People fall in love with the idea of becoming a franchisee and running their own business. It’s an empowering thing to think you control your own destiny and business ownership could be the secret to that power. However, one of our guiding principles is to understand your market – and lets face it, the “in your face brands” that often come from franchising are not always the ones consumers flock towards!
Throughout my life as an entrepreneur, I have always been keen to business opportunities and taking chances on big ideas. There’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever, as a matter of fact, some might consider that part of the American Dream. Another part of that dream is the ability to have the freedom to spend our money how we see fit – and we do find that certain communities see franchisees as “sellouts” who are hitched to the franchise by way of a franchise fee and royalties. In other words, they think that the dollars they spend don’t go back into the community and therefore buying through a big brand is not really helping their local economy at all.
So we won’t name those communities or the demographics of people specifically, but we do see these behaviors in less populated areas, such as small towns and some core communities on larger cities.
Let’s take a much brighter approach to this: Where are the franchise-friendly cities?
There are plenty of areas and demographics in the country that have that “franchise hunger” we referred to. In actuality, most cities have varying degrees of hunger, but it goes a bit deeper than that. In general, our most “franchise friendly” communities are where the “urban sprawl” exists. Consider major suburbs around large cities and metroplexes. Dallas-Fort Worth is a prime example. Minneapolis-St. Paul is another. Consider all the humongous suburbs in Oklahoma, Nebraska, and Iowa. These are all classic hungry territories! Now that you have been made aware of this, you may notice the next time you drive to work and pass two or three strip malls, that most of the retail businesses that lease there are likely franchises (sandwich shops, restaurants, coffee, dry cleaning, tanning, massage, etc.).
The key to the whole discussion about franchise hunger is: What is YOUR community hungry for?
Even the most conservative communities need franchises. It may not be an in-your-face retail franchise like a coffee shop or restaurant – it could be somethine as obscure as a private security company used to patrol the neighborhoods. Taking a good, hard look at what is missing in a community is the key to being a successful franchisee. Once you determine what “hunger” your area needs, you are then more acutely aware and can solve that need. Don’t fall in love with every concept, fall in love with the ones your city needs. Trust me, there’s at least one for everyone.