If you don't have a lot of capital to invest, consider a high-quality, low-investment franchise business. The following companies, culled from our Franchise Gold 100, are top picks from various industries.
Coldwell Banker Residential Affiliates Inc. Interested in real estate? Mission Viejo, Calif.-based Coldwell Banker is growing by leaps and bounds. In 1991, it had 1,381 units; in 1993, 1,700. Total startup package is $25,000 to $50,000; 714-367-1800.
CleanNet USA. Like many cleaning franchisors, CleanNet is two tiered: Master franchisees secure cleaning contracts, and subfranchisees service clients. It is based in Columbia, Md. The total investment is $50,000 to $75,000; 410-720-6444.
Merry Maids. To answer cries for domestic help from two-career couples, consider 709-unit-strong Merry Maids, a maid service and home-cleaning franchise based in Omaha, Neb. Total startup package is $30,000 to $35,000; 1-800-798-8000.
Decorating Den. This Bethesda, Md., home-decorating business was founded in 1969 and has more than 1,200 franchisees. The total investment is $25,000 to $50,000; 1-800-428-1366.
Val-Pak. A business and financial servicer, Val-Pak has more than 170 units. It's been franchising since 1988. Based in Largo, Fla. Total investment is under $25,000; 1-800-237-6266.
American Leak Detection. A specialist in finding and repairing water and gas leaks, this company has 182 units. Based in Palm Springs, Calif. The startup cost is $45,000 to $75,000; 619-320-9991.
ABC Seamless. A dealer in building products and services, with 762 franchisees. Founded in 1978, it is based in Fargo, N.D. The total investment is between $50,000 and $75,000; 701-293-5952.
RE/MAX International. This real estate firm has a unique compensation structure that attracts top performers. It has 2,037 franchisees and is based in Englewood, Colo. Total investment starts at $25,000; 303-770-5531.
The Barbers Hairstyling for Men and Women Inc. A hairstyle salon chain founded in 1963. It began franchising in 1970. Today, it has 632 units. Headquartered in Minneapolis. Investment starts at $64,000; 612-331-8500.
Jani-King. This commercial cleaning company has had fast growth since it began franchising in 1974. Now it has more than 3,500 units. Costs start at $11,000. Based in Dallas; 214-991-0900.
Rent-a-Wreck of America Inc. Car-and-truck rental franchisor with 410 franchisees. Investment begins at $75,000. Based in Los Angeles; 1-800-421-7253.
Money Mailer. This direct-mail...