If you’re thinking of investing in a franchise business, it can be tempting to look for the next big thing. A trendy product or service might be a big draw for aspiring business owners, but trends also come with risks. Ask yourself what happens when that trend’s popularity wanes. You might find yourself owning a business with little to no demand, as well as lack of support from the franchisor.
Is it possible to be on the cutting edge of an industry even if the brand or service is tried and true? For example, now is a great time to invest in a business services franchise. Companies of all types and sizes need help with marketing, financial management, manufacturing, distribution, technology and more.
Due to developing technology and demands of business owners and key management personnel, the business services market space is full of innovations and advances. This gives potential franchise owners a forward-looking business model in high demand.
A Changing Landscape
With convenience culture on the rise, the lines between B2B and B2C service expectations are changing. Business decision-makers are busier than ever before. They want the online convenience they require in their daily lives, but with the personal feel of dealing with a local business owner. They want a great product, great customer service, and they want to leverage technology. We also see a high propensity of customers who want a one-stop expert provider in the community.
As Altimeter Group principal analyst Brian Solis recently said:
Business buyers don’t go to work and forget what they do as humans. There’s a new normal that blurs the line between B2B and B2C. They just want things personalized. More successful companies are looking and prioritizing things like understanding customers’ evolving behaviors and preferences to design more meaningful engagement opportunities.
Due to this shift, B2B service providers are finding a balance between on-demand, digital convenience and personalized customer service. Because franchise location owners are backed by the support of the franchise network, they are positioned to achieve just the right mix of personal and convenient.
Finding the Balance
With proven training and support of a franchise system, offering business services is attractive to people from nearly any professional background. However, those who choose to open business services franchises tend to come from previous careers in the corporate world, bringing with them a high-level of management, technology and networking skills.
Community involvement and networking are key in business services. Through networking, the franchise owner is established as a trusted, local service provider and creates relationships with B2B decision-makers.
With the support of the franchise’s technology and online systems, business services franchisees offer convenient ordering and fast turnaround times while still developing real-world relationships with clients.
Room for Growth
The upside is that the relationship-driven nature of a business services franchise also makes it easily scalable. The B2B networking sales model tends to attract referrals and repeat clients. You can take a single unit and grow the business through deeper marketing alone.
The technology available through a franchise enhances scalability even further. Embracing technology is key in business services today, giving quicker turnaround times and better levels of convenience-based customer service. Technology is constantly changing and evolving, giving franchise owners, with the help and support of the franchisor, the ability to stay on the cutting edge of innovations in their field.
They Want it Yesterday
Across all industries, customers seem to want and expect goods and services “yesterday.” B2B buyers are no different. With innovations, efficiencies, new products and enhanced services rolling out consistently, and a changing customer base to keep up with, a business services model opportunity is an exciting one. It’s an industry where people of diverse backgrounds and skillsets can find fulfilment and financial success. And even better, the demand for these services is here to stay.
Bill McPherson is vice president of franchise development at AlphaGraphics, one of the largest U.S.-based networks of locally-owned and operated Business Centers, offering a complete range of print, visual communications and marketing products and solutions. For more information about AlphaGraphics services, visit www.alphagraphics.com. To learn about franchise opportunities, visit www.alphagraphicsfranchise.com.