2. Tax services
Roni Deutch Tax Center
Service: preparation of tax returns
Number of franchises: 80
Headquarters: Sacramento, Calif.
Investment costs: $85,000 to $119,000
Fit for 50-plus? Limited physical labor; comparatively quiet, cerebral business year-round except for January to April; mature employees.
But: You need to know and enjoy tax work and be good at marketing for new clients. If you don't like doing your own taxes, this is probably not for you.
Spotlight: Edward Ritter, 75, Knoxville, Tenn.
Three years ago, shortly after his wife died, Ritter moved to Knoxville to be close to his daughter. He had time on his hands and wanted something new to do with his life. A tax preparation service seemed like a good fit for the former CPA. He liked Roni Deutch, both the chain's founder and the franchise itself. "There's isn't a lot of stress involved," says Ritter. "There is a learning curve, but it's not that complicated"
The franchise encourages clients to drop off and pick up their tax materials, and any questions that arise are dealt with on the phone. So the system minimizes the number of people sitting in chairs waiting for their turn, he says.
His advice: Be passionate about what you're doing. Also, do some projections, run the numbers and make sure everything makes sense, so you don't wind up cash-strapped. Of course, that's typical advice for any new business starting up. Invest what you can afford to lose. And not any more than that.