The Biggest Trends in Franchising


BYKevin Harrington,  When you break it down, franchising is simply a proven method of distributing products or services. But franchising happens to be a business approach that is booming at a time the rest of the U.S. economy is treading water.

“The franchise sector continues to grow adding 184,000 jobs over the past 12 months,” said International Franchise Association President & CEO Steve Caldeira.

The IFA recently rolled out its glowing 3rd Quarter Franchise Forecast for 2013.

Highlights of the report:

  • The franchise sector accounted for roughly 10% of all new jobs over the past 18 months – that boosts the total jobs in the industry to more than 8 million.
  • Over the past year alone, the franchise sector has added new jobs in industries such as business and personal services, restaurants, automobile, education and manufacturing.
  • In 2013, the franchise sector is expected to grow twice as fast as the rest of the economy.
  • The franchise sector directly and indirectly supports more than 18 million jobs overall.

The IFA says there are at least two levels of people involved in a franchise system. There is the franchisor – the man or woman who lends a trademark or trade name and a business system. Then there’s the franchisee – the man or woman who pays a royalty and often an initial fee for the right to do business, using the franchisor’s name and system.

The term franchise is often associated with some of the most popular fast food joints. But there are more than 75 industries that operate within the franchising format. The IFA’s membership and network includes about 1,000 franchisors, 350 suppliers, and more than 7,000 franchisee members.

According to, the top 10 franchises for 2013 are Hampton Hotels, Subway, Jiffy Lube, 7-Eleven, Supercuts, Anytime Fitness, Servpro, Denny’s, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut.

During my recent conversation with Alisha Harrison, Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing for IFA, I learned about the latest opportunities in the franchising industry.

With the youngest members of the so-called Baby Boomer segment of the population hitting their 50s, there’s a growing demand for companion care, assisted living, in-home care and transportation.  Franchisers are hustling to fill this void.

“It’s an aging population,” Alisha told me. “People want to live longer and live better. That’s why you’re seeing franchises pop up for 24-hour fitness, massage and more. The Baby Boomers are starting to take care of themselves now. And that makes for a healthier marketplace for franchisors.”




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