providing a comprehensive total solution for their clients and their families, which include senior moving and transition services, downsizing, clean-out services, household liquidations, and estate sale management.


Unit Count:  445 Franchises in the U.S.

Investment Range: Varies

This franchise focuses on business training and consulting, creating a fun learning environment using audio, video, CD's, workbooks, workshops and seminar formats. Regardless of the size of your business, there's something valuable to learn from working with an ActionCOASH professional. 

Maid Right

Unit Count: 150 Units Nationwide

Investment Range: $4,000 - $43,800

Dedicated to providing the most detailed and comprehensive home cleaning services on the market, Maid Right has emerged as a leader in the residential cleaning segment. With start-up costs being as low as $1600, the risk is minimal and you can grow at your own pace without any additional out of pocket costs.

Lawn Doctor*

Unit Count: More than 500 Locations

Investment Range: $77,098 - $79,698

Since the company was founded in 1967, Lawn Doctor has worked to bring advanced technology and superior service to the lawn care industry. With over 500 franchise locations and over 200 franchisees spanning 40 states, the business continues to expand—and so do the opportunities for Lawn Doctor franchisees.


Unit Count: 55 Locations

Investment Range: $43,300

Since their founding in 1986, Showhomes® has helped realtors and homeowners sell more than 25,000 residential properties worth more than $8.5 billion. As America’s Largest Home Staging Network, their brand recognition and reputation as an innovative leader differentiates them in the marketplace.

Signal 88

Unit Count: 326 Locations

Investment Range: $73,000 - $268,400

Security is an always-needed, recession-resistant service, which creates the opportunity for Signal 88 franchisees to build sustainable and scalable businesses. The brand has found a unique niche in the large security industry by offering a modern service model centered on cutting-edge technology and the passionate people who are committed to putting safety first.


Unit Count: 70 Locations

Investment Range: $72,725 - $178,049

GYMGUYZ is revolutionizing the fitness industry by bringing the gym to their clients. By focusing their workouts on the 3 C’s--Convenient, Customized, and Creative--GYMGUYZ continues to separate itself from the pack. 


Unit Count: 10,090 Locations

Investment Range: $5,000 - $60,000

With sales over $300 million, and nearly 10,000 franchisees across the U.S., JAN-PRO is consistently recognized as a major force in the commercial cleaning industry. In 2014, JAN-PRO was not only recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the Top Home-Based Franchises, but also one of the Top Low-Cost and Fastest Growing Franchises as well.

Welcomemat Services

Unit Count: 54 Franchised Locations

Investment Range: $58,830 - $87,180

Welcomemat’s model is to connect new families with local businesses by presenting invitations and offers to try said businesses and organizations in their community. And by combining traditional direct mail marketing with an innovative platform that monitors the use of each offer sent to new movers, Welcomemat also provides the most extensive data collection in the industry.

Pool Scouts*

Investment Range: $54,500 - $98,000

The time couldn’t be better for franchising in the pool services industry. With the housing market thriving, homeowners are able to put their pool service back into the hands of a trust-worthy and cost-effective professional like Pool Scouts. Their franchise system has not even hit the one-year mark, but you can expect big things from this Buzz Franchise Brands (Mosquito Joe) newcomer.

The Cleaning Authority

Unit Count: 196 Locations

Investment Range: $87,434 - $135,879

The Cleaning Authority franchisees service approximately 45,000 households each week, have performed nearly 21 million cleans, and have generated close to $2 billion in cleaning revenue. This not only makes them one of the largest residential home cleaning service companies in the U.S., but it also makes them the per franchise revenue leader in the industry.

Snap-on Tools

Unit Count: 4,682 Locations

Investment Range: $17,900 - $278,500

Since 1920, the Snap-on brand has earned the respect and trust of generations of professionals. But there’s a good chance you didn’t realize that Snap-on is also a great business opportunity. A Snap-on franchise is a mobile tool store you own, selling the #1 tool brand in the world directly to professionals. It's a proven business model they’ve honed for more than 90 years.

Cruise Planners

Unit Count: 800 Locations

Investment Range: $2,095 - $22,867

Founded in 1994, Cruise Planners is now the largest home-based travel agent network in the United States. With that, it’s hard to ignore the success that Cruise Planners has had over the years—the brand has been ranked #1 in its category for Entrepreneur’s Top 500 Franchises 13 years in a row!

Matco Tools

Unit Count: 1,504 Locations

Investment Range: $79,000 - $188,000

Matco Tools is one of the fastest growing automotive tool franchises in the U.S.; providing professional tools, equipment, and storage for technicians in a plethora of industries. From financing start-up to delivering quality products and outstanding customer service, Matco is committed to enabling every franchisee the dream of successful business ownership.

Budget Blinds Inc.

Unit Count: 813 Locations

Investment Range: $89,300 - $173,100

Ranked #5 in this year’s Franchise Business Review’s Top Franchise Opportunities, Budget Blinds is a mover and shaker in the home services industry. With Budget Blinds, franchisees benefit from three hardworking brands, not just one. BB Commercial Solutions is a part of the largest window coverings franchise in North America. And Inspired Drapes is Budget Blinds’ private label collection of designer-inspired curtains, drapes, and hardware.


Unit Count: 192 Locations

Investment Range: $100,000 - $350,000

In more than 4,500 communities across America, as well as Canada and Australia, Pop-A-Lock’s established systems are already proven. With no locksmith experience necessary and very low start-up costs, this is a potential venture for anyone looking to own their own business.

Kona Ice

Unit Count: 600 Locations

Investment Range: $99,800 - $109,800

Clean trucks, joyful music, and fresh treats set the Kona Ice truck apart from the rest. This mobile business opportunity is truly one-of-a-kind. With a low, fixed royalty, you’ll never have to worry about shelling out huge fees to the franchisor, and can really enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Weed Man

Unit Count: 355 Locations

Investment Range: $118,000

Touted as one of the best franchises to buy in 2016 by Forbes Magazine, Weed Man has been providing superior lawn care for over 45 years. Currently sold out in Canada, Weed Man Lawn Care has seen rapid growth across the United States in over 445 territories since 2000. With over $140 million in system-wide sales, Weed Man is now the leading franchised lawn care company in the green industry.

Glass Doctor

Unit Count: 167 Locations

Investment Range: $111,800 - $281,000

For more than 30 years, Glass Doctor’s parent company Dwyer Group has reached millions of customers, providing a diverse array of specialty services through their network of more than 2,500 franchises. And the training, marketing, and support that is offered within the Glass Doctor franchise system is unparalleled in the glass industry.


Unit Count: 551 Locations

Investment Range: $46,750 - $137,600

Founded in 1981, Rooter-Man has been rated the #1 Franchise Opportunity in the plumbing, sewer, and drain cleaning category by Entrepreneur Magazine for the last nine years. On top of that, franchisees receive equity in Rooter-Man’s National Brand. So not only will your business grow, but your ownership of Rooter-Man’s trademark in your territory will be an appreciating investment.

Garage Experts

Investment Range: $37,910 - $159,500

Garage Experts is positioned to provide the services needed by homeowners who are updating or enhancing their garages every day. And with their turnkey model, a new franchisee can be up and running in as little as a month.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.