The 5 Best Illinois Franchise Opportunities in 2024

Michael Nicholas / Franchising / February 28, 2022

Starting a business from scratch requires a lot of two things in particular: time and money. If you’re interested in becoming a business owner but are running short on either of those things, franchising is a great compromise! You’ll also benefit from added support from the franchise itself. It’s like having a helping hand to hold as you climb the business ladder.

Illinois is a great place to call home — for you and for your franchise business. Chicago is a top choice thanks to its population of close to 3 million people, not to mention the steady influx of tourists each year. There are other large cities to choose from as well. Aurora, Naperville, and Joliet are all solid options, as are Rockford and Springfield, the capital city.

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of starting a franchise in Illinois, as well as some of our top franchise picks in the state.

Benefits of Starting a Franchise in Illinois

Illinois is one of the best states in the US to start a franchise business. The state is known for treating small business owners with respect and has even set up initiatives to support them.

Chicago, in particular, has taken this idea to the next level. The city features an online Small Business Center that provides workshops, counseling, and general advice for Chicago franchises. When you open one, you’ll be welcomed with open arms.

The city is the country’s third-largest metropolitan area and has an enormous population compared to many other places in the state. Lovingly referred to as The Windy City, millions of people visit each year, and that number is on the rise. For franchise owners, that means even more opportunities to make your mark.

Don’t feel obligated to settle in Chicago. The state has also implemented a program called Advantage Illinois with the aim of helping small business owners thrive all over the state. The program offers tax credits, loan assistance, and funding. The state recognizes that small businesses are essential for the local economy and therefore does whatever it takes to attract them to Illinois. This is great news for prospective franchise owners!

What to Look For in an Illinois Franchise

Before you set your sights on an Illinois franchise, there are a few important points to keep in mind. Most of these ideas can apply to opening a franchise anywhere in the US, and a few are more Illinois-specific.

Support System

There may be plenty of franchise opportunities in Illinois, but will you get the support that you need there?

One of the biggest reasons to start a franchise instead of a business from scratch is the support system that comes along with it. Before opening up a franchise in Illinois, make sure whichever franchise you choose has a sound support system and training program to back up their franchisees.

This includes advertising and the marketing that the franchise does for the brand in general.

Solid Franchise Agreement

This can apply to Illinois franchise opportunities and to franchises in general. Go through the franchise agreement with a fine-tooth comb (and maybe the help of an attorney) before you agree to anything. Take a close look at the renewal conditions, how much control the franchisor maintains, and if they require designated suppliers. Also make sure that Illinois is listed as an open/approved location and keep an eye on what would happen if you choose to end your franchise agreement too.


You may dream of opening a business in Chicago or another large city in Illinois, but you need to determine whether there’s a legitimate need for the franchise before you jump in. Is there a demand for the product or service the franchise could provide?

Do a little bit of market research on your own to find out. You can also ask the franchisor for this type of information.

Financial Health

Franchise opportunities in Illinois are vast, but that doesn’t mean everyone is a winner. Again, a major upside to owning a franchise is the ready-made brand recognition that can help bring in customers. But, if there are already ten or more franchises in the Chicago area, you may want to choose a different business.

Talk to other franchisees to get a feel for the financial health of the franchise overall. Does the business do well in a big city? Is it better to set up shop in a smaller town? They can give you an idea of their annual revenue and other key financial points.

You also need to take a hard look at your own financial situation. If you can’t afford the initial fee or investments, move on.

The Best Illinois Franchise Opportunites

1. P3 Cost Analysts: Best for Cost Reduction Consulting

  • Minimum cash required: $59,500
  • Work from home: Yes
  • Training provided: Yes
  • Financing assistance: Available through a third-party

When you open a cost reduction franchise, you’ll help your customers reduce their spending. You’ll also help them navigate the sometimes murky waters of negotiating with different vendors. If you want to earn a living by helping others save money, this is your type of franchise.

