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Sep, 07 2011

Young Entrée-preneurs Can Spin Money Too

Opportunity is right here, all you need is an eye to see beyond the usual! A business can be easily set-up, but what you need is a terrific idea and a minimal capital to take off. Here are some of the low-cost business opportunities for young investors, r

BESIDES targeting women entrepreneurs/retired professionals and the highly experienced lot, industry leaders from the franchise fraternity are targeting youth as their prospective business partners. They are offering plenty of money-spinning business opportunities to young entrepreneurs, who can either be salaried employees or college pass-outs or any young entrepreneur, who prefer to do something on its own rather than settling in a family-owned business. Young entrepreneurs generally scout for businesses that entail a negligible cost and wherein they can easily fetch high returns in less time.

Risk-free Journey

Young entrepreneurs are highly aware, knowledgeable and are passionate about starting a business. They can deal with any complexity that may come in their way. Young entrepreneurs may not have enough cash flow, so to work on an idea that involves a lot of risk is a big ‘no’ for them. Hence, they can think of investing their money in small business formats. The choices are many e.g. food and beverage, education, consumer services, retail, direct selling, education, artificial jewellery and artifacts, business or financial, realty services etc. In these sectors, a franchisee need not shell extra money on overpriced marketing campaigns, recruiting more employees and enabling technology in the venture. As these businesses are high in demand, so chances of a flop show are minimal. Until you have cash available to spend on real estate, work from home also serves as a best alternative for starters.

Buying a low-cost franchise is a good option for those who don't have surplus capital to buy and set-up a mid-range or a large franchise business, as it needs a lot of investment in terms of franchise fee, including other hidden costs, exploring a highly accessible space that ensures footfall and high marketing expenses.

The last decade saw a huge proliferation of young entrepreneurs investing in low-cost business opportunities. Low budget, high returns, faster break-even, likely impulse purchase is an added benefit, cost-effective brand promotion are some of the influential factors, attracting the young-blood to start their own venture, which involves less risk. And that's precisely the reason why a low-cost franchise business opportunity is a hit with young entrepreneurs.

By offering smart business ideas to the youth, franchisors eye a big share in the market by tapping the unexploited regions with huge potential. Even big brands are diversifying their business lines by introducing low-cost retail formats as a part of their strategy to join hands with franchisees and promote their brand's offerings. Elucidating on what has truly led to the emergence of low-cost businesses, Santosh Choubey, Chairman and Managing Director of AISECT Ltd, says: “Low investment, flexibility, continuous guidance and the feeling of being independent has made this business trend the most sought-after.” Small business owners are counting on low-cost business opportunities, as it aids them to make money with substantial margins and helps in gaining the industry experience. In real, it's the risk taking ability of entrepreneurs that empowers more low-cost franchise business opportunities in India.

Partner in profits

Rather than partnering with retired professionals, franchisors prefer to work with the youth. For instance, in fitness sector, Snap Fitness majorly appeals to the interests of entrepreneurs in the age-group of 30 and the brand is quite assertive about young entrepreneurs joining the franchise system. On similar lines, to be become an Orion Calltech's franchisee, one doesn't need to have any prior experience in education or professional qualification. Rather, they prefer to partner with young entrepreneurs, as they are determined, have good managerial qualities, networking skills and customer service orientation.Agreeing on targeting young entrepreneurs, Karan Sareen, Director Projects, SportyBeans, says: “SportyBeans as a brand and a concept directly appeals to young entrepreneurs. Since SportyBeans is engaged in introducing kids to the basics of sports, it is essential that our franchisees are young and energetic. Young turks have both energy and drive to do something different and are an ideal profile for a SportyBean’s franchisee.”

In case of Angel Broking, a franchisee is selected on the basis of social network, age-group, education and prior experience. Ketan Shah, Associate Director- IT and Business Development, Angel Broking, says: “For someone who has good social network, but have limited capital, we offer them to become sub-broker and start the business in a small way and grow gradually. We can also offer them to operate from one of our existing branches, so that their initial cost remains low.”

Sudeep Gupta, Director Business Development, Cafe Buddy's Foods Pvt. Ltd, says: “India is a young country with a median age of 30 that represents the future of majority of the Indian population. Those who will join Cafe Buddy's Brand at a young age will be the future leaders.” Any graduate or an MBA can be a part of Café Buddy's franchise, as it involves an investment of Rs 3-4 lakh. Across sectors, the franchise related requirement differ from company depending upon the city.

Bumpy ride

It's not as easy as it seems. Across sectors, the challenge of operating a business always differs. In product and a service-based franchising, maintaining the quality standards without diminishing the brand's image is of utmost importance. For a budding franchisee, any business may seem trouble-free at first, but once they actually get into it, challenges eventually pop up. In any sector, the most common challenge that a franchisee faces is unavailability of location that ensures good brand visibility and customer traffic, difficult to sustain, dearth of skilled manpower, training and retaining them and a competition that comes from unorganised players. Any business may be easy to start, but for its success, it needs efforts to standout amid the cut-throat competition. Entrepreneurial zeal to do something unusual is not the only driver that makes a business successful.

As country's every corner is flooded with numerous brands, the market is becoming extremely competitive and to create a distinct marketing image is a major challenge. “We provide complete marketing support to our sub-brokers and treat them like our own branch managers. They are provided with sales training and we train them on how they should plan their new client acquisition-in what phases and at what cost,” adds Shah. A low-cost franchise business can increase its brand's scalability via social networking sites and word-of-mouth options.

Slice of advice

Check out the demand of your business and study about the feasibility of your products/services. See, if there is any demand for your products/services that you intend to offer. Before taking up any brand's franchise, it is important to visit their franchise centres, talk to their existing franchisees and understand what all support they got after partnering with them. Always consult franchise lawyers, realty brokers and financial experts for guidance. Never forget to conduct a detailed scrutiny about the franchisor's position in the market. Find out about your competitors and identify product's uniqueness that ensures its salability. Anand Kandadai, Senior Vice-President, Sales and Distribution, MakeMyTrip.com, says: “All our functions are aligned and structured to cope up with the changing industry challenges. We are innovating with different product structuring options and distribution channels. We are also expanding our footprint across the country to tap the growing demand from small towns.”

Bright future

Low-cost businesses are regarded as a stepping stone towards the road to success. As industry is getting more saturated with the availability of more identical products/services, in such a situation, hopping on to a unique yet low-cost idea is likely to prosper in the coming times.

Opportunities for investors across sectors

Sector

Investment

Area

Food & beverage:

On-the-go food carts, kiosks

& vending machines, ice-cream

parlours, coffee and juice bars

Rs 99,000-12 lakh

20 sq.ft -500 sq.ft

Education and training:

Abacus training institutes,

coaching classes, personality

development programmes,

vocational training institutes

Rs 25,000-10 lakh

150 sq.ft -800 sq.ft

Consumer services:

Dry cleaning, travel, brokerage

firms (financial & realty), water

purification, renting services,

including toys, books & DVDs,

pet grooming services, business

services and car wash

Rs 75,000-8 lakh

75 sq.ft 2,000 sq.ft

Retail:

Gifts & greetings, artifacts, florists

Rs 50,000-8 lakh

100 sq.ft - 500 sq.ft

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