In the quest to continue bringing you, the budding entrepreneur, all the latest in franchise coverage, we’re dedicating this edition of FranNet’s blog to what was covered at last month’s International Franchise Association’s 2018 Annual Convention. Held Feb. 10-13 at the Phoenix Convention Center in the heart of sunny Arizona, the 58th annual meeting of the minds hosted franchising’s most elite players. Approximately 4,000 attendees and 350 exhibitors shared the spotlight. According to a preview on the IFA website, the convention’s theme of “Together, We Are Franchising” highlights how important the business model is to the U.S. and global economy, as well as a core element of the American Dream for so many people. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
According to those who attended, there was—at a minimum—noticeable optimism about the industry in general. Heralded by a pro-business policy government, recent corporate tax breaks and month over month increases in consumer optimism, the future for franchising looks even brighter than last year. Research from several of the convention panels showed a mix of good, great and even better statistics. One pegged the number of available franchise concepts as topping over 4,000. Another estimated that there may be as many as 25,000 potential franchisees looking to close a deal on a business of their own.
Interestingly enough, a demographic panel posited that the majority of speculative franchise owners looking to buy aren’t among the Baby Boomer Generation, but rather the one trailing it—Generation X. Although, the Millennials also had a strong showing, something we’ve talked about before in this space. It seems as if this trend is shaping up. And this is perhaps because younger buyers are clearly thinking along different lines about how success is measured. They make different purchasing decisions and have divergent opinions on the definition of risk, investment and even value propositions.
What about franchise brands? Conventioneers seem to think they must continue to be adaptable to new strategies—especially in areas of growth and recruitment. Brands who embrace non-conventional approaches to development are gaining the edge on those who cling to past principles. Everything from outreach to marketing to retention is on the table and franchise brands now have the opportunity to draw clear delineations from their competition if they strategize correctly. It’s suggested that brands experiment with different tactics, relying on a combination of transparency and assertiveness. The use of technology and its intersection with the emotion of purchase can be co-opted successfully for those brands willing to try.
In summation, the International Franchise Association’s annual convention was another success. Think back to the lean years of our economy, already 10 years in the past and see how far as an industry we’ve come. At the 2018 convention, the optimism was palpable and unbridled. The number of franchise concepts is on the way up, perhaps to record numbers. Same goes for the number of estimated entrepreneurs in the franchisee pool. What remains? Marrying up these two monoliths.
As the premier franchise consulting company, FranNet is ready, willing and able to assist all comers. We believe in the future of the industry and that there is still a place at the table for you. If you’d like what you’ve heard and are ready to kick off your own entrepreneurial journey—for real this time—make a no cost, no-obligation appointment with a qualified FranNet representative.
Let’s take this momentum all the way across the finish line. The one where you finally become your own boss.
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