According to a recent Associated Press article, people looking to start a new business are increasingly looking to small, non-corporate franchises that aren’t necessarily well known. Lesser-known businesses offer something new and different, as well as opportunities that may not exist with larger, more established brands.

Buyers are also looking to small franchises for the training, support, and individualized attention they offer, things that are harder to come by with larger franchises. “I like the feeling of family and a team and I don’t feel you can get that with a big corporate franchise,” says Tom Wicklow, who’s buying a franchise of Let Mommy Sleep, which provides baby nurses and other help to new parents. “A service business … offers something that money can’t buy.”

Scott Lehr, Senior Vice President of the International Franchise Association, says that small and lesser-known franchises provide opportunities for people to get in early. “There are opportunities for people to get on board with these younger, smaller, less-established companies. And they’re going to get bigger,” he says.

Small franchise systems offer the best of both worlds: the opportunity to join a growing brand that offers the support needed to start a new business as well as the established marketing, branding, and operations structure needed to succeed.

The article highlights Charmaine Hunt, who intentionally did not want to buy into a larger, more established franchise when she was considering opening her own business. According to the article, Hunt “didn’t want a well-known company with a long track record when she began her franchise search. She turned down opportunities like hair salons and massage spas that already had plenty of franchisees.”

“I wanted to go away from that direction. I wanted something that’s brand-new and that has the ability to grow,” says Hunt, who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. She’s now about to become the second franchisee for Lifesquire, which provides personal assistants who run errands and take care of chores for clients.

Hunt wasn’t daunted by the fact that a Lifesquire franchise hadn’t yet been proved a long-term success; the first franchise, in Edmond, Oklahoma, is nearly a year old. Opening any business, even a well-established franchise, carries risks, Hunt says.

“I never thought about (Lifesquire) being any more difficult than opening a Subway,” she says.

Doggie daycare franchise Hounds Town USA offers similar opportunities for potential new business owners: to invest in a fun and rewarding second or new career in an industry that is growing very rapidly, but without having to break the bank. As a small business that was founded over 15 years ago by former NYPD canine handler Michael Gould, Hounds Town USA offers franchisees the potential to create their own town for dogs complete with grooming, daycare, boarding, retail, cat care, pet taxi services, and more. Hounds Town USA is a unique, family-owned and operated doggie daycare franchise that now has 4 locations in the tri-state area.