Five franchising trends to watch for in 2020


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One of the things that makes South Africans unique is that all of us have a bit of entrepreneurial spirit. Our country was built by people like yourself, who were ready to open their own business and become the economic leaders of tomorrow.

New business ideas are rarely ‘new’ – and no doubt you’ve read an article just like this one every new year. What makes new business ideas ‘new’ is innovation and nuances to existing ideas. Of course, franchising is about following a system and franchisees can’t really add to it with their own flair. However, you can make suggestions to the franchisor to make it innovative and ‘new’ – e.g. The McDonald’s Big Mac was a franchisee invention suggested to the top.

Whether you’re looking to boost your existing franchise in 2020 or to buy a new franchising concept, you need an idea of what type of business is right for you, then get creative within your operation.

So here are top five business ideas that are current as well as eternal:

  1. Food franchises – Everybody has to eat, right! They will carry on needing to eat until the end of time. Get the right idea and you can scarcely lose. Find ways within the rules of your franchise business to leverage South Africa’s many traditional cuisines. If you’re looking to buy into a franchise, find a restaurant or fast food franchise offering authentic South African cuisine, or see if you could add it your existing menu. For instance, large franchised grocery chains like Woolworths, Pick ‘n Pay and Spar make an effort to promote traditional South African food including boerwoers rolls, milk tarts and koeksisters. Another possible idea is an outreach programme from your existing food outlet by opening up a food truck. These are growing in popularity. You can serve traditional South African food to locals and visitors outside local hotspots and tourist destinations.
  2. Senior Care – the dichotomy of South Africa is that notwithstanding the youthful average age of the population, a significant sector is also living longer. South Africans are getting older, fast, and the demand for qualified senior care is skyrocketing. Senior care businesses work by providing in-home care to people as they age. The owner of a senior care franchise would typically focus on finding new clients while hiring others to actually provide the care.
  3. Education – find a franchise that educates. South Africa ranks 56th out of 60 countries in a recent study on illiteracy by Central Connecticut State University. We also rank 56 out of 60 for computer illiteracy. Like food, education is an evergreen business idea. New low-cost housing estates proliferating around the country are increasingly offering after-school training and activities to kids to keep them out of mischief as much as to educate them There is potential there for franchising concepts to bridge the education gap within South Africa.
  4. Fitness – Keeping kids physically active is an integral part of the above concept, so there are sporting options too. On a broader scale, as health and fitness evolves the demand for quality fitness training is outstripping supply. People are demanding not just gyms but in-home trainers to help them achieve their goals of living a healthier lifestyle.
  5. Tourism – a large portion of South Africa’s economy is directly linked to tourism. South Africa was voted 48th out of 141 countries as a popular place to visit by the World Economic Forum. South Africa’s popularity among wealthy international visitors stems from its rich natural resources, cultural heritage and quality infrastructure. There are still many tourism related opportunities which are restricted only by imagination.