Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) franchises are extremely easy to start and require very little capital investment to start, making it the perfect business for people who have been made to hit bottom following the Jellinek curve.
To start your franchise, the first step is to identify the Intergroup associated with your area and tell them you want to start an AA or NA group. It's as simple as that. You may want to incorporate your group if it is big enough and start filing Tax forms 990's, but this is not absolutely necessary, you can piggy back off the incorporation of the Intergroup for a while. Now you just need to find members and a way to make a living off of your franchise because the $1 donation at every meeting is only going for overhead.
The Intergroup, depending upon it size will provide you certain services that are essentially "free." At the very least, your group will be advertized in a meeting publication that is widely distributed. If they have a website, your group will be advertized on it and you don't have to do any programming, hosting or computer maintenance on your start up. If they run a "Hotline" they will also be telling people about your group if the date and time is right.
To find new members for your group, you use the services of the local Intergroup and join their "Corrections Committees" and "Hospital & Institutions" (H&I) prospect hunting trips looking for people to bring back to your home group. There are really no start up costs for your AA/NA franchise except for your time, gas and the purchase of AA/NA literature to use to attract newcomers to your meetings. Once your meeting gets big enough, it is time to start figuring out how to make money off of your franchise.
There are various ways to make a living from your AA/NA franchise and you can use one or a combination of all of them. The best part of this franchise is that you don't have to pay any workers, they do it for free and consist mainly of the newcomers to the meetings that you happen to get as a Sponcee. Pick your Sponcee's carefully and your success is assured. There is no set amount of Sponcee's that you should have and it just depends on how many you think you can handle, but six at a time appears to be about the maximum. To get preferential "referrals" from the Intergroup "hotline" you may want to "suggest" to your Sponcee's that they volunteer to man the phones.
At this point, you have a few options to make money. You can open up a sober home, which costs an initial investment or you can open up a house cleaning, lawn care, janitorial, MaryKay, Amway or other non skilled job services that you can use your Sponcee's to funnel customers to and supply cheap labor for after AA/NA has done there job and made them hit bottom and desperate for any type of work. Make sure that you help promote the other AA/NA franchises of Rehabs and Sober homes in your area, because they will funnel customers to you by van and bus and when you get big enough, you can open up a Rehab or Sober house and start funneling customers to the newer franchisee's, just like what was done for you.