Many issues factor into deciding whether to take advantage of a franchise opportunity, but perhaps none are so important as the critical question of money.

The economy may be tight, but that should not discourage potential franchisees, AllBusiness.com writes. There are many ways to invest in a franchise even in tough financial times, with franchisors often being the first to help.

Some franchises, such as Snap-On Tools, allow franchisees to sign up for a gradual ownership program. Through the company’s Gateway Franchise Program, franchisees are able to operate a location for two years to accrue funds before fully investing, the Web site reports.

Many franchises are also home-based, saving franchisees money on location costs and rent. Additionally, potential franchisees should not be afraid to ask franchisors if the company has any special incentives or deals, AllBusiness says. These programs may not even be listed on companies’ Web sites.

When preparing a franchise, there are additional strategies for saving money. If a franchise requires fixtures or equipment, such as a commercial kitchen, buying used equipment is a smart option, Entrepreneur.com writes. Franchisors should also be familiar with suppliers in the area, and be able to negotiate substantial savings.

The Liberty Tax Service franchise opportunity is #9 on the fastest growing franchises list of the 2010 Entrepreneur “Franchise 500.” Our tax franchise is an affordable and viable business choice. Each office provides thorough, computerized tax preparation coupled with superior customer service. For the best small business opportunity in the income tax franchise industry, choose Liberty!