Today, BizEngine is hitting you with a piping-hot plate of news from around the world of franchise. Get your forks and knives ready.
Cleaning Services Popular
Certain segments of the franchise field tend to show booming growth depending on what month and year you’re in. Right now, it’s commercial cleaning services, with Stratus Business Solutions being one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S.
Incredibly, seven of the ten fastest-growing franchises nationwide are cleaning services. That’s in part because the start-up costs are so much less than for most franchises, even though there are unique costs in the form of specialized insurance these businesses must shoulder.
If you’re looking for a franchise opportunity in a growing field, you could do a hell of a lot worse.
Gas Prices Forcing A Morph
Small businesses and franchises can be master shapeshifters and contortionists by necessity. We’re starting to see that in action with the way businesses are adapting to gas prices, which have failed to drop significantly even as oil prices abroad fluctuate.
According to the Wall Street Journal, companies have been adding gasoline surcharges or just increasing prices to deal with the financial drain high gas prices are responsible for. It’s difficult to blame them, and it has to be enormously frustrating for those businesses who survived the recession but are still dogged by some of its spectral aftereffects.
Others are admirably not adapting, but it’s to protect their customers:
Scott Zimanek, who buys gas for the truck, mowers and trimmers he uses in his lawn-care business in Davenport, Iowa, said his expenditures for gas in May were 30% higher than a year ago. He told customers this year they would have to pay a gas surcharge if the price went above $3.50 a gallon, but has been holding off at this point and absorbing the higher cost.
IFA Champions Employer-Sponsored Health Care
The International Franchise Association carries considerable weight when it comes to franchises and small businesses, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see the Internal Revenue Service sit up and listen when they call for a continuation of employer-sponsored health care.
The IFA is calling the option a “backbone” of the U.S. health care system, and they’re responding to what they feel is a threat from the provisions of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. According to the IFA, some of those provisions shift extra health care costs onto the backs of franchises and small businesses, who already are carrying heavy loads in that department:
“We greatly appreciate the willingness of the IRS and the Obama administration to carefully evaluate the impact of the health care law’s employer mandate provision will have on the ability of franchise small businesses to continue to be the job-creating engine they have been historically,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. “Taking into account the impact of the health care law on job creation is especially important as the country works to avoid slipping back into a recession.”
Embracing Technology As An Entrepreneur
We go into the Wayback Machine over at PointBlank to talk about why technology is so important. It’s a good reminder that falling behind the curve is not really an option.
Franchise links to share for future editions? Leave them in the comments, please!
Photo credit to vierdrie at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1199766