The franchise industry is around $700 billion in domestic yearly sales (Franchise Business Outlook).  As any other industry, franchising is evolving but how can you be ahead of the curve?

These five points will help you evolve and capitalize on what’s to come in franchising:

1.  Digitize your franchise recruitment strategy

The 35-year-old and under demographic wishes to learn about your brand on their own time. Do not expect this demographic surfing through a trade magazine or attending a tradeshow. If your brand lacks multi-pronged digital franchise recruitment strategies it will lack 35-year-old and under franchise candidates.

2. Be informed of evolving legal climates

The future of franchising will be shaped in part by legal changes which will create challenges and opportunities alike. How long till we see the rise of cannabis franchises? Those who stay informed of changing legal climates can capitalize on unique franchise offerings.  In franchising, as any other business, timing of launch is crucial to monetizing one’s investment.

3. The “side hustle” franchise

Uber has proved there is demand for part-time and flexible business opportunities. Franchisors can capitalize on these consumer trends by offering easy to execute and flexible non-traditional franchise models.

4. Acquire a diamond in the rough

Over 34% of the franchise industry is under 5 units. Why is this the case? Many factors contribute. However, there could be a national brand lurking in the bunch. If you are an experienced and well positioned franchisor; explore acquiring a 5-unit and under franchise. The acquisition could lead to massive benefits.

5. Evolve the franchise model

As Uber, Airbnb, etc. have shown us there are ways to evolve industries like never thought of before. Those who reimagine the business of franchising stand to capitalize. Remember the saying: “This is the way it has always been done” has been the demise of multiple industries.


Ryan Rao is a Principal of Apex Franchise Development Group and is a franchise development expert who has grown multiple franchise based businesses into national and international brands. Franchising has allowed him to help individuals realize their dreams of business ownership, while permitting them to experience the independence, flexibility, and freedom that comes with being a business owner. He also serves as a franchise consultant, and is a personal growth advocate.

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