The Fastest-Growing and Hottest Franchising Sectors to Consider Buying in 2018

Now is the time to enter the world of franchising. If you are considering starting a franchise, identifying the right one that will best match your entrepreneurial skills will take some homework, research, and strategic planning. In general, prospective franchisees should review a company’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) with a competent franchise attorney before making an investment decision. The information provides key details about the franchisor and franchise system, including a description of the company and its history, initial investment fees, financing, restrictions of what services or goods can be sold and more. Also, review the criteria for selecting a franchise before checking out various brands.

Though there are 3,000 plus franchises to choose from with more and more concepts being launched annually, experts maintain there are at least four good franchise sectors to consider in 2018. Industry expert Joel Libava, author of Become A Franchise Owner! and known as “The Franchise King,” likes franchises that are differentiating themselves from competitors, appear to have bright futures, and offer a potentially good investment opportunity.

Here is a look at what he predicts will be among the fastest-growing and hottest sectors in franchising in 2018:

1. Chipotle-style pizza

Consumers today—especially millennials—enjoy when they can customize their meals. Several pizza franchises offer that, and because they do, are growing rapidly. One example is Blaze Pizza, a brand with the backing of NBA superstar LeBron James. Media outlets report James’s stake in the chain is now worth $35 million to $40 million. Customers can have their pizza created right before their eyes, with fresh and unique ingredients.

Libava says other concepts offering customized meal selections on-the-spot: Pie Five Pizza, Mod Pizza, and %pizza.

2. Men’s haircare

In this sector, Libava likes Sports Clips, among the biggest names in men’s hair salons. He says the franchise has 1,600 locations. The company continues to grow, largely because it has found a niche in being a hair salon that caters to fathers and sons. They can get a haircut and watch their favorite sports on the several large TV screens strategically located all over the salons. The business also is benefiting as barbershops appear to be making a comeback.

3. Children’s Tutoring

More and more industries are adding automation and AI (artificial intelligence) to their business models. With more skilled workers needed, today’s children are being exposed to more math and science than ever before. But not all children excel in those areas. That’s why tutoring franchises like Mathnasium and Tutor Doctor continue to grow.  Plus, the newest entrants to the tutoring and teaching space are starting to get more interest from would-be franchise owners. They include iCode School Computer Science for Kids, a concept teaching kids in grades 3 to 12 computer languages, how to code, and even robotics. And Engineering For Kids, around since 2009, is teaching kids how to excel in the STEM space in a “fun and challenging way.”

4. Fitness Franchises

It seems that consumers today want to be more fit than ever before. Libava says there are over 100 different fitness franchises now being offered. But Libava says the differences among the franchises in this sector are stark. He likes Fit Body Boot Camp, which offers a 30-minute fat-burning workout. And Snap Fitness, a franchise open 24/7 offering flexibility for busy consumers. He also is bullish on Orangetheory, which he claims offers trainer-led activities with a unique twist. Members wear monitors during workouts with their rates displayed so they can reach optimum rates.

Yoga continues to rise in popularity, with franchises like Yogafit and Corepower capitalizing on the growing interest in this concept.

And Libava says rock climbing—the indoor variety—offers a popular way for folks to get in shape. He says Climbzone and The Gravity Vault, which offers private or group lessons, are rising stars in this sector of fitness franchising.