Getting on the Franchise FAST TRACK

Five sectors that place you in the driver’s seat

Let’s face it: we all want to win, to be the first to greet the fluttering black-and-white checkered flag. Just as in auto racing, it takes a certain kind of entrepreneur to join in the $1.5 trillion franchise race. But before you leave the pit, you must know the territory.

This year, black enterprise identifies five hot franchising sectors based on accelerated growth and opportunity (see chart). What is unique about our choices is that all can be found in the services sector. And according to Darrell Johnson, president and CEO of FRANdata, an Arlington, Virginia-based company that monitors franchising activity across the country, demand for service-oriented franchises will continue to surge.

“They’re following what the economy is asking them to do,” Johnson says. “People are asking for more businesses to service the home and family. So what you have is a lot of service businesses picking up the franchising model because it’s easy to replicate and allows businesses to leverage their brand marketing and advertising programs.” Any one of these sectors may put you on the fast track to profits. Your basic formula for success: find the right vehicle, learn the rules of the road, and burn rubber. After reviewing the landscape with the International Franchise Association (www.fran chise.org), we found five areas that will put you in the driver’s seat:

Specialty/Gourmet Foods (Retail Foods)
Entrepreneurs with an appetite for growth should look to the specialty/gourmet food sector. According to a 2007 National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) study, this segment took in $38.5 billion in retail sales in 2006, a 13.1% increase from 2005. Burgeoning consumer demand and an array of specialty food products have been primary contributors to sales growth.

“Manufacturers are making it easier for people to have a high-quality meal,” says Denise Shoukas, NASFT’s communications director. “Whether it is prepared foods in a store or the make-your-own-meal [stores], it just makes it so much more convenient for the _consumer. And they can have a restaurant-quality meal at home, so that helps too.” FRANdata listed nine specialty/ gourmet retail franchises among its top 100 (culled from information about 800 franchise brands and based on unit percentage growth for 2006).

Shoukas says franchisors realize the profit potential in reaching food aficionados. “People are looking for higher quality experiences with food,” she says. “And that’s based on interest in healthier foods, things that can enhance their lives.”

Nikki King-Martin of Hanover, Maryland, co-owner of two My Girlfriend’s Kitchen franchises, has benefited from this growing trend. She was introduced to this opportunity in July 2006, when the mother of two–Makayla, 3, and Malani, 19 months–and her husband, George Martin, a 39-year-old computer programmer, reviewed the company’s Website in hopes of solving their daily dinner dilemma.

The couple discovered a service where customers could purchase uncooked dinners from an extensive menu and then visit a location to assemble the meals they’ve selected. The store, which has a full-service kitchen, provides customers with all the ingredients to prepare their dishes at an average cost of roughly

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  • http://WebbResearch Walter Webb

    Ms. Tennille: Hello and Happy Valentines Month 2011. Thanks for your insightful well thought articles about FINANCE and how to apply. Would recommend these any of these companies?
    The first is SHOPRITE which is a new (1) AFRICAN SUPERMARKET with GLOBAL TIES. Another is (2) GROUPON (3) CAMAC OIL (4) BAIDU (5) WASHINGTON POST (6)DUKE POWER7) CITIBANK::::WALT WEBB-NCCU-ALUMNI

