Whilst it’s clear that franchising has proven itself a secure career path despite the world’s events, it’s important to note that some sectors are certainly outperforming others
With Brexit and COVID-19 affecting businesses all over the country, it’s no secret that the majority of people have struggled in 2020. Dugan Aylen, the head of franchise recruitment at The Franchising Centre (TFC), has some guidance for people looking to take control of their future by investing in a franchise.
Recent ONS statistics show that 14 per cent of UK businesses said they had low or no confidence that their business would survive the next three months. However, these statistics are a stark contrast to the year TFC’s clients have experienced. Receiving record numbers of enquiries for the range of franchise brands it supports, the TFC team has watched its clients smash their own records in terms of network turnover over the course of the year. Whilst it’s clear that franchising has proven itself a secure career path despite the world’s events, it’s important to note that some sectors are certainly outperforming others. Here are Dugan’s top five sectors to watch as we head into 2021.
1. Care sector
As has been the case for some years now, senior care is a growing market, but this year the service these franchises provide has been highlighted as even more essential. The care sector’s front-line services have been critical for the wellbeing of the UK’s ever-expanding elderly population during the pandemic. However, the demand from home care providers like SylvianCare is only set to increase. According to Age UK, the population of people aged 65 and over will increase by 49 per cent from 2017 to 2040. Additionally, nearly a third of people aged 65 and over live alone, while around one in 10 is ageing without children. The number of one-person households in England will also increase by 26 per cent between 2016 and 2041. Because of the pivotal role the care sector has played during the pandemic, mixed with the UK’s growing elderly population, it’s no surprise that franchises in senior care will continue to be a great investment.
2. Home renovation sector
The home renovation sector has always been a safe bet when it comes to franchising and with The Home Improvement Trend Report 2020 showing that 74 per cent of homeowners wanted to do work on their house in 2020, 32 per cent more than in 2019, there’s no surprise that this sector proved itself recession-proof over the course of the year. UK homeowners spent an average of £4,035.70 on home renovation during lockdown, meaning franchises in this sector have significantly benefitted in this home improvement spike.
Of course, there are some home improvement projects that a homeowner with tools just can’t do alone. Kitchen franchises like Granite & TREND Transformations proved profitable this year, which isn’t surprising when we see 71 per cent of homeowners who looked to renovate their kitchen said they would need to hire tradespeople to do this. Companies like Acess4Lofts also benefitted over the pandemic, helping people to transform parts of their houses into spacious living spaces and safe storage areas. And waste disposal companies like Junk Hunters also capitalised on the home improvement trend, helping people remove their rubbish. Home renovation is definitely a sector to watch in the new year.
3. Outdoor sector
Outdoor franchises will be emerging from the second lockdown fighting fit as most outdoor services went relatively untouched by government restrictions. For franchises like Greensleeves, a lawn care service, apart from not being able to sit and have a cup of tea with their customers right now, they were still able to provide the same quality lawn treatment. This year Greensleeves experienced fantastic success, with record-breaking months since June, seeing 2020 become the most profitable year for the company ever.
Providing commercial surfaces with layouts for sports courts and health and safety markings, another example of success for the outdoor sector was Touchline. Whilst Countrywide Signs, who manage property sales boards, operate most of their service outdoors, they also benefitted from those who wanted to move home rather than renovate. So many people discount franchises in the outdoor sector thinking that the weather impacts profitability but, if this year has proved anything, it’s that the outdoor sector is a much more sophisticated proposition than that.
4. Tutoring sector
With COVID-19 devastating the school system in 2020, the tutoring sector has been called upon to help supplement children’s learning loss. By May this year, children had already lost 20 days of learning. Putting this into perspective, 19 days is classed as persistent school absenteeism in a typical school year. Tutoring franchises like MagiKats and Choice Home Tutoring offer tutors who specialise in a range of subjects and can help bridge the gap in learning loss. There’s no doubt that this sector will be one to watch in 2021.
5. Commercial cleaning sector
After the significant work the commercial cleaning sector has performed to ensure people remain safe at work, hospitals and other essential locations outside the home, it’s fair to say franchises in this sector are finally getting the recognition they deserve. With regular cleaning playing a vital role in limiting the transmission of COVID-19, every business now has hygiene as a priority. Social distancing rules and regulations have meant that cleaning companies have been increasingly called upon to remove the grime and harmful bacteria in sectors like retail, education and healthcare, to name just a few. Commercial cleaning services like The Kleaning Company and JAN-PRO are playing a crucial role in ensuring these key services are delivered. Post-pandemic, it will remain essential for businesses to make sure employees are safe on an ongoing basis. Therefore, the professional corporate buyer will need to invest in cleaning for the long-term. Commercial cleaning franchises will be one of the big winners coming out of lockdown.