As the cities and counties of the United States continue to flourish,
the outlook for franchising in 2006 and beyond is ripe for growth. As
the population grows, so do their needs for a wide variety of products
and services, almost all of which fit into the franchise arena. According
to the International Franchise Association, there are 767,483 franchised
businesses that generate jobs for 18,121,595 Americans, which is nearly
14 percent of the nation’s private-sector employment. Franchises
also generate $506.6 billion in payroll, which is 11.1 percent of the
private-sector economy. All of these figures are expected to increase
in 2006. So what are the hot trends in franchising for 2006?
The need for supplemental education is paramount as students continue
to score below national averages on proficiency exams in math and reading.
Learning centers and tutoring franchises that provide high quality counseling,
testing and instructional services will fill this need and play a significant
role in preparing students for post secondary study and successful careers.
The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 has provided schools with about $2
billion a year in federal funding for activities such as tutoring and
enrichment programs. Since most schools do not have in-house tutoring
programs, they turn to third-party providers such as franchises.
and Weight Loss
The fitness and weight-loss categories experienced significant growth
last year and all signs indicate they will continue to do so in the coming
year. Issues such as obesity and diabetes are still prevalent and these
factors affect the industry. More and more, Americans are starting to
realize that the age old prescription for regular exercise and a balanced
diet will bring the best results. According to the International Health,
Racquet & Sports Club Association, the number of U.S. health-club
members at the start of 2005 was 41.3 million, up from 39.4 million in
2004. Another related trend, gyms exclusively for women should continue
to be strong in 2006.
These franchises allow small businesses to outsource their needs for everything
from signage to IT services. Since small businesses play such a big role
in our economy, business services franchises continue to grow, making
it easier and more convenient for small business owners to outsource their
needs. Anything a small business owner might need to run his operation,
this sector offers, from a company like commercial cleaning, a printing
and graphics company, to one that handles shipping and copying.
The strong housing market is driving growth in this industry. According
to Standard & Poor's in its semi-annual survey on the household durables
industry, published October 5th 2005, “The demand for household
appliances and home furnishings is rising steadily in step with a strong
housing market and the trend is likely to continue.” Franchises
in this category include custom blinds and draperies, handyman services,
outdoor lighting, interior design, decorative wall hangings and garage
Basic Consumer Services
With more and more dual income households, these time starved consumers
crave help with the staples of daily life. Services in demand include
home cleaning services and pick-up and delivery dry cleaning.
Services for the Elderly
With an aging population, elderly care services ranging from home maintenance
to personal assistance will be in high demand.
Children Activity Centers
Keeping children’s minds and bodies active away from school is big
business. Franchises specializing in activities for children range from
gymnastics and general fitness to art education programs.
Financial Services and Consulting
These services include income tax preparation, sales training and business
coaching and development.
HR Staffing and Consulting
According to the American Staffing Association, contract and temporary
staffing services had combined sales of $16.9 billion in the second quarter
of 2005. The growing shortage of skilled workers is helping to fuel companies
in the temporary staffing industry.
This is an establishment that blends the speed and convenience of fast
food with the food quality and atmosphere of a relaxed, casual dining
experience. Americans continue to be hungry for restaurants that fall
into this category, whether it be deli, classic American, Mexican, or
Italian style, to name a few.
Howard Bassuk is the founder of FranNet, the premier network of franchise
consultants who provide no-cost guidance, information and support to individuals
who are interested in purchasing their own franchised business.
FranNet - 2006 All rights reserved
FranNet: FranNet - The Franchise Connection - is an international
company that specializes in matching prospective business owners with
franchise companies suited to their professional and personal talents
and interests. This is accomplished by assessing an individual's requirements
for their ideal business and then searching for and recommending franchise
companies that meet those criteria.
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