As 2015 comes to a close, business savvy investors are turning their eyes to the next big trend. For those in franchising, potential franchisees have long been focused on what will be popular in 2016.
There are hundreds of franchises available in categories ranging in everything from plumbing and hair salons to maid services and home inspection. Seemingly everyone has a business option that fits their goals.
And while some franchisees and franchisors are concerned about how the August NLRB ruling will impact the industry, FranNet’s Brad Back, a franchising consultant in the Chicagoland area, said he believes the climate for the franchise industry is as strong as ever.
“What’s great about franchising is that franchisees and franchisors are very much like a family. They support each other, and I don’t believe the ruling appears to be a turning-point factor,” he said. “In fact, the outlook for this coming year looks healthy and positive, especially for women, veterans, minorities and individuals looking to be absentee owners.”
When considering options for the year ahead, it’s important to first look for brands and segments that are historically proven to provide lasting security. Among the traditionally stable categories are recession-proof options such as haircut concepts, salons, residential and commercial cleaning services and auto repair.
Back said the opportunity to buy into a brand that provides services consumers rely on is a good bet. Among the recommended categories for 2016 include auto care and staffing, but senior care leads the list.
“Senior services and automotive will continue to be really strong,” he said. “I think healthcare and senior services will continue to evolve and will trend even more positively due to the aging of the population.”
While senior care is popular, Back said he envisions the category shifting to a more focused approach as brands try to distinguish themselves from one another. With so much competition in the category, the importance of crystalizing where they stand will help increase interest in the segment.
In addition to some of the more stable opportunities, Back said there are a number of intriguing options gaining popularity, such as those in the fitness category and experiential education and entertainment sectors. With so many possibilities and trending options, 2016 appears to be the year to invest.
“Things in the franchising industry seem to be in a great place,” Back said. “The economy is getting better, and people have a lot of options. There are a variety of options available, be it as semi-absentee or full-time operators, or single- or multi-unit owners.”