The Average Franchisee
The only in-depth study of actual franchisee earnings and satisfaction is conducted annually by Franchise Times Magazine. In their Second Annual Franchisee Survey, Franchise Times surveyed more than 1,000 franchisees. The results show that the average franchisee owned 3.5 units, had been in franchising for 8.9 years and enjoyed net pre-tax earnings of $171,000 (or roughly $50,000) per unit. Total annual household income before taxes averaged $118,000 for all franchisees. The median income, however, was $81,000. The initial start-up cost was $151,000 and the average loan size was $196,000 (median $88,000). 75% of those surveyed answered that they were either "very" or "somewhat" satisfied with franchising. 15.2% were "not too" satisfied, while only 9.8% were "not at all" satisfied. The complete results of the survey, which include 55 tables and excellent cross-referencing, are available from Franchise Times (312.649.7844) at a cost of $100. If you think that franchising is an automatic pot of gold, you should temper your enthusiasm with the facts of life as brought out in the survey.
Source: How Much Can I Make, by Robert E. Bond