Franchising is a business model set to grow. Despite the complex economic situation, the sector is moving on to important numbers as revealed by the snapshot taken by Nomisma and contained in the Assofranchising 2022 annual report. With a turnover of around €29 billion, a growth over 2021 of +6.7 %, and an increase in the number of outlets to 59,849, it can be said that franchising is a business model to focus on. About this data, it seems clear how the Franchise culture-based on the pact of trust between franchisor and franchisee-has moved from being a working model to being a high-performing model. This is because a perfect balance has been achieved between the two components of the system. The franchisee in the territory is a key player, and his successes become the successes of the company with which he shares strategy and operations. Trust is the real competitive advantage of franchising because it can improve relationships, make them strong, and become the solid foundation of our environment. I believe that another keyword carrying positive change is education. Today's franchisee is prepared and spends a lot of time on training and acquiring deep technical expertise because he believes that these are the essential keys to better relate to his customers by reassuring and calming them. Considering the current dynamic today we are experiencing what can be called the perfect storm: war, recession, and inflation. However, I believe that the industry, and each person in his or her respective job description, are working with determination and focus in trying to regain market share without having to burden the end consumer too much. The year 2023 will not be an easy one for the industry but franchising more than any other sector has an ace up its sleeve: the strength of the network. While the brand is a strategic corporate asset in that it represents blazon and a sense of belonging and because it allows barriers to entry and mistrust to be broken down, the network, on the other hand, represents a way of living and sharing experiences to improve and better oneself. It is precisely through networking that we can make economies of scale, constructive criticism, and provide the driving force that is the real extra push for this industry. Brand and network are two very important levers, but by themselves, they are not enough because the key asset is people. The legacy of the pandemic has provided managers with a tremendous endowment of data and technologies that are helpful and improve business processes and people's performance but by no means a substitute for them. I believe that for the coming year, franchising must also focus on the ability to stand out. Any project can work if its characteristics include uniqueness. To be unique to make one's customers feel unique. This is the real added value that each sign can provide and which I am convinced will be rewarding in the imminent future.
Written by