Franchises Could Be the Next Small-Business Success Story

Starting your own business takes an enormous amount of faith, not least because small-business owners are up against tremendous odds. Yet whether you're an old hand or looking to dip your toe in the water, analysts think there may be a sure bet available to you. According to new data, nobody is more optimistic about the economy than franchise-holders.

The International Franchise Association just released an economic outlook for the rest of 2017 and predicted that franchise businesses will grow a faster rate than the economy. Already-strong consumer spending is expected to increase as we head into the holiday season, and it's possible franchises could make $711 billion through the end of the year.

There are lots of reasons to consider investing in a franchise, especially if it's in a sector you already care about. It's still as much work as developing your own small business, but it's got several advantages already baked in. Whether you're interested in opening a restaurant, a pet supply store, or a boutique, a franchise comes with established brand recognition and market value. Ask yourself the right questions and do your research about investing in a company. With corporate support, you can learn a lot that will help with future ventures.

The IFA report offers a deep dive into what kinds of businesses may be strong bets and what regions offer strong growth opportunities. Franchises based around personal services tend to be smaller businesses, but they're also set to keep turning a profit. Think hotels, florists, and gyms, though the category can describe a huge variety of offerings.

Franchises can be a great learning experience and an end in themselves. If you want to take some of the risk out of building your own business, consider partnering with an established model. The investment might pay off in more ways than you can think.