Branch out in business.
THOUSANDS of would-be entrepreneurs are being put off by huge start-up costs.
NatWest reckons it costs an average of pounds 44,000 to set up your own business.
But there are cheaper ways which are less risky such as "man and van" franchises.
You don't need to take on staff or pay for expensive premises. And a franchise means you are running a branch of a tried and tested business.
It can be lucrative. Average sales for one-person firms are pounds 105,000 a year with one in four making pounds 200,000, according to NatWest. And all the sales minus the set-up costs go straight back to you.
Plenty of firms are offering the chance to go it alone with their support. Snap-on Tools on www.snapon.com/uk or 01536 413800 could set you up with a specially-fitted van to sell tools and equipment to mechanics. And there is no franchise fee. Everyone gets training and some are even financed.
Signs Express on www. signsexpress.co.uk or 01603 625925 is reckoned to be the largest signs firm in northern Europe. It offers a management franchise package with five weeks training.
Bin Masters on 01252 703429 is building a national network but so far has only nine franchisees. The firm makes its cash refurbishing industrial waste containers and skips. It takes on work for local authorities and waste management companies.