Sean Fitzgerald & other franchise executives lay out the successes of the past year and what the franchising industry should look out for in 2018.
As the year comes to a close and everyone is reflecting on the big moments of the year, 1851 has taken some time to reflect on the big successes and what everyone in the franchise industry needs to be on the lookout for in 2018.
Without further ado, here are 2017’s biggest success stories in franchising:
1. Women and Millennial Franchisees
The franchise industry is used to seeing men from 50 to 60 years old take advantage of franchise opportunities but the industry is starting to see new faces. Both women and millennials are joining at faster rates than ever.
“More women are being elevated into senior level positions and when those women are laid off or are seeking other options, they already have great a business background, leadership experience, and money so they are choosing to invest in franchise opportunities,” said John Blair, Vice President of Marketing and PR at FranNet.
As for millennials, many are leaving college with a different view of the workforce and what their options are for employment. Many feel companies in corporate America have no loyalty to employees and aren’t interested in job hopping, and franchise opportunities seem like a nice hybrid option if their parents are willing to provide assistance with finances.
2. Semi Absentee Franchise Options
“The dynamics of the employment industry have changed. We’re seeing a lot of people now hedging their bets and investing in semi-absentee franchise options,” said Blair.
Franchisees are using their businesses as their safety net in case they lose their job and either use the franchise as their full-time job or continue to run it while they look for their next position.
Enterprise opportunities where you can operate one as easily as you can operate five franchises are great for this. Automotive or any type of retail outlet are both good bets for this category.
3. Less Government Pressure
With the new administration, political challenges for the franchising industry and small businesses have certainly lessened, providing franchise brands the opportunity to continue to create jobs and therefore grow the overall industry.
Building off of the successes in 2017, here is what every franchise prospect and franchise industry professional should have their eye on in the new year in terms of industries.
4. Health & Wellness Brands
As consumers continue to focus on health and wellness, so does the franchise industry due to its success. Whether it is a healthy food franchise, niche fitness concept, or health-related franchise, these brands continue to grow with interested prospects and consumers.
Coolgreens, the healthy lifestyle eatery committed to providing the highest quality, fresh and natural dining experience, is standing out in the space by offering options besides salads and being a part of every community they are located in.
In terms of niche fitness, Orangetheory continues to see a snowball effect taking place for their growth crossing 500 locations this year and nearing 1,000 with no closures. The brand plans to focus on technology moving forward and wants to be known as a lifestyle brand more than a fitness brand.
GYMGUYZ is another brand offering something unique and convenient for those interested in living healthier lives with in-home personal training. With a focus on culture and family, franchisees are inspired to change people's lives, and many are opting in to be a part of the system.
5. Brands Offering Delivery & Online Ordering
In 2018, if your brand doesn’t offer delivery or online ordering, you will be missing out on opportunities to reach customers while other brands are jumping on board. “To me, that will have the most impact on franchising moving forward in 2018 and beyond. Brands are now looking outside their four walls, even with dedicated franchise concepts. From the speed of ordering to pick up and delivering, brands cannot ignore this trend,” said Sean Fitzgerald, No Limit Agency Chief Development Officer.
Brands like IHOP are finding ways to offer online ordering for food that is not traditionally in the convenience business. Portillo’s and Red Robin also recently launched delivery options for customers across the country.
6. Senior Care Services
“With what is going on with the demographics of the US, as baby boomers are getting older, this huge population of people will have a significant impact because of their amount of buying power,” said Blair.
The buying power of baby boomers and the aging population creates a perfect storm of need for senior care services that will not be going away anytime soon.