Whether you have a few thousand dollars in the bank or funding in the millions, you can find and financially benefit from franchising opportunities in virtually every market segment. But before getting into a breakdown of opportunity by category, let’s take a step back and answer a key question.
What Is a Franchise?
Franchising is a way of partnering with established and proven businesses in most fields. The idea here is that the franchisor has already made the inevitable mistakes and corrections that every young business goes through, and is now ready to lead the way for other business owners. This is true of both B2B and B2C franchisors.
As a franchisee, you get the “owner’s manual” for an established brand. You’re now an insider on the processes and procedures that worked effectively to grow that particular business.
You’re also instantly strengthened by tying in to a brand that many, or possibly all, of your new clients or customers know and respect. In fact, you might be interested in becoming part of a certain brand because you yourself enjoyed the products or services from that brand at another location.
You may think that if you feel that way about that brand, others will as well, and you are probably right.
Your franchisor will be able to tell you how much capital you’ll need, what inventory, equipment, or technology you’ll need, how to market your brand, and when you can realistically expect to start turning a profit.
However, all that valuable brand recognition, background know-how, and partnering assistance is not available if your startup is entirely original. That doesn’t mean you can’t succeed on your own, but franchising comes with a safety net you might not otherwise have.
So Where Are the Franchising Opportunities in America?
Everywhere. Mostly. Let’s break it down in a bit more detail by looking at four key areas in which you’re likely to find opportunities.
1. Opportunities in Food, Beverage, and Hospitality
If you were asked to define franchising by offering a few examples, this might well be what you call out. McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Holiday Inn, and Olive Garden all qualify, and that’s just a starting point.
One key selling point in this area (as well as in the one we’ll meet next) is that your customers can see your “billboards” on Main Streets everywhere in America. What city or town doesn’t have a local Subway (the sandwich shop kind)? How do you know? Because you see the signs out front.
Food, beverage, and hospitality retailers with hundreds or even thousands of locations across the country have seen potentially millions of patrons over time. Who hasn’t had a Burger King Whopper?
Even if you’re not a huge fan of the offering, you know that many are. You don’t have to prove your menu if you have an established customer base even before you’ve opened your doors.
It’s the same with hotels, fine dining establishments, bars, and other venues where people go for fun, food, and overnight accommodations.
Not that every food, drink, and hospitality franchisor can offer thousands of proven establishments. Some entrepreneurs turn to franchising after proving their business model with as little as a single location. In that situation, you obviously won’t benefit from the brand recognition all across the country, but it’s likely not to cost nearly as much as one from a more established brand. You will want to be a little more critical here, but the opportunity could be similarly productive with a little more patience.
2. Opportunities in Shopping Establishments
We could also call these retail opportunities, but we’ll go with shopping to distinguish this section from the previous listing. This category encompasses the sort of businesses you see during a visit to virtually any mall in America (and there are still a lot of them) or on signs along the highway.
This area includes clothing stores for men, women, and children, toy stores, auto dealerships, pet retailers, mattress warehouses, bed and bath shops, and many others.
As with the prior category, the larger of these shopping establishments have a brand-building billboard effect. Once again, you see their names and logos just about everywhere, and you and your prospective customer base have probably sampled more than a few of these locations.
3. Opportunities in Services
While the individual franchisors in this area might not be as large or the signage on such extensive display, there are many more niches within this broad category.
Let’s start with the definition of a service company. It’s one that primarily offers expertise rather than focusing on “things.” It sells haircuts rather than hats.
It’s a beautician, locksmith, or package courier. Maybe it’s a garage that covers all car repair services or specializes in brake work, transmissions, foreign cars, or tire replacement.
Sure, a service organization might also sell things to you. Your brake servicer does, after all, sell you brakes. But it’s the expertise in diagnosing your problem, finding the right replacement parts for your car, and correctly installing those brakes for which this company is particularly known.
Another strong area in this category is financial services. Many accounting, bookkeeping, money management, tax services, and insurance organizations that have succeeded as single entities have then built models to show others how to do the same with varying levels of skill and funding.
The reason franchising is so highly regarded in the financial sector is that it involves other people’s money. If you were a consumer or small business owner looking for an accountant, who would you trust more: a stranger or the owner of an operation you’ve heard of and respected for years? Maybe you even used the brand in the past but at another location.
4. Other Opportunities
Okay, we cheated a bit here. Instead of presenting another area of strength, we’re saying that we’ve had to leave out a lot of fields and industries.
The truth is if the expertise system that worked for one company can be organized, replicated, explained, and led, that opportunity can be franchised.
And your clients or customers will thank you.
Keep Your Dreams Alive with a Franchise Investment
If you’ve always had a dream of becoming your own boss, maybe it’s time to investigate the franchising market. As the nation’s leader in personal lines franchising, we invite you to look into our proven insurance brands across the country. Call Confie at (714) 252-2500 or request more information online about the many advantages of becoming an agency partner.