What types of franchises are thriving right now? The ones that give customers what they need (like employment and health services), what they want (entertainment and beauty), and what they didn’t even know they wanted until just a minute ago (acupuncture and poke bowls). From emerging industries to those that just keep going strong, we’ve picked the 10 franchise categories we believe will shine brightest in 2018.
As you read through this list, keep in mind that it is not intended as a recommendation of any particular franchise. Before jumping into a trending business – or any other opportunity – it’s vital that you do your due diligence. Carefully review the company’s legal documents, consult with an attorney and an accountant, and talk to current and former franchisees to find out whether the franchise is right for you before you invest.
1) Asian Food
For evidence that the American palate has evolved, look no further than the Asian food category. You’ll find concepts that never would have been franchised 20 years ago, inspired by a wide variety of cultures and cuisines, including sushi and the latest culinary craze, poke.
2) Beauty/Grooming Services
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Maybe that’s the reason for the sudden surge in franchises offering lash and brow services. Other beauty and grooming services, like hair care, waxing, and skin care, continue to grow as well.
3) Child Enrichment
From coding to cooking and swimming to science, there’s an enrichment franchise for just about every interest under the sun. And with parents more than willing to pay for their kids to learn (and have fun doing it), it’s no surprise this has become one of the fastest-growing franchise categories.
Some franchises just want to have fun – or at least they want their customers to. While kids and families are often the target audience for these types of businesses, entertainment activities aimed strictly at adults, like paint-and-sips and escape rooms, have gained popularity in recent years.
Even as it continues to grow year after year, the fitness industry is slimming down. Giant gyms are giving way to small studios and even mobile, in-home training. That means more affordable opportunities, too.
6) Frozen Desserts
There’s no denying the appeal of all things cool, sweet, and creamy. While frozen yogurt franchises that survived the saturation of the market a few years back are still going strong, the trend today is toward more indulgent treats like frozen custard and gelato.
7) Health Services
Whatever the political future may hold for healthcare, it’s clear the franchise world believes it will continue to mean big business for years to come. And now in addition to traditional medical services, we’re seeing more alternative therapies, like acupuncture and cryotherapy, venture into franchising.
8) Pest Control
The newest breed of pest control franchises – largely focused on outdoor pests like mosquitoes and ticks – continue to grow steadily, thanks in part to their relatively low startup costs and a rising demand for their services due to health concerns surrounding insect-borne illnesses.
Pets are no longer seen as property but as part of the family, and franchises that feed, groom, train, and care for them are reaping the rewards of that cultural shift. According to the American Pet Products Association, spending on our furry friends will reach almost $70 billion this year.
With staffing companies hiring nearly 15 million temporary and contract employees annually, the industry’s growth has outpaced overall job growth according to the American Staffing Association. And franchises make up a significant – and still expanding – chunk of that industry.