Franchisees at one time were content with being their own boss. Today the majority of franchisees own multiple franchises, some even major networks with hundreds of stores. There are still millions of entrepreneurs looking for a chance to launch a proven business on affordable terms. Opportunities continue to grow, but franchise prospects also see constant changes. Here are some of the trends to watch for.
The US population has been changing for decades, and today we see differences in both consumers and the workforce. Those in the franchise business must adapt marketing and hiring efforts to a wider audience.
The latest generation to come into its own as an economic force far outnumbers the Baby Boomers who brought them into being. This is the first generation that never knew life without the Internet, and they are tech-savvy consumers and workers who can provide new and more expanded opportunities for franchises that embrace the digital environment.
This once-radical generation now has matured and now has heavy influence in every sector related to aging and parenting. They demand services involving health, anti-aging, nutrition, child care, college tuition financing for their children, and a host of other age-specific needs for years to come.
The entire population in general is living longer, more active lives well into their senior years. There's a growing market for retirement services, assisted living, home healthcare, senior social programs, and other interests that will continue to expand as the Baby Boomers join the seniors.
The US is on the way to having a more racially balanced population as African Americans, Asians, and especially Hispanics represent larger and larger segments of the population. Each may have their own general style in music, fashion, food, and other interests that will grow in importance. Franchises catering specifically to these groups will grow in importance.
More franchises are becoming multinational, or inspiring new franchises overseas as even “third world” nations see technical and economic improvement. 55% of new franchises appeared outside the US. Franchises with the flexibility to open up new services and establish branding in different places around the globe will have a strong advantage.
Many franchises are high-recognition brands with years of experience behind their methods. This provides equal opportunity for small entrepreneurs to compete with established companies. But some franchises are showing more growth than others.
Some brand concepts are in demand everywhere and even in poor economic times. These recession-proof businesses include hair cutting, shipping services, child care, pet grooming, tax preparation, clothing, and many other businesses people just don't like to do without. One of the most obvious “essential” services is food: restaurants accounted for 75% of franchise growth in the fall of 2015.
Another area of strong potential is maintenance franchises. Property owners everywhere are in need of kitchen cabinet refinishing, carpet cleaning, landscaping, and other services they don't have the time, skills, or equipment to do themselves. “Green” services that involve safe, eco-friendly products are also popular, such as pest control, clean-up services, and furniture restoration. Service industries that involve low startup costs also continue to be very popular, such as painting and grout cleaning.
Fitness is bigger than ever with the aging Baby Boomers. This includes a broad spectrum of needs such as exercise equipment, yoga, dietary supplements, alternative medicines, spas, tanning, and health foods. Demands for new health and fitness alternatives are also driven by the recognition of the increasing obesity rate among Americans and Europeans as well, which affects all demographics. The right fitness franchise has very good chances of success.
No business is guaranteed success, and franchising is no exception. But familiarity with present and future trends is important to taking the right path. Franchisers and franchisees who focus on the most in-demand services and markets have greater chances of succeeding.
This guest post is courtesy of Jennifer Livingston.