Trends that will Shape the Future of Franchising in 2022 and Beyond
Sustainability and climate change have been the most talked-about business trends that many people have heard about in recent months. Consumers will increasingly be deciding which franchise to spend their money on based on its carbon footprint.
There’s no list of franchise trends for 2022 that cannot have climate change and sustainability as its top trend. That means, if you’re looking to buy a franchise, it’s carbon footprint had better be your first question because your customers are going to be quizzing you time after time. Sustainability and several of the other top trends have originated from the work-from-home trend, which has changed how many people view the world.
The following are likely to be the top 7 trends for franchises in 2022:
- Sustainability: Every organisation must be seen to be on a well-publicised roadmap to eliminate or reduce its environmental cost of doing business. How it is decarbonising its supply chain is a sensible place to start, but forward-thinking franchises will be looking beyond the supply chain to improve sustainability across all business operations. Any business that ignores sustainability is unlikely to do well in this age of conscious consumption.
- Health and education/the feel-good factor: The combination of seeing the tragic loss of life all around us combined with having the time to do some things other than sit in a daily commute have made many acutely aware of a desire to do more meaningful work than ‘the daily corporate grind’. Consumers want control over their work-life integration. This plays directly to the book of franchising, but those franchises offering more of those factors will do best. One of the most important factors that will contribute to top performance in franchising is having a strongly aligned personal purpose with what their business does. This is a critical consideration for someone considering franchise ownership. Two sectors that play directly to the feel-good factor are health and education. Franchises that focus on a combination of health and wellness are expected to thrive throughout 2022 and beyond. The pandemic has impacted schools and prompted renewed interest in forms of home-education and franchises that provide learning aids and online learning solutions.
- Technology: The work-from-home trend has meant many people have realised the importance of technology and IT-backup and support for exam[leonline meetings and video conferencing. Everything is being done online, from business meetings to personal, entertainment and household activities. Small businesses also use technology and systems for quotes, customer data and e-commerce. Franchises in 2022 must have an online and social media presence, whether for their deliveries or customer interaction.
- Home improvement: The home improvement and maintenance sector is continuously growing and proving to be a sustainable franchise offering in current times. Many of the franchise offerings in this category are lower investment, work-from-home, small staff businesses, so this will one day be one of the main franchise growth sectors. Factors driving this growth during the pandemic include:
- people seeking cost-effective solutions for home improvement and maintenance instead of purchasing new items;
- a temporary supply stock shortage;
- increasing demand to work from home means increasing home functionality; and
- a desire to increase the home value and build equity via upgrades.
- Relief: People looking to acquire a franchise outlet in this challenging time might want to ask if potential franchisors offer any financial assistance until the pandemic is under control. This assistance might involve the franchisor assisting in negotiating with landlords and suppliers with deferred payment terms or reduced rates for the franchise network. Franchisors should never offer royalty fee holidays but rather offer additional support to all franchisees during challenging times. So much has changed during the pandemic, that one would be wise to also check with a franchisor how they are permanently changing their business model for future catastrophes: some solutions involve converting counter service to drive-thru window, re-thinking their delivery system and implementing no-contact fulfilment methods to ensure customer safety.
- Community accountability: Consumers in the age range of 20 to 30, corporate ethics and morality determine factors that help them decide what to buy and from whom, especially the consumers between the age of 20 to 30. Much of this responsibility sits with the franchisee, but potential buyers of a franchise might quiz the franchisor on what ideas they have and how they encourage community interaction.
- Diversity: To some, this may appear to run contrary to the community, but multicultural franchises will likely have a better chance at launching and thriving than non-diverse opportunities. This trend is because a broader cultural consciousness is evolving and the fact that people finally recognise that multicultural markets are largely untapped.
Sustainability may have become an over-used buzzword, but it really means nothing more than common sense and efficiency. Each one of the above trends might be said to be a component of sustainability, as they mean long term survival.
By Eamonn Ryan