2020 Ends with Optimism as December Inquiries Rise In Almost All Franchise Categories

Computers, Home Services and Pet Services Lead Franchise Development Categories in Monthly Growth

Jan. 20, 2021 – In a broad-based sign of small business optimism, aspiring business owners closed out 2020 on a positive note, with investment inquiries rising in almost every category of available franchises. Overall, inquiries rose 11.1% from November to December, according to data from the FranchiseVentures network of franchise lead generation brands, and inquiries per concept rose 11.7%.

While December holidays often bring slower franchise interest, this year’s activity was no doubt boosted by expectations that Covid-19 vaccines will ease the pandemic and restore economic activity in the months ahead. 

Optimism also rose for entrepreneurs planning to start a business both “this month” and “6 to 12 months out” in December’s Small Business Startup Sentiment Index ™ survey . (Download the full SSI survey results here.)

Franchise Categories Showing the Highest Growth

  • Computer and Internet franchises led monthly growth in December, with a 32.8% increase in entrepreneurs seeking information about franchise ownership. This specialized category, with just 1% share of inquiries, includes computer and cell phone repair services, Internet marketing franchises and outsourced IT services. Entrepreneurs may foresee strong demand for these services, anticipating the continuation of work-from-home trends during the pandemic.
  • Two other categories that might be growing with homebound consumers in mind are Home Services franchises, with a 25% increase in investment inquiries, and Pet Services franchises, up 19.3% for the month..
  • Other double-digit gains in December were logged by Education franchises (up 18.9%), Retail franchises (up 17.8%), Real Estate Franchises (up 14.8%), Child-related franchises (up 13%), Health and Fitness franchises (up 12.2%) and Senior and Health Care franchises (also up 12.2%). 

Even Food and Restaurant franchises, the fourth largest category of inquiries overall, eked out a small 0.4% gain in December, the first gain in five months for a category that has been particularly hard-hit by pandemic lockdowns and social-distancing.

Top-Growing Categories Also Increase Average Inquiries per Franchise

Many of the same categories also saw an increase in the average number of inquiries per franchise concept, and, in some cases, amid  growth  in the number of concepts actively recruiting new franchisees.

  • Home Services franchises averaged 27.9% more inquiries per concept in December, an impressive gain for a category with the greatest share of investment inquiries and the largest number of franchise concepts.
  • Financial Services franchises enjoyed a 22% higher inquiry rate.
  • Health and Fitness franchises saw a 20% increase in average inquiries for the month.
  • Other categories with double-digit gains were Education franchises (up 18.8%), Retail franchises (up 18.4%) and Real Estate franchises (up 14.5 %).

Several categories with single-digit growth in average inquiries added those gains even with an increase in the number of concepts actively recruiting new prospects.

  • Pet Services franchises grew average inquiries 7.7%, on top of a 10% increase in active concepts.
  • Child-related franchises also saw a 7.7% gain in inquiries per concept, even as the number of concepts grew only 5.3%.
  • Computer and Internet franchises received 6.7% more inquiries per concept, despite there being 25% more concepts available.

FranchiseVentures is the leading franchise lead-generation platform for potential franchisees to thousands of growing franchise systems in the United States and Canada. Its franchise lead generation brands include Franchise.com, Franchise Solutions, Franchise Gator, Franchise Opportunities, Franchise For Sale, SmallBusinessStartup.com and BusinessBroker.net, and together they provide the largest aggregation of prospective franchise buyers in the U.S.

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Published on Wednesday, January 20th, 2021.

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