Trends in Franchising
Trends in franchising are ever evolving as the economy ebbs and flows. As a franchisor, you need to keep your opportunity relevant to the demands of consumers while also remaining an attractive option for prospective franchisees. It is critical that you keep your fingers on the pulse of what drives customers to purchase your product and prospective franchisees to invest in your brand. In today’s blog post we are going to explore trends in what prospective franchisees want, where they come from, and the current industries that pique their interests.
What They Want
Prospective franchisees want to, “buy a job”, be their own boss and provide for themselves and their families. They don’t necessarily want to make the sandwiches or travel from home to home to deliver a service; more and more they want to manage a company and employ a professional staff so they can “steer the ship” and focus on strategy and growth.
So how do they know which franchise is right for them? Prospective franchisees will scour franchise directories or go directly to the website of the franchisor to collect the necessary information to help them make this life-changing decision. And the top questions they want answered include:
– What might their potential earnings be?
– What is the initial investment amount?
– Is there strong brand name recognition?
– What kind of training and ongoing support will they receive?
Franchisors should be prepared to answer these questions and more to ensure prospective franchisees will be equipped with the necessary information to make the decision that’s right for them.
Where They Come From
Changes in the population are affecting not only who consumers are today but also the available labor market. As the industry trends in various directions, franchisors must adapt to the ever changing pool from which prospective franchisees can be found.
We have compiled a list of various sub-groups from which prospective franchisees and potential consumers may be found.
Millennials — This generation, whose numbers surpass even those of the Baby Boomers, are coming into their own as a potent economic force as they begin their careers and raise families. This group of media-savvy consumers raised on the Internet presents a huge opportunity for franchisors that can provide goods and services related to their growing needs.
Baby Boomers — As this “forever young” generation ages, it will demand many new services: health and fitness programs; financial and retirement planning and advice; assistance with their aging parents; child care for their younger children and educational services for their college-bound children; legal and tax services and more.
Women — More and more women want to strike out on their own, for a myriad of reasons including scheduling flexibility, the desire to advance to higher positions, for increased challenge and even for a healthier work environment. Many of these women choose franchises rather than entirely new business concepts because new businesses have much higher failure rates than established ones.
Minorities — The U.S. is well on the road to having a “New Majority” as the ranks of Hispanics, African Americans, and Asians continue to grow. From food to fashion, real estate to business services, as members of these groups continue their rise in numbers and economic clout, their needs will continue to expand.
Military Veterans — Veterans who are completing their military service or returning home from overseas offer franchisors finely honed leadership skills, personal discipline and comfort with technology. With over 2,000 veterans already actively engaged in franchise ownership through IFA’s VetFran program, interest in becoming franchise owners will only continue to grow.
Seniors — People are living longer, more active lives today, a trend that will only accelerate as Boomers age. Healthcare-related services delivered at home or in assisted living facilities, will continue to grow. Home renovations for seniors, health and fitness programs tailored to their aging bodies will expand in the years ahead.
As franchisors, we would love to promise prospective franchisees that they simply could not fail if they invested in our franchise concept; however, both the law and reality prevent us from having this conversation. Since you can’t simply say, “you’ll be successful and make lots of money”, there are a few things you can do to highlight the benefits of buying into your brand and business model. Let’s take a look at which industries are trending and considered “hot!”
Recession-proof brands are understandably popular in any economic environment. These types of businesses include hair cutting, tax preparation, accounting, shipping and packaging, child and pet care and services, auto maintenance and repair, home repair and renovation, computer-related services, real estate, and staffing and employment. Used goods including clothing, sports equipment, and electronic games also tend to do well in any economy.
“Green” businesses, already on the rise, received a big boost with the federal and state governments pushing for increased funding for the energy sector. Energy-reduction services for both homes and the commercial sector will continue to expand. “Green” buildings, made with recycled materials and using less energy present opportunities for handyman franchises, and as the market matures more and more opportunities will appear.
Fitness, health, and personal care. This sector, which includes gyms, fitness centers, nutrition, recreation and sports, spas, tanning centers, and “healthy” fast food, provides targeted opportunities for each of the demographic groups described above. The increase in childhood obesity has given rise to fitness centers and programs that combine fun and education for the younger set.
No business is free from risks, but having a firm grasp of current trends – and where they are likely to go in the coming years – is a big step in the direction of long-term franchise success.
To learn more about franchise opportunities with High Touch High Tech, visit us online at ScienceMadeFunFranchise.net.
High Touch High Tech is the leader in innovative hands-on science and nature experiences for children, serving over 4 million children annually with 27 franchise locations across the United States, Canada, Turkey, Singapore and South Korea.