Mexican food set to be the next big thing in franchising

IT'S not surprising that three of the top-ranked franchises in Australia happen to be gyms this year.

The 24-hour gym concept has been a trending business in franchising for a few years and it has really taken off in the past 18 months.

Even locally we have seen a considerable number of gyms open up in the Gladstone area. The 24-hour concept actually suits the rostered lifestyle that exits in our city.

There is talk that the national brands may start to consolidate over the next few years.

The next trend is noteworthy. Well apparently its Mexican foods!

Yes "fresh Mex" is a trend that clearly appeals to Australians as part of the general shift towards healthier fast food.

Following a report by Consulting Company PwC, franchises that were not in the retail sector grew by 14% last year while retail had a slow 9% growth.

Overall, in the current economic climate, it wasn't too bad.

Franchises generally stand in good stead during tough economic times for several reasons, namely: proven processes that are easily replicated; franchisor support; an aggregation of marketing dollars (better leverage); and the power of numbers compared with stand-alone small business.

Interestingly the major challenges that franchisees face are similar to what we all experience in small to medium business - recruitment and finding the right staff; margin pressures and sluggish consumer confidence.

From the franchisors' point of view, they too have had issues finding appropriate franchisees and dealing with increasing shopping centre rents and more intense competition.

What we have found pertinent in the past 12 months is that you know the strength of a franchise when you see how proactive the franchisor is during a down time in the economy.

At Sothertons we walk the potential franchisee through a detailed assessment process to ensure they have selected the most appropriate franchise for their goals. Phone 4972 1300 for more details.