By Ryan Velez
Investing in a franchise can be a great way to reap the benefits of business ownership while having an established name and set of business practices to catapult your efforts. At the same time, things can easily go wrong, which is part of the reason why people come to figures like Nancy Williams. A veteran of the corporate world with 14 years at Sprint, Williams also founded NValuable Franchise Consulting, a business that provides free consultation, relevant insight, pertinent and candid feedback to her clients. This feedback helps customers purchase the right franchises, and she is now providing expertise via an article for Black Enterprise.
“‘What’s the hottest franchise?’ is the question I get the most,” Williams explains because people figure that she is going to provide the hot tip for them to get rich, like a great stock tip. However, her usual counter is, “How do you define hot?” The reason for this discussion is that many different franchises can be judged on different criteria. As a result, when making that franchise decision, there are many things you need to figure out, like what your goals are, how much money you have to comfortably invest, what kind of support system it has and how it will fit in with the lifestyle you want.
For example, a recent article Williams read said that the three franchises with the highest levels of growth in 2016 were Popbar, Velofix, and Spavia. This could be good news if you are looking to take part, but at the same time, growth is relative. Popbar went from one unit in 2015 to eight in 2016—a growth of 700%; Velofix went from 10 to 37 units —a growth of 270%; and Spavia went from four to 14 units—a growth of 250%. Only time will tell if those levels of growth are sustainable for this coming year.
However, even if these three particular franchises slow down, other things can be inferred from this data. For example, only one out of the three is a food franchise, despite the fact that you often see food as one of the most visible examples of franchises. So, what does Williams do with these facts? She encourages her clients to see beyond the world of food franchises and see the many other opportunities out there, for example, health and wellness trends that are still headed in a positive direction. Also, like food, these business options run the gamut of investment requirements and business models. The end result is a franchise not only on the upswing but the proper fit for how you want to do business.