Franchising trends to watch in 2011

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The future of franchising in 2011 looks bright and promising. In September 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that 10.5 percent of all businesses with paid employees were franchises and that they generated a staggering $1.3 trillion in annual sales. Recent research in South Africa shows that there are about 550 franchised systems in SA and over 2 000 new franchised outlets opened during the past two years. With signs of economic recovery we expect growth in the franchise sector in 2011.
We have identified ten categories as the industries to watch in 2011. Whether they are service franchises that consumers can’t afford to live without, such as child care, education and healthcare, or luxuries made more affordable through franchising, like fitness and spa services, these are the franchise sectors that kept growing strong through the recession and show no signs of slowing in 2011.
The first industry to remain lucrative is child care and education. Parents are busier than ever and seek child care that combines education and enrichment programs.
Tutoring and coaching will see continue growth in this year. whichfranchise interviewed Pieter Scholtz, who is the local master licensee of Action Coach. He explained the tremendous advantages of coaching and how he guides entrepreneurs to work less while achieving more and having fun doing it.
As more consumers become health conscious, the fitness and health food industries will benefit from this trend. One such example is Kauai Health Food & Juice which has succeeded through offering healthy food alternatives.
Franchises doing their part to save the planet and often saving money as well are gaining ground with the eco-conscious and cash-strapped consumers alike. Iwesco is such a franchise and offers a combined integrated waste and environmental management cleaning service.
The growth in the health service industry, offering consumers convenience and value, was the reason Dis-Chem decided to enter the franchising sector. Dis-Chem director Stan Goetsch said that their franchising strategy aimed to “rekindle” business opportunities for pharmacists while maintaining a good product range at low prices for the customer.  The health service industry also contributes to the senior sector which is the world’s fastest-growing population, making franchises aimed at them strong candidates for exponential growth.
Furthermore, franchises offering luxury on a budget are growing by leaps and bounds as people in need of some pampering seek out deals. Sorbet is a beauty franchise which is rapidly changing the face of the beauty and spa industry by developing a modernised version of a traditional beauty salon to cater for the vital elements of today’s busy lifestyle.
Lastly,the service oriented category is another industry to watch. Debt counselling is an example of this as there has been a significant growth due to over 150 000 consumers currently being under debt review with debt counsellors, according to the National Credit Regulator.