Like any industry, franchising is not immune to trends. While it might not be as apparent as Fashion Week’s runway fads or Wall Street’s connect-the-dots predictions, there are some prevailing developments currently defining the franchise industry.
Now that Q2 is winding down and 2016 peeks over the horizon, brands have begun asking, “What are the hottest franchise segments for the second half of the year?”
Christopher Fountain, CEO of FranConnect, echoed the sentiments of many franchise professionals: In-home care is the industry turning heads and opening units all across the country.
“I think the demographic shift of the population drives a certain type of business; take the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation, for example,” Fountain said. “In-home care is something that’s very relevant to the population, making it a rapidly growing segment.”
In-home care franchises like Right at Home and Comfort Keeper have been capitalizing on recent market trends and the aging of the baby boomer segment. Evolving from its antiquated perception as a service reserved for ailing elders, in-home care has become a practical option for aging senior citizens who want to remain in the comfort of their homes while receiving aid in basic day-to-day functions like cooking, cleaning and taking medication.
Fountain’s colleague at FranConnect, Keith Gerson, president of FranConnect, revealed a differing perspective on the franchise industry’s current trajectory.
“I’m going to be the contrarian,” he said. “What I want to talk about is technology and how it’s changing the industry that 1851 readers are already in—it’s about who can execute or out-execute the competition.”
Gerson continues to explain that developments in the franchise industry are currently very meta; it’s all about who can innovate the most within existing segments.
“The questions that I have heard asked the most this year include the following: How do we create more engagement? How do we create more accountability? How do we improve franchisee level unit level econ,” Gerson said.
While Fountain’s point-of-view may have deviated from Gerson’s, he does acknowledge that the franchise industry is a rapidly evolving one with plenty of changes in store.
“As the average age increases, the profile of the consumer changes more,” Fountain said. “Recently, we’ve seen people have more money and demand for personal services.”