The biggest recent trend in franchising is the move toward multi-unit ownership. Multi-unit ownership allows franchisees to diversify their professional lives in a way that offers a buffer against flagging economic performance or temporary operational difficulties.
That’s a huge boon, regardless of whether you’re just starting out or are considering opening more than one promotional products location.
Why? Because you can use the income from one franchise location to finance your second, protect yourself against fluctuations in the market or changing customer tastes, and receive better loan options by virtue of having multi-unit ambitions.
Both multi-unit ownership and multi-brand franchise ownership are on the rise because franchising entrepreneurs feel like they understand the market well enough to take advantage of all of the benefits that becoming multi-unit offers, such as better access to startup financing and economies of scale.
Recession-Resistant Franchises Are Rising
In light of the economic downturn that began nearly a decade ago, millions of franchisees are understandably seeking shockproof franchising opportunities poised to weather most storms.
Promotional products and real-world branding is a great example of a franchising industry that usually thrives where other franchise models can flounder.
The reason is that companies always need branding—regardless of regional or macroeconomic stagnations—and the promotional products franchising model caters to both B2B and B2C clients.
To put this in simpler terms: The fact that nearly every company (and individual) benefits from better branding makes the promotional products franchising industry robust in all economic climates.
The promotional products franchising industry is in a class with the transportation sector, tax accountants, the shipping sector, and even the medical industry in that each of these industries is essential to the economy and therefore resistant to recessions.
Without a way to advertise their brand, companies would struggle. There’s a year-round demand for more engaging real-world advertising, and that isn’t going anywhere.
Demographics Are Quickly Transitioning
The Pew Research Center recently uncovered an interesting demographic finding that has a lot of bearing on your future customers: The Millennial generation—around 75 million Americans—just overtook the Baby Boomer generation as the largest generational segment of the U.S. population.
In terms of the promotional product franchising industry, this has a bearing on the kinds of customers you’re going to be serving. Although it won’t necessarily shake up this proven business model, promotional product franchisees might find that they’re speaking a slightly different language to a new set of customers.
Millennials are digital natives—they’ve grown up with technology. This means that they might be more amenable to the idea of sending design ideas back and forth electronically. In addition, millennials tend to be more collaborative and teamwork-oriented than previous generations.
There’s also a big push to get millennials into franchising. The International Franchise Group has a NextGen program, and franchise consultants are taking to social media to get this promising generation aboard with promotional product franchising.
Franchising Businesses Outpace the Overall Economy
The International Franchise Association found that the nearly half a million franchising businesses in the United States were slated to grow more quickly than the overall U.S. economy again.
This is the sixth consecutive year that franchises have outperformed the competition, perhaps due to a combination of the franchising model and the particular industries where franchising thrives.
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