From the July 2000 issue of Entrepreneur

The economy is booming and business is exploding, which means good things in the world of franchising. Here, Jerry Wilkerson, founder of Franchise Recruiters Ltd., discusses the future of franchising.

Lori Francisco: What are some major franchising trends you're seeing this year?

Jerry Wilkerson: We'll continue to see a lot of buyouts and takeovers. Franchisors can buy competition and take over a region without increasing the size of their management staff. They've become bigger players since so much venture capital money is available.

The labor pool will continue to shrink. To sell more franchises, franchisors need to be involved with helping franchisees find employees.

We're going to see more in-store branding-franchisors located inside larger facilities, such as Wal-Mart and Kmart, because it's less expensive to set up and the marketing ability is obvious.

Franchisors are trying to gather more information on their consumers so they'll know how to target their audiences. It's imperative that franchisors and franchisees use the Internet and e-mail.

Francisco: How will technology affect franchising?

Wilkerson: The Internet will provide almost immediate, in-depth information as to what's selling in their market-[ultimately] keeping prices down.

Francisco: Will it be easier for franchisees to find funding?

Wilkerson: Most financing companies have identified franchising as a major [source of] business and have already developed individual Web sites for all your financing, real estate, marketing, advertising, PR and demographics needs. These new systems are going to bring so much to the table for franchising in the future.


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