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Buying a franchise doesn’t have to mean making a full-time commitment. Believe it or not, there are many franchises that can be run on a part-time basis, especially when you first start out. So whether you’re just looking for something small to supplement your income or have dreams of building a bigger business — but you want to hold onto the security of your full-time job to start — a franchise opportunity could be the perfect side gig for you.
Here are just 10 examples of franchises you can run part time.
RELATED: 24 Top-Ranked, Affordable Franchises You Can Buy for $25,000 or Less
- Initial investment: $15,800 to $24,000
- Franchise fee: $10,000
The founder of 360clean, Barry Bodiford, originally started the commercial cleaning business as a part-time gig in 2005 while working in pharmaceutical sales. So when he began franchising the concept in 2008, he knew exactly how to make it easy for his franchisees to run the business part-time, including taking care of functions like invoicing and collections, sales, and customer support for them.
America’s Color Consultants
- Initial investment: $13,135 to $43,100
- Franchise fee: $8,500
With an investment level under $50,000, the America’s Color Consultants franchise opportunity is aimed at those seeking flexible ways to supplement their income. Franchisees offer in-home consultations (and now phone and video consultations) to help clients pick out the best paint colors for their spaces, taking into account color theory, lighting sources, client goals, and more.
Auto Appraisal Network
- Initial investment: $16,700 to $44,275
- Franchise fee: $12,000 to $20,000
An Auto Appraisal Network franchise can be started for as little as $16,700. Franchisees offer appraisals of cars, motorcycles, and boats. Around two thirds of franchisees run the business part time, often in conjunction with a related primary occupation or business, such as insurance or custom car building, or after retiring from a full-time job.
Buzz Pop Cocktails
- Initial investment: $105,655 to $142,250
- Franchise fee: $15,000
Franchises that serve food tend to be time-consuming, but there are some simpler concepts — such as Buzz Pop Cocktails, which just started franchising last year — that can be run part time. Franchisees sell alcohol-infused frozen treats at events from a van or push cart, so they mainly need to be able to work the business nights and weekends, leaving them free to keep their nine-to-five.
Card My Yard
- Initial investment: $3,725 to $12,800
- Franchise fee: $3,000
Card My Yard was started by two stay-at-home moms looking to supplement their families’ incomes. They began offering franchises in 2017, and landed on Entrepreneur’s Fastest-Growing Franchises ranking in 2020. All franchisees run their businesses part-time, renting out and installing giant customized yard signs to celebrate special occasions like birthdays, graduations, and baby showers.
Chefs For Seniors
- Initial investment: $10,475 to $26,675
- Franchise fee: $7,000 to $12,000
The Chefs For Seniors franchise was launched in 2017, and ranked #67 in Entrepreneur’s Top New Franchises ranking in 2020. This low-cost concept brings chefs into clients’ homes to prepare meals for them. COO Nathan Allman says many chefs looking for a better work-life balance are attracted to the business, and estimates that around 30 percent of the system’s franchisees run their business part time.
- Initial investment: $156,145 – $199,965
- Franchise fee: $40,000
Clothes Bin franchisees operate recycling bins where people can deposit used clothing, shoes, and other textiles. The bins are placed in commercial parking lots and schools, and are equipped with technology that allows franchisees to monitor them remotely using the company’s proprietary app. Around 90 percent of franchisees maintain another job while operating their Clothes Bin business.
- Initial investment: $41,100 to $57,600
- Franchise fee: $28,000
Eighty percent of DivaDance franchise owners still work their full-time jobs while running the business, which offers adult dance classes for birthday and bachelorette parties, girls’ nights out, and more. No permanent studio space is required, as classes are held at existing facilities, making it affordable to run part time. Franchising since 2017, DivaDance ranked #87 in our Top New Franchises list.
Just Between Friends
- Initial investment: $38,544 to $54,509
- Franchise fee: $17,900
Just Between Friends franchisees hold three- to five-day children’s and maternity consignment sales events. The events are usually held just twice a year, so franchisees are able to keep their full-time jobs and work on their business at night and during weekends. The company’s history goes back to a living room sale in 1997 that grossed $2,000. Last year, system-wide sales added up to $34.5 million.
STEM For Kids
- Initial investment: $19,900 to $48,650
- Franchise fee: $12,500
Another franchise that can be started for less than $50,000, STEM for Kids is a children’s enrichment concept offering classes in coding, engineering, biomedicine, robotics, and entrepreneurship. Franchisees focus mainly on business development and hire employees to teach the classes, allowing them the flexibility to work on the business part time if they desire.