  • WALTER WEBB / FREELANCE WRITER

    COMPANIES WHICH WHICH REPRESENT THE FAST TRACK ARE THE ONES WHOM ARE HOUSEHOLD NAMES IN CONSUMER BOOMERS. WHIRLPOOL APPLIANCES (WHR) IS SUCH A COMPANY. THE BRAND IS KNOWN EVERYWHERE AND THEIR ACQUISITION OF MAYTAG APPLIANCES PUT THEM IN THE DRIVERS SEAT THAT CROSSES THE CHECKERED FLAG FINNISH LINE. RED ROBIN (RRGB) HAS INNOVATED GOURMET FASTFOOD BURGERS WITH SIGNATURE STEAK HAMBURGERS. THE BURGERS ALSO COME WITH STEAK FRIES AS WELL. P F CHANGS CHINA BISTRO (PFCB) HAS BROUGHT ASIAN GOURMET COOKING
    TO ITS RESTAURANTS. JAMBA, INC (JMBA) RESTAURANTS ARE THEME BY GOURMET BERVERAGES WHICH COMPLIMENT THERE CASUAL RESTAURANTS. THEIR LOCATIONS AT AIRPORT GIVE THEM AN ADDED BOOST AND BUSINESS CLIENTE. IN THE FINANCIAL TRANSFER BUSINESS WESTERN UNION (WU) WHO’S IPO CAME OUT IN MID 2006 SOLIDIFIED ITSELF AS ONE OF THE INTERNATIONAL TOP MONEY TRANSFER COPORATIONS OF THE GLOBAL WORLD. BUT THERE IS PLENTY OF COMPETITION FROM THE LIKES OF MONEYGRAM (MGI) AND TRAVELEX WHICH IS SIMILAR TO THE RYDEX
    CURRENCY SHARES (FXE) PROGRAM. IN THE FASHION FAST TRACK SALVATORE FERRAGAMO (SFRGF.PK) BROUGHT HIGH END AND CELEBRITY FASHION WORLD. NOT TO BE OUTSHINED BY THEIR BUSINESS NEIGHBORS FIAT AUTOMOTIVE (FIATY), THEIR FASHION IS REPRESENTED BY A-LIST CELEBRITIES, MODELS, AND MAGAZINES WORLDWIDE. SO THE NEXT TIME YOUR FASHION SENSE BRINGS OUT THE GUCCI (GUCG.PK), HENNES & MAURITZ (HNNMY.PK), AND HERMES (HESAF.PK) REMEMBER FERRAGAMO. RUTH HOSPITALITY (RUTH) HAS BEEN A FAST TRACK LEADER IN BUSINESS TO PREPPIE YUPPIE-BUPPIE GOURMET DINING. THE LOCATIONS OF THE RESTAURANTS ARE IN UPPER MIDDLE CLASS NEIGHBORING AREAS WHERE BUSINESS NETWORK COMPANIES ARE.

  • WALTER WEBB / FREELANCE WRITER

    INTERNATIONAL SPECIALTY / GOURMET FOOD RETAILERS ARE INTERGRADED WITH CUTURAL FOOD DEPARTMENTS WHICH CONSIST OF MAJORITY, MINORITY, AND ETHNIC CUISINES. SHOPRITE HOLDINGS (SRHGY.PK) OUT OF SOUTH AFRICA SUPERMARKET CONSIST OF AFRICAN (AFRICAN-AMERICAN), MUSLIM, ASIAN, AND BRITISH, AND KOSHER-ISRAELIC FOODS. OTHER GLOBAL SUPERMARKETS ARE THE NETHERLANDS DELHAIZE FRERES (DEG) WHOSE AMERICANA SUBSIDIARY FOOD LION IS HEADQUARTERED IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA. FOR ONLINE INTERNATIONAL MARKET THE UNITED KINGDOMS TESCO SUPERMARKET (TSCDY.PK) IS LEADING THE CHARGE AND HAS SET UP SHOP IN CALIFORNIA OF THE UNITED STATES. THE INTERNATIONAL FASHION CAPITAL OF THE WORLD, FRANCE INTRODUCED IS CARREFOUR SUPERMARKET (CRERF.PK) WHICH HAS AN AMERICAN IN PARIS FLAVOR. FOR INTERNATIONAL BAVARIAN FLAVORED SUPERMARKET THEIR GERMANY’S METRO AG
    (MTAGF.PK) WITH A LIST OF GLOBAL CUTURAL CUISINES LIKE A OCTOBERFEST. ITS CASH AND CARY GROCER IS SIMILAR TO DELHAIZES HANNAFORD-CASH AND CARY IN THE NETHERLANDS AND COVERS MANY COUNTRIES IN EUROPE. IN THE UNITED STATES WALMART SUPERCENTERS (WMT) HAS INCREASED ITS CONTINENTAL OUTLETS FROM THE US TO AFRICA TO ASIA TO EUROPE. KNOWN FOR PRICE MATCHING THE GLOBEL SUPERMARKET RETAILER IS KNOWN FOR ADVERSITING THE LOWEST PRICES IN THE WORLD. JUST LOOK FOR THE HAPPY FACE SYMBOLS WALMART IS KNOWN FOR ON THEIR PRICE MARK DOWNS. AND THE INCREASING OUTLETS OF ITS GAS STATIONS HAVE ADDED ENERGY RETAIL AND CONVIENT STORES FOR QUICK SERVICE WALMART CUSTOMERS.