Franchising continues to be a growth market for franchisors and franchisees alike, with the number of franchise units growing by 4% to a total of 40,100 in 2011.
And franchisors continue to use canny ways to extend their reach.
Firstly, many businesses have unfortunately closed their doors in last few years, leading to a rise in signs proclaiming ‘office space available’ around the country. A savvy franchisor can help future franchisees secure some prime, high street locations at knockdown rates.
Franchisors looking at ways to entice prospective franchisees might consider franchise-fee discounts. Price alone is unlikely to ever be the only reason why a franchisee purchases a particular franchise, but a tempting discount could cement the difference between taking on one franchise over a similar one from a competing franchisor.
Tutoring franchises like Magikats, which provides Maths and English workshops to children, are growing in popularity
Growth in children’s education franchises
There has been a proliferation in children’s education operators in recent years as schools and nurseries increasingly bring in private operators to diversify the educational experience. And parents are increasingly keen to augment their offspring’s education out of school hours too.
Tutoring franchises like Magikats, which provides Maths and English workshops to children, are growing in popularity, bucking economic conditions because cash-strapped parents would forgo many other luxuries before they cancel their children’s out-of-school tutoring.
As tutoring franchise opportunities become more sophisticated, franchisees can increasingly offer online learning technology. Cheaper for parents than a physical tutor, this an area on the up in an age of austerity.
Technology has never been more important to businesses. With so many competing tools available, it is difficult to determine what are both the most appropriate and best-value tools to meet customers’ needs.
And many people do not have the time or inclination to wade through apps that they don’t understand.
IT solutions franchisors can cut through the jargon on behalf of clients and select the best products to help meet their needs, whether that’s making their world more efficient or safer from virus attacks.
Just as importantly, franchises that add mobile technology products which help clients contact their customer base through smartphones and tablets, will prosper.
Anyone reading will be aware that small-business lending is still difficult to obtain.
So how can franchisees deal with finance issues? Well banks will still happily lend to well-established franchise networks, but franchisees are likely to increasingly tap alternative sources of funding, such as crowdfunding.
According to a 2012 FranchiseSales.com survey, only 49% of would-be franchisees expected to use bank finance, with 63% drawing on personal savings, 23% borrowing from friends and family, 23% using cash from an existing business, 9% re-mortgaging their home to free up capital, and 5% using a redundancy payoff.
The sale of fast-moving consumer goods (or FMCG) – low-cost goods with a high turnover of stock like soft drinks, toiletries and groceries – has always been a profitable area for franchisors. Two particular FMCG products that are growing in popularity are frozen yoghurt and ice cream, with franchises selling these sweet treats popping up nationwide.
With many operators already offering these products, growth in this area will likely flow from existing franchises expanding into new franchise territories. New brands may struggle to enter a crowded market.