By Brian Hutchinson
Principal, GC Franchise Consulting
As a former McDonald’s franchisee, I know the value of a good franchise. It sets you up for success and enables you to build personal wealth with greater independence. Today, I am a franchise broker, helping others to navigate the thousands of franchise opportunities to find the right fit for them.
You might be asking yourself, “Who would want to start a business in this type of economic environment?” And the answer I would give: “Lots of smart people who pick the right business.” Think about it. The fewer people starting their own business, the less competition there is. Also, if a business can help you do things ‘faster, cheaper, better’…..well, Walmart, and Costco seem to be doing just fine right now.
So, what are the franchise opportunities that stand out in today’s economic environment? Here is a sampling of what is catching people’s attention and why:
Home Repair / Home Improvement
With fewer home sales and less relocations, people are staying longer in their homes. As a result, normal wear and tear is increasing the demand for cost-effective home repairs. In fact, over $150 billion is being spent on home repair and improvements. The alternative to expensive contractors is the return of the Handyman/Handywoman (www.Mr.Handyman.com and www.HandyManMatters.com) who have far less overhead and can address projects that range from home improvement to home repair in a fast, cost-effective way.
Helping Small Businesses Thrive
The recent U.S. Stimulus plan missed the most robust job creation segment of the economy: small business. A Small Business Administration (SBA) economist estimates that in 2008 alone there were 1.7 million new non-employee (i.e., single-person) businesses created. And when they need services to help build their own business, they purchase them.
Three interesting value-added small business services are: 1) Turnkey Internet services (www.wsicorporate.com); 2) Short-term working capital loans to bridge the gap that banks’ new lending policies are creating (www.interfacefinancial.com); and 3) Freeing up working capital with the purchase/factoring of receivables (www.liquidcapital.com).
How many of you, or one of your close friends, have an aging parent that needs help at home? And whether we like it or not, the Baby Boomer generation will be no exception: the ability to stay in your own home as you grow older is a very powerful force. Senior home care delivers that ability with a wide variety of services ranging from cooking and cleaning to medical care (www.comfortkeepersfranchise.com & www.seniorhelpers.com). If there is one trend you can count on, it’s getting older and wanting to live in our own homes.
With a plan, passion, and your previous career knowledge, you could be on the way to owning and operating your own business. For a free exploration of a franchise opportunity that is right for you, visit us at www.gcfranchisingconsulting.com.