Franchising remains to be a popular business option in many parts of the world. With a small investment required as well as free training and marketing support already in place, those looking to start their own business can do so even in the comfort of their homes.
In 2012, the franchise industry achieved positive growth since four years ago. The Franchise Business Economic Outlook report showed a growth of 1.4 percent as the number of establishments in the industry went up.
This 2013, the forecast at the start of the year was continued growth at the same rate or exceeding that of the private sector. Amidst this positive forecast, however, industry leaders are not fully satisfied with the growth statistics. They attributed the minimal increase to uncertainties felt by business owners concerning the global economic situation and public policy.
Health Care Issue
Among the issues that apparently bothered franchisees in 2012 was the Affordable Care Act and its long term effect on businesses. This was the finding of the IFA Annual Business Leader Survey.
Based on the Act, businesses that have 50 or more full-time workers are required to provide health insurance to their employees or face fines. As a result of this, 31 percent of franchise owners said they are now planning to cut down on their staff.
Taxes have also been a common concern among business owners. The IFA survey showed that majority of franchisees (79 percent) and franchisors (73 percent) were disappointed over Congress' failure to extend the Bush-era tax rates. They claimed this would adversely affect their plans to hire employees as well as their business growth.
Another issue that's become a challenge to many franchise businesses and one that came up in the information from the IFA business survey is the lack of access to credit. The absence of small business lending, according to business owners, is not doing them any good.
Unlike the franchisees, the franchisors are currently the ones who have an optimistic outlook of the industry. This is understandable because being the head of an umbrella, the impact on them if they lose one or two of their franchise units won't be very much felt.
Additionally, these franchisors are foreseen to consider area developers and master licensees over the single-unit franchisees in an effort to strengthen their systems.
Overall, there's a positive development for the franchise industry this year. The expected growth may not be fully attained but any growth is always a sign that the industry is moving forward.
About the guest author:
Isaac Morris is a professional blogger that provides tips and information on franchise opportunities and investments. He writes for FranchiseExpo.com, the place to find franchise opportunities online.