Finding the Right Franchise
With companies downsizing to adjust to their shrinking budgets and the national unemployment rate at 9.6 percent, job security is a thing of the past. That’s why many individuals are taking control of their destinies and investing in a franchise with a proven model. But how can you find a concept that best suits your career goals, skills and lifestyle? With an estimated 1,500 different franchise companies operating in the U.S., it’s important to do your research and not settle on the first concept you find.
Think about your strengths, weaknesses, interests and overall goals. Most franchisors don’t require their franchisees to possess industry experience but managerial knowledge is extremely beneficial. When investigating franchise options, important factors to consider include: investment and royalty costs, hours of operation and training and support.
But be sure to think about the business model rather than the services or merchandise being sold. For instance, just because you like kids, it doesn’t mean a childcare franchise is the right choice for you. Below are various franchising sectors; take a look at which is best suited for you.
With the baby boomer population passing the age of 60, more individuals are in need of long-term care. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans turning 65 is expected to nearly double to 70 million in the next two decades. Research has also found that nearly one out of every four U.S. households provides care to a relative or friend aged 50 or older.
For most, a desire to remain independent in their homes for as long as possible is a high priority. In fact, studies have shown that seventy percent of American seniors spend the rest of their lives in the place where they celebrated their 65th birthday. Due to these demographic and lifestyle trends, there has been a surge in home care franchises. Since the year 2000, the number of franchise brands in this sector quadrupled to over 3,000. When researching which one is right for you, look for reputable companies that have established themselves in the industry.
Yet while the home care industry is a booming one, keep in mind that caring for others can be a demanding job that requires a lot of patience from you and your staff. On the other hand, however, it can also provide an extremely gratifying feeling and opportunity to give back to your local community.
With consumers always looking to better their living spaces, the home improvement sector remains a steady one. Especially with houses sitting on the market longer, more consumers are considering improving rather than selling their current residence. As a potential franchisee, you may fear that you don’t have the skill-set to execute a home improvement job and build a successful business in your community. The good news is, though, that many of these franchises offer extensive training and marketing support to lead you to success.
In an effort to restart the economy, an $819 billion economic stimulus package that encourages businesses to implement green initiatives was introduced by the government last year. As a result, these businesses are given incentives, such as tax credits and rebates. Currently, twenty-three states offer some form of tax incentive to encourage businesses to use renewable energy or adopt energy efficiency systems and equipment.
There are a great range of home-based franchises to choose from, including several service-based concepts such as Internet marketing. This sector of franchising continues to generate interest due to low initial investment costs and flexible hours. In purchasing a home-based franchise, you will cut one of the biggest expenses faced by many start-up companies—rent and staff. You will also be eliminating commute time and managing your own hours. This is a great option for families with young children. In a home-based franchise, it is also likely that you will wear many hats and facilitate many aspects of the business. This can be positive at first, yet as your business continues to grow, keep in mind you may have to begin working long hours to adjust to the growing demands.
Good franchised businesses have a proven track record but each company is different. Attending trade shows and enlisting the help of an experienced franchise consultant are great ways to investigate different business models.