last updated 23/06/2021
last updated 23/06/2021
Finding business opportunities to suit a changing world
In the last few years, environmentally-friendly products and services have moved into the mainstream. Consumers are actively looking to make better choices, and companies want to be ‘seen to be green’. The tipping point has been reached, and franchises have responded to the opportunity.
Franchise buyers need to be aware of this trend, as it is likely to affect future growth opportunities. A franchise which is seen to be a market leader is likely to do better than one which is slow to invest in greener technologies.
Eco-friendly franchises fall into three main categories.
1. Old companies, new ideals
Many existing companies have worked to make their service more environmentally-friendly in order to appeal to customers, companies and corporates with ‘green’ policies. Commercial cleaning companies have been particularly active in this area, especially with increasing sensitivity around the use of chemicals in the home and workplace.
Reducing waste and promoting recycling are also important, while some franchises have adopted greater digital technology to enhance internal communication within their networks while reducing physical travel. Where travel is essential, for field support managers, for example, new technologies including hybrids and EVs are becoming more popular.
2. New companies, new markets
Some franchisors have established new companies based on green products or services. In some cases, these may prove to have immediate appeal such as MeloYelo e-bikes and the soon-to-be-launched electric taxi service from Corporate Cabs. In other cases, adoption may take longer as consumers require education and conversion to the benefits. Buyers need to be careful to confirm the market for such services here in New Zealand where our niches are smaller and our environmental concerns different from those in other countries. Services that work overseas, such as waterless car washing, may not find an obvious market here despite the environmental advantages (although Aucklanders may disagree!).
3. Solving existing problems
Franchises have developed or adapted to specialise in home and building improvements to make them more healthy and/or energy efficient. These include companies that supply and/or retro-fit double glazing, wall and roofing insulation, solar energy and heating products. Within these categories, some businesses may be home-based franchises, many will be mobile, and some may operate from premises.
A note of caution here: some sectors have grown on the back of government subsidies for such things as insulation. When the subsidies end, as they always must, will the franchisees’ businesses still be competitive and viable? Consult an accountant before you buy.
When you’re looking for an eco-friendly franchise, therefore it’s important to do more than ask ‘How much does it cost?’ and ‘What experience do I need? Do your research, look at the trends and consult the experts. We suggest putting in at least an hour of research for every $1000 that you plan to invest.
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