Sing a song of sixpence, a pocketful of opportunity.
As companies do battle for their share of the Grey, Green and Pink Pounds, there’s another as yet un-colour-classified market that accounts for about 17% of the UK population that needs no introduction to the franchise industry. There are nearly 11 million of them. They have an almost insatiable appetite for new products, services and experiences. They often have multiple income streams; Mum, Dad, Grandma…. yet no personal financial responsibilities. I speak of course of the Kids. The under 14’s to be specific.
Those of us responsible for these diminutive ‘uber’ consumers are under constant pressure to provide them with more; more after school clubs, more weekend activities, more educational holidays and a greater variety of sporting pursuits. Do they think we are made of money? Truth be told, figures suggest we regularly bow to their demands as if we are.
The franchise industry is brimming with incredibly successful brands that have found a particular niche in this not so niche market. Swimming, magazines, drama, dance, tuition, soft play, martial arts, parties and pretty much any sport you care to think of.
I don’t have precise figures, but my educated guess says that outside of the sports based models a majority of the franchisees will be women. However, of the brands we deal with, there really is no particular ‘type’. We see plenty of men and women in the just graduated bracket, the made redundant in my 30’s bracket, the what am I doing with my life 40’s bracket, right up to the early retirees who aren’t ready to put their feet up, all doing extremely well having invested in a variety of children’s sector franchises.
Far from having to lead from the front in unflattering lycra, many of these franchise models positively forbid the franchisee from taking part in teaching/hosting the activity themselves, preferring instead that you run the business and employ skilled practitioners to walk the walk and talk the talk.
If you are considering making the leap into self-employment via franchising then you should certainly add this thriving sector to your research list. Many will be extremely profitable for the right franchisee and you can’t discount the feel good factor of providing a quality service to the local young people of your area, not to mention the legion of grateful parents and carers trying to fill their dependants time more productively and enjoyably.