Curious about what the franchise world will look like in 2015? Some important changes are coming in the way that franchises operate, gather information, and expand into new markets. Review the latest trends below, watch for opportunities, and check Franchise Expo for the latest news as markets continue to shift
1. More Tech, Everywhere: We’ve already seen how tech is beginning to influence some business markets, such as the rise of mobile apps and devices in restaurants. But 2015 promises to expand that trend in surprising ways. The Internet of Things is encouraging the use of sensors and tracking devices in – well, nearly everything, while software is also getting a big boost. Big Data, specifically, is changing the way that franchises collect and use information, allowing the franchisor to tap into customer data from multiple franchisees and use it to make smarter decisions.
2. Big Restaurant Changes: Restaurants are undergoing several key changes in 2015, which could mean a lot more work for franchisees this year. We’ve already mentioned the proliferation of mobile devices, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. New regulations starting in 2015 will require some extensive menu changes for many restaurants (showing additional nutritional information). The rise of payment services like Apple Pay and new credit card security demands also promise to change the industry.
3. Broader Offerings from Everyone: Franchises used to specialize, and they still do – but many are beginning to increase their offerings to reach more customers and different demographics. Take Subway, which has started offer breakfast items and pizza products, or ServPro, which is expanding its disaster recovery business with additional services for businesses and homeowners. This horizontal growth seems to be a winning strategy.
4. Higher Numbers of Small Ventures: As the economy continues to recover throughout the United States and the wider world, many smaller, newer franchises are on the rise. These new ventures will be offering some exciting opportunities for business owners. Their requirements and entry fees tend to be less strenuous, and their business models also venture into unique territory. However, this comes with its fair share of risk: Some of this growing crowd of ventures will succeed. Many will fail or be absorbed by larger organizations.
5. Décor, So Much Décor: One new field that’s really taking off in the franchise world is décor. What does that mean? Well, more franchised interior design services, certainly. But businesses are growing far more creative, offering a range of new moving, planning, painting, matching, and set-up services to help people do everything from make up their minds about a vase to set up a new TV. The potential in this new market is high.
6. Even More Mobility: Mobile franchises are nothing new, but they are becoming more practical – and popular – as time passes. Expect even more mobility in 2015 as industries focus on the concept. Trucks designed to function as mobile businesses will be marketed. Foodtrucks will grow even more popular. Mobile salons, mobile vending machines, mobile pet car, and similar services will continue to grow in demand.