Franchising Trends To Watch Out For In 2018

27/02/2018 08:00 | Start a business

Franchise trends in 2018 to watch out for

Setting new goals is a great way for those with an entrepreneurial spirit to motivate themselves to change their current situation. For many, the desire to start their own business and become the master of their destiny is high on the agenda. For decades franchising has been able to help lots of entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams, and this isn't about to change in 2018.

While the essence of franchising will remain the same, new trends will undoubtedly impact the franchising industry. Franchisors and franchisees alike should be prepared to adjust where necessary to accommodate the latest developments. Different franchises will adapt in different ways, but one thing's for sure, change is on its way.

Here are some trends to look out for during the coming year and beyond:

The rise of Generation Z

The UK workforce is slowly evolving. Baby Boomers are now getting ready to retire, and Millennials have become established in the workplace and are reaching higher positions of power. Now, entering the employment market is Generation Z. Which franchise businesses this new cohort of prospective franchisees will choose depends upon the ability to understand the needs, demands and ambitions of the next generation.

To ensure that you offer the best franchise opportunities for Generation Z, heres what theyll be expecting in return for their investment:

  • Offer more than just a job

    Millennials loved being able to play table tennis during their breaks and having bean bags in meeting rooms, but the perks that Generation Z are after are more related to their development. Offering training and support will be key to which franchise these new entrepreneurs will pick to invest in. They want to be sent to franchise conferences and exhibitions so that they can learn different ways of doing things to improve continually.
  • Communicate the old-fashioned way

    Born after 1995, Generation Z will have never known a world where mobile technology wasnt present. They will have grown up surrounded by mobile phones, tablets and high-speed Internet. Maybe as a way of rebelling against the technological age in which they've been born, Generation Z prefer face to face communication.

    Generation Z franchisees consider the best franchise opportunities to be those where they have direct access to the franchisor. They feel comfortable and confident talking to senior management and expect to have an open and professional relationship with the franchisor and their team. They see this as the best way to learn and develop their interpersonal skills.
  • Flexible working

    Many different franchises now encourage their franchisees to work from home. The benefits of remote working are becoming more and more understood, but Generation Z will take this to the next level. This new type of franchisee will normalise working from home and remove any remaining stigma attached to it. Achieving a healthy work/life balance is essential, as is working the hours that they feel they are most productive.

Different franchises of all types and in all sectors will start to focus on appealing to this up-and-coming pool of talent. Which franchise will make them to most money is less important to Generation Z than finding the perfect franchise fit for them.

Satisfying a more informed consumer

Consumer behaviour will continue to change throughout 2018. Todays consumers are more informed and knowledgeable than ever before. Rarely is a product or service purchased without online research being performed first. Websites are scoured, price comparison sites reviewed, and opinions gathered from social media sites. Customers now walk through the door knowing what they want and how much they want to pay for it.

So, what does this mean for franchises? Well, if customers are seeking knowledge, then you must be the one to provide it. If your franchise can answer any questions that consumers may have, and consistently deliver on price and quality, then they wont have to go anywhere else to have their needs met.

Becoming cyber savvy

Cybercrime is continuing to proliferate around the world. For customers to trust your franchise, you need to ensure that your business is not at risk of an attack. You can do this in 3 ways:

  • Raise awareness

    Human error can be one of the most significant causes of cybersecurity breaches. Make certain that your staff are aware of the dangers relating to data confidentiality and email security. Educate them, so they're able to identify phishing emails and other forms of malware easily.
  • Be prepared

    Put procedures in place documenting the cybersecurity practices for your franchise. Its critical to develop a response plan, just in case your franchise falls victim to cybercrime. Security experts have predicted that the number of ransomware attacks will increase significantly in 2018 so you need to back up your data.
  • Invest in cybersecurity

    Stay ahead of the game and protect your franchise from potential threats with anti-spam software. Having this gateway installed between your mail infrastructure and the Internet will help protect against viruses and eliminate 99% of spam.

You have a responsibility to your customers and employees to secure data and information from any breaches; and so, cybersecurity should be top of your priority list if your franchise has an online presence.

Giving back

With the uncertainty of the current economic climate, the best franchise opportunities in 2018 will be those that understand the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR). A robust CSR strategy will set your franchise apart from the competition. Not only will your business be positively contributing to your local community, but it can also have favourable effects on both your culture and bottom line.

Your CSR strategy should be consistent with your core values and your unique position within your sector if it is to filter through to customers and employees effectively. The outcome of a CSR programme is that customers feel good about buying a product from you or using your service because they believe that theyre supporting a franchise that gives back to society.

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