Hall has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs select and purchase franchises through FranNet Carolina, for which he is President and has been since 1994.
“The franchise industry provides an ideal route to business ownership for many people,” Hall said. “There are so many choices to fit each individual’s personal and professional goals. In 2013 the top franchises purchased by our clients included senior home care, new and refurbished personal electronics, fast casual food, hair care, temporary staffing services, personal wellness, and hearing testing and devices. Clients also purchased businesses that offered children’s fitness, provided medical staffing and ran private learning academies.”
Here are some of the top market sectors that Hall thinks will continue to show or begin to show rapid growth in the 2014 and beyond:
Officing Solutions: “Remember executive office suites?” Hall says. “They are still around and provide well-appointed offices and support to larger corporations and smaller companies that need an impressive appearance. New franchises in this space are offering office solutions that fit today’s entrepreneurs and their fast-growing and smaller companies. Usually located in the suburbs, these newer officing concepts offer full-service virtual office solutions which include private offices, daily use offices, conference rooms, common working space or drop-in lounges, all supported with the necessary infrastructure and technology.”
Wellness: Fitness franchises will continue to grow and evolve in 2014, Hall predicts. “Much of this is fueled by lower-cost business models which segment fitness and weight-loss training and offer more individualized services at lower prices. The wellness segment also includes the popular and continued-fast-growing massage therapy franchises, nutrition stores and healthy vending concepts. Services are purchased by a growing and more health-conscious consumer base created, in part, by health-conscious baby boomers, corporate wellness programs and a government and insurance-company focus on health maintenance.”
Electronics: “The continued growth of smart phones and other personal electronic devices has created the need for repair and refurbishing services,” Hall explains. “Franchises that sell and service these PED’s will continue their rapid growth which started a couple of years ago. Services include the repair and restoration of cell phones, iPods and iPads, gaming devices and laptops. These are environmentally friendly businesses which also sell accessories and prepaid cards to customers fed up with long-term contracts from the larger wireless companies.”
Senior services: “This trend is a no-brainer with the growth of the over-65 population,” Hall noted. “Home non-medical and personal-care franchises have seen significant growth during the last six to seven years, and that trend will continue. Contributing to the growth will be the pent-up demand in North Carolina, caused by a three-year moratorium on licensing that is expected to be lifted mid-year.
Food: Food continues to be the largest segment of franchising, Hall says. “Today’s brand names will continue to grow and new concepts will be introduced. Who knew that frozen yogurt concepts would become so popular again? These franchises, along with several other food concepts, offer healthier food fare, semi-absentee ownership and relatively easy expansion opportunities. We also expect to see coffee concepts grow during the next few years as would-be owners look for concepts that can offer competition to Starbucks and to the relatively few and expensive coffee franchises that currently dominate the market.”
Mike Hall is president and owner of Franchise Resource Group Ltd., a.k.a. FranNet Carolina, a franchise sales and consulting firm with offices in Charlotte and Raleigh, N.C and Charleston, S.C. He advises clients on how to search for and evaluate franchise opportunities and is responsible for placing hundreds of new franchise owners throughout North and South Carolina. Mike has served on the FranNet National Board of Directors and was named a Consultant of the Year or Top Performer in 1999 and 2000 and again in 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2009 his office was recognized with a “Commitment to Excellence” award. He is a frequent lecturer on franchising and small business ownership and conducts public seminars on a regular basis. Hall is a franchise owner himself, and has been since 1991.
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