Growing Strong

Franchise Forecast

Franchising is expected to grow by leaps and bounds--at least according to the findings of a recent study. Conducted by international executive search firm Franchise Recruiters Ltd. in Chicago, the fourth annual Franchise Business Development Survey looked at 100 of the fastest-growing U.S. franchisors to determine expected expansion areas and the reasons why.

"Franchising plays a leading role in the economy," says Jerry Wilkerson, president of Franchise Recruiters.
"It's a microcosm of the economy because it [covers] so many industries."

The good news: Franchising in the United States is predicted to increase by as much as 15 percent in all industries. Wilkerson says more international expansion is also on the horizon as American franchisors look to enter new areas; many companies have started the move or are already overseas.

Wilkerson predicts an increase in co-branding, too, because companies will be looking for new partners as part of their expansion plans.

What does all this mean? Wilkerson explains that when franchising is thriving, so is the economy as a whole. "Franchising has always led the economy in growth," he says. "When franchising starts to drop, the economy follows." For now, the future of franchising looks bright.

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This article was originally published in the June 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Growing Strong.

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