The business franchising industry is on track for another year of record growth, according to the International Franchise Association (IFA). The number of franchise establishments is expected to increase by 1.7 percent in 2016, and employment in the industry will increase by 3.1 percent.
As the franchise industry grows stronger, it also continues to evolve, and three important trends are exerting a positive effect on business franchising today.
Exponential Growth in International Business Franchising
The IFA report states that more than 400 U.S. franchise systems are currently operating in other countries, and more franchisors are considering expanding overseas. International franchising is booming because many global markets view American brands as symbols of quality and status.
Franchisors operating overseas often can secure exclusive development rights for a particular foreign region.
In other words, they have the opportunity to be the only unit operator for a franchising system in a certain country or region. Because of this, U.S.-based business franchisors are increasingly branching out internationally.
More Women and Minorities Involved in Business Franchising
The official unemployment rate may be hovering around 5 percent, but many women and minorities are unable to find full-time work with adequate compensation. As a result, an increasing portion of this demographic is exploring alternatives to traditional employment.
For many members of this population segment, the prospect of franchising offers an attractive opportunity.
Women and minorities frequently face obstacles in business. Although they may be capable and competent, they may lack the experience and capital to grow a new business from the ground up.
Franchisors can provide assistance in obtaining property leases and financing as well as ongoing business and managerial training. As a result, many minorities and women consider franchising to be a safer investment than going into business independently.
Increasing Use of Technology in Business Franchising
Technology is making the business of franchising easier for everyone.
More and more franchisors are using cloud computing, basing their software programs, franchise information, supply chain management and many other operations on internet-based platforms. This allows for easy communication with franchise owners and performance monitoring without the labor-intensive work.
Prospective franchisees also are learning about franchising opportunities on the internet. In fact, most prospective franchisees are approaching franchisors via online channels. The IFA reports that many franchisors obtain more sales leads over the internet than through any other source.
Franchise systems involve technology in many other ways as well, including site selection, business-to-consumer e-commerce and advertising. And as technology continues to develop, it is likely to play more roles in franchising.
The experienced attorneys of the Franchise & Business Law Group are prepared to assist you in leveraging today’s most lucrative industry trends. Contact our Provo, Utah, office today to schedule a consultation to discuss your business franchising interests.