As a P3 Cost Analysts franchisee, you can help other businesses cut costs on their utilities, copier and printing, merchant processing, and waste management. It’s a growing industry that doesn’t show signs of stopping any time soon.

Additionally, P3 Cost Analysts provides expert training and coaching as well as the tools you need to succeed. It’s a rewarding way to jump into franchising!

2. ActionCOACH: Best for Business Services

  • Minimum cash required: $69,500
  • Work from home: Yes
  • Training provided: Yes
  • Financing assistance: Not available

ActionCOACH is the #1 business coaching firm worldwide. It opened in 1993 and has helped thousands of entrepreneurs since. They rely on a tried and true business coaching method that helps business owners create better teams, earn higher profits, and get more time for themselves.

If you’re a former business executive who feels passionate about helping other business owners, this franchise opportunity is ideal. They offer several different franchising opportunities, ranging from investments of just under $70,000 up to $4 million.

We love their “The Practice” option, which enables you to work from home with an investment on the lower end of the spectrum. ActionCOACH also offers extensive training to help you get started.

3. Soccer Shots: Best for Child Services

  • Minimum cash required: $20,000
  • Work from home: Yes
  • Training provided: Yes
  • Financing assistance: Available from the company

Soccer Shots is a children’s soccer program with franchises across the country. They focus on character development as well as technical skill, and it’s a great idea if you love children and sports.

The franchise provides access to the Soccer Shots community and offers ample support in the form of business consulting, marketing help, operations assistance. The 2021 top earner made over $2 million in annual revenue, so there’s definitely an opportunity to earn profits with this franchise.

You can leave a positive impact on the kids you coach. It’s a job that will enable you to give back to your community each and every day. If you’re looking for a fulfilling franchise opportunity, this one is a safe bet.

4. MaidPro: Best for Residential Cleaning

  • Minimum cash required: $35,000
  • Work from home: Yes
  • Training provided: Yes
  • Financing assistance: Not available

MaidPro is a residential cleaning service franchise. When you become a franchisee, you’ll lead a team of professional cleaners, run your own business, and gain control over your schedule. You’re also not required to clean yourself, which is a huge advantage when it comes to residential cleaning companies.

The franchise prides itself on its cloud-based management software. The key to running a successful business is often found in the systems that help run it. MaidPro’s software is top of the line and easy to use, thanks to the company’s extensive training and support.

There are a few other benefits to opening a MaidPro franchise – you don’t need to hire a fleet of vehicles and you can purchase whichever cleaning supplies you like. They give you the freedom to run your business exactly how you envision it!

5. PJ’s Coffee: Best for Food and Beverage

  • Minimum cash required: $100,000
  • Work from home: No
  • Training provided: Yes
  • Financing assistance: Available through a third-party

PJ’s Coffee originated in New Orleans (the full name of the franchise is PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans) and now has locations across the US. They serve up delicious coffee, beignets, pastries, sandwiches, and snacks.

The business doesn’t require you to have a background in coffee or restaurants but it’s a plus if you are interested in the industry. They also offer training that will teach you everything you need to know about their product and running the business. PJ’s has plenty of marketing advice and materials for you, too.

If you’ve got a passion for java, you may consider opening a coffeehouse franchise like PJ’s in Illinois.

Start Your Own Franchise in Illinois Today

As we’ve seen, Illinois is a great place to start a franchise. With many opportunities to choose from, you’ll want to choose a franchise that is both rewarding and profitable for years to come. For these reasons, many aspiring business owners choose to start their own cost reduction consulting franchise.

Cost reduction franchises are a great way for entrepreneurs who want to assist other business owners in cutting costs and increasing their profits. If you’ve been in the business world, you know how easy it is to be taken advantage of by distributors and the like. Help your fellow entrepreneurs avoid unnecessarily high costs!

If you’re interested in opening a cost reduction franchise in Illinois today, give us a call at 1-877-843-7579 or send us an email to speak with a franchise expert. We’d be thrilled to help.

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