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Which Franchise Markets Are Most Profitable?

Given the current economy, when looking into buying a franchise, which franchise industries are the hottest for buying into right now? Which markets would you avoid? Why? What other advice can you share for choosing the right franchise to buy?
Jeff Elgin answered August 22, 2011
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/222365
The most profitable markets or industries in franchising are the ones least affected by the lousy economy that has marked the past few years.

In terms of industries, you want to steer toward those that deliver products or services that are considered necessary rather than optional. As times remain tough, many people avoid optional spending to preserve their resources and maintain more financial "safety."

Services that are usually considered necessities include things like haircuts, senior or child care, and restoration services. Products that usually remain in strong demand include fast food and pet products.

In terms of markets, most people are stuck building their business right where they are currently located -- especially if they would have to sell their house in order to move. If you have the flexibility of moving anywhere then I'd suggest you go to someplace where the housing market is strongest because that's where you'll find more confident consumers.

Related: How to Find Hot Franchises in a Cold Market
Related: Five Questions to Ask Franchisees Before You Become One

Jeff Elgin has almost 20 years of experience franchising, both as a franchisee and a senior franchise company executive. He's currently the CEO of FranChoice Inc., a company that provides free consulting to consumers looking for a franchise that best meets their needs.