Over the years, owning a franchise
has brought an equal number of challenges and benefits to aspiring entrepreneurs. However, as each year passes by, it has become essential for current and potential franchise owners to understand new industry developments that can affect their businesses.
2017 saw many different changes to the franchise industry as a whole. Following the recent presidential election, there has been a lot of buzz around an optimistic outlook in franchise ownership and growing business opportunities. In 2018, franchise operations have become increasingly popular, serving industries such as healthcare, food service, disaster cleanup, maintenance, restoration, and pet care.
By understanding changing factors impacting your business, you can ensure you benefit from new developments in the franchise industry.
New Legal Rulings
As of 2018, there are new rules in place
for how businesses record their revenue. This new change is handled under the umbrella of new legality released by the Financial Accounting Standards Board. With the introduction of these new standards, franchisees now have more flexibility than before when it comes to reporting their franchise fees during tax season. Unlike previous years, franchise owners are now able to use their franchise fees as investments to further develop their staff training and site selection rather than having to write these off over the course of their agreements.
Growth Trend in Multi-Unit Ownership
An emerging trend
in the franchise industry is in multi-unit ownership. Over the years more and more entrepreneurs are investing in different verticals to support their franchise businesses. While larger franchises work to acquire similar companies in their industry, small business owners have begun to diversify their offerings and explore new vertical markets. Studying these new business opportunities has enabled franchises the ability to effectively manage the peaks and valleys of seasonality while improving cash flow and remaining profitable. Many field service companies are even starting to manufacture and sell their own products in combination with their service offerings.
Better Customer Interaction
With modern advancements in business technology, there are now many ways to communicate with customers and improve overall company engagement
. Smart franchise owners have begun adopting technologies like field service automation
, customer service chatbots, social media automation tools and other relationship management services to overhaul how their business interacts with its customers. Field service companies can benefit from advanced software solutions
, allowing customers to book their own appointments and get quick answers to their questions.
Mobile Payment Solutions
Regardless of your business model, mobile optimization of your operational processes is critical. Customers are always on the move and have come to expect a high level of flexibility in how they do business with companies. Both field service and retail franchises have begun implementing various mobile transaction solutions to make it easier than ever before for customers to purchase products and services. Accepting mobile credit card transactions, NFC smart tap payments and other quick-pay solutions help franchise owners set their businesses apart from the competition.
Changes in Customer Purchasing Behavior
As customers have gotten used to shopping for their products and services online, many companies have been doing a complete digital transformation of their business model. However, what recent trends in customer purchasing behavior have shown is that there is still a significant demand for physical store presence and face-to-face business interactions. Successful franchises are striking the perfect balance between creating clean and efficient online brand awareness and maintaining an active local presence. By leveraging both of these approaches, franchises can continue to cater to the needs of a more extensive customer base.
Better Advertising Levers
Marketing opportunities for franchise businesses continue to grow exponentially year after year. Local advertising still has its place for field service companies and continues to bring a high return on investment. However, improvements in customer data collection and smart purchasing intelligence have opened up new possibilities in digital marketing campaigns. Franchises now have many more tools at their disposal to increase their brand awareness and introduce their businesses to a new group of customers.
More Advanced Website Options
Creating a web presence alone is no longer good enough to benefit from customers looking online for their products and services. Today, there are certain expectations when it comes to the searchability of your business and the responsiveness of your website
. More customers are searching for brands and services on their mobile devices than on their computers. What this means is that sites need to function correctly on smaller screens and create an easily navigable platform to find the information customers are looking for. Thankfully, there are now many online tools and services available that help companies optimize their sites to meet the growing needs of their customers.
For new entrepreneurs and established business owners, there is no better time than now to advance your franchise development plans. Over the last couple of years, there have been several factors that have helped benefit franchises in multiple industries. As the future continues to look bright for franchise ownership, business owners are wise to capitalize on all the advancements in new business technology, including convenient mobile payment options, advanced digital advertising levers and enterprise software solutions.
Make you and your franchisees more successful
mHelpDesk can automate your franchisees’ contact with customers, scheduling, billing and more, while helping you gain visibility over them. Schedule a free demo of mHelpDesk today!
Last modified: January 30, 2019