Fast-Growing Franchises With Staying Power

In good times and bad, franchises can offer a proven business model to people eager to run their own show. The trick is finding one that is right for you.

Here are seven franchises that we think are worth a look, based on our interviews with franchise experts and consultants. All have demonstrated solid growth despite the harsh business climate -- and none of them require exorbitant start-up fees.

We focused our search on franchises with growth of 70% or more since 2006 (or 10% or more since 2010 for new franchises). Then we narrowed that list to those with franchise fees of $50,000 or less. Finally, we sorted by franchises in industries that are doing well and are expecting continued growth, according to experts.