It’s no secret that franchisors are always looking to expand. But which sectors are best for multi-unit franchising, and how can you get involved?
Operating as a franchisee brings with it several competitive advantages, one of which is the speed at which any franchise can grow. With ambitious franchisors always on the look-out for the right franchisee to take the business forward, franchisees can grow quickly in a short space of time.
As of 2018, following year-on-year increases, the percentage of franchises running multiple units reached 36 percent, showing that the multi-unit franchise model of business is proving increasingly popular. And with franchisees enjoying higher success rates than independent businesses, this trend will likely continue in an increasingly uncertain business environment.
But against a challenging economic backdrop, which franchise sectors are managing to thrive and which are best-suited to multi-unit franchising?
COVID-19’s impact on franchising has been huge, and not just in negative ways. Franchising has already seen many positives come out of the crisis. Optimists by nature, franchise leaders have moved mountains in record time to keep their businesses alive and to support their franchisees.
– Don Daszkoski, Forbes.
What is a multi-unit franchise?
Growth is the primary aim of any entrepreneur, and few business models help make this goal a reality as franchising.
Multi-unit franchise agreements mean that a franchisee will run a number of different stores within a particular area. It’s an excellent way for ambitious entrepreneurs to maximise their profit potential by setting up a number of successful locations or areas of operation.
Although running multi-unit franchises can be more stressful, capital intensive and require more experience than a single-unit franchise, the rewards can also be greater. Here’s just one example from one of the UK’s many successful multi-unit franchisees.
Having moved to the country in 1980 with a background in hospitality, Damian has gone on to establish six Subway outlets. He explained:
“I liked the structure and support of working in a franchise, the tried-and-tested business opportunity, but with the chance to make your own mark, have your own stores and make your own connections. There’s nothing that can’t be achieved with Subway’s business model, it’s so versatile – proven by the fact I’ve just opened Northern Ireland's first Drive-thru store.”
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Four sectors where multi-unit franchises are thriving
With businesses finding it harder than ever to survive and to find new customers, you could be forgiven for thinking that now is not the right time to consider running your own business.
But it’s not all doom and gloom. Many sectors are defying the bleak forecasts and are predicting exciting growth in the months ahead. With consumer confidence returning, and businesses looking to make up for lost time, now could well be the perfect time to consider becoming a multi-unit franchise.
So, if you’re looking to make a fresh start as a multi-unit franchisee, here are four booming sectors for you to consider.
1. Takeaway franchises
No prizes if you guessed this one – takeaway franchises have been one of the big business winners of the pandemic. According to the CGA’s Hospitality at Home Tracker, takeaways and deliveries increased 317 percent year on year from 2020 to 2021, meaning many takeaway franchises can’t grow fast enough.
Covering takeaways, deliveries and home meal kits, the takeaway sector has also seen a large surge in increase for local and sustainable food options. This ever-expanding product and customer base means your role as a potential multi-unit franchisee will take on more importance.
As a multi-unit franchisee in this sector, you’ll be expected to pay close attention to changing food trends and how you can establish, preserve and retain local customer support.
One such ambitious and fast-growing franchise is Camile Thai. In 2021, Camile Thai has opened new stores across the UK and has recently launched a flagship store in the USA. Prioritising healthy and sustainable food delivery, Camile Thai is investing heavily in drone deliveries and kitchen robotics, giving the franchise a very attractive reputation for sustainability.
Or, if Camile Thai isn’t quite right for you, Caprinos Pizza is a young and fast-growing pizza delivery chain. It’s also one of the few pizza franchises offering a halal menu across all its stores. If you’re looking to open as a Caprinos Pizza multi-unit franchise, you can see more on the Caprinos Pizza profile page.
2. Fitness franchises
As we all look forward to a return to normality, many people are looking forward to becoming active again. Similarly, many others are looking forward to taking up a new sport or activity entirely. As a result, there has never been a better time to open a multi-unit fitness franchise.
Pre-pandemic, the fitness sector was enjoying fantastic growth on a yearly basis. Although it has been affected by the pandemic, the future remains bright for a strong comeback, particularly as vaccines continue to roll out across the UK.
With flexible working becoming a permanent feature for many in the UK, 24/7 gyms can also expect to be in high-demand. In an already competitive sector, having the backing of a global franchise can make all the difference. With Anytime fitness, one of the most globally-recognised gym franchises, always on the lookout for potential franchisees, you can be sure that starting a multi-unit franchise in this sector will position you well for the future.
3. Personal and home care services
With many having continued to operate throughout the pandemic, many personal and home service franchises have been posting exciting profits, and are in prime position for expansion in the near future.
Having provided emergency support 24/7/365, Metro Rod cleaning services has worked kept the country’s drains flowing during Covid-19, and has continued to post exciting growth updates throughout. Perfecting a PPE-friendly and socially-distanced way of working early in the pandemic, this award-winning cleaning franchise is an excellent opportunity.
After a difficult year of remote learning that hasn’t suited everyone, you could also consider Clara James’ bespoke one-to-one tutoring service. As part of your franchise agreement, you’ll be given training on how to provide specialist teaching to dyslexic students and students on the autism spectrum, meaning that you’ll have broad appeal to a wide array of students who need encouraging and specialist tutoring.
There are a wide range of home-based franchises, many of whom are exciting options for potential multi-unit franchisee. If Metro Rod or Clara James aren’t quite the perfect fit, check out our franchise directory for a full list of options.
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4. Property franchises
Finally, being locked down has made many people reconsider their homes and living conditions. With the property management and estate agency sector proving to be Covid-proof, and with demand for rental properties up by 21 percent on average, the letting and estate sector remains an attractive option for potential franchisees.
With house prices continuing to grow, and with more and more people making the decision to move closer to more spacious, greener areas, property management is one of the most sought-after industries to gain a foothold in, and is a sector that can look forward to exciting growth in the months to come.
Having enjoyed healthy levels of demand throughout, S.R.P Inventories and No Letting Go are both well-positioned to grow around the country.
Investing in multi-unit franchises
Running a multi-unit franchise isn’t easy, but while some sectors are struggling to find their feet, others are racing ahead. If you’re looking for opportunities to open a multi-unit franchisee, the four sectors above are exciting and fast-moving options for you to consider.
But if these sectors aren’t right for you, you can always consult our complete franchise directory to see a full list of sectors and franchises looking for potential franchisees.
Elliott Fudge, Point Franchise ©