It has been a couple long years since we could invite top franchisors to fly to a secret location to brief us on the state of their business and trends the see on the horizon.
Feels good to be flying again, seeing our friends, associates and franchisors in something other than a Zoom call. The only downside is that I have apparently gotten rusty on how to travel. There was no “Go Bag”, I forgot which parking lot was near my gate and should have brought a rolling bag for the long walk. That said, I am happy to be on the road and able to gather information you can use to grow your empire.
Welcome back live face to face conferences!
Okay, so here is the general global state of franchising.
While in Covid, families spent less and have a ton of pent-up demand. There is an addition $2 Trillion put up in savings over and above what families normally save. They are getting out and spending it like spending money is an Olympic sport.
People want their restaurants, gyms and entertainment back. They are travelling, boarding their dogs, hiring home services like cleaning companies and more. They are going back to the office, so have less time to do their own projects at home. Do it yourself projects are getting handed to contractors but they are getting done because the housing market is on fire, people have increased home equity and are building a house that they can enjoy now but has great resale value.
Here is the good news: I had gym companies inform me that they did not close any units permanently due to Covid and they even opened some that are thriving. I had restaurant companies tell me they thrived and opened unis as well. Service companies had a lot of customers come their way for home projects and, of course, needed repairs. And much more.
The moral of the story is that the idea that buying into a franchise gets you support, services and resources that you probably could not get as an independent owner seems to have proved true!
I spoke to brand Presidents that worked crazy hours calling each franchisee and making sure they had what they needed. Their teams were in the trenches with them every step of the way.
What do we see as concepts to check out? Well, we found those in every category. The strong not only survived but, but they grew their infrastructure and resources like technology and vendor relationships.
Services remain in very high demand by consumers. That does not seem to be letting up. In fact, it might even be growing. Services like pet walking, pet sitting, home cleaning, mobile car washing may be in higher demand due to offices workers that have been telecommuting going back to the office.
That doesn’t mean demand for core services will fall, there is so much consumer demand for Plumbing, HVAC, Roofing, remodeling and services in that category that we have seen very proven franchisors bring new brands to market to answer the calls.
Gyms, wow, gyms are going crazy again! Those that closed are largely open again. Customers have brought two years of saved up New Years resolutions and are so busy that gym owners are scouting new locations as fast as they can. We even saw Top celebrities open gyms that will leverage their brands to bring people in to work out.
Beauty and wellness are on fire with activity now that we are trading in sweatpants for work, social and travel clothes. Hair salons, salon suites, lashes, spas, longevity, skin treatments and much more are back in growth mode.
Childhood education and daycare are getting substantial consumer demand. Daycares because parents are going back to the office and tutoring because kids need the extra help to catch back up after the home schooling was harder than anyone thought. The demand for this started months ago and the education companies are scrambling to catch up to the calls.
Restaurants are under high demand and they are hustling to restaff as fast as they can, as are some retail companies. Watch for a shift in the way they build teams, reward them and grow them. It is just a matter of rebuilding that staffing pipeline, but employees have always been there for this category.
Automotive is strong as cars need service, the average age of cars owned is older and we are back on the road. Maintenance, repair and insurance claim services are very active.
As with any time of challenge, we see the entrepreneurship in people come out. We saw it in franchisors and franchisees. The community these brands operates in showed that they can weather any challenge.
What is your success story?
Let’s go find it!
George Knauf is a highly sought after, trusted advisor to many companies; Public, Independent and Franchised, of all sizes and in many markets. His 20 plus years of experience in both start-up and mature business operations makes him uniquely qualified to advise individuals that have dreamed of going into business for themselves in order to gain more control, independence, time flexibility and to be able to earn in proportion to their real contribution.
Contact the Franchising USA Expert George’s Hotline 703-424-2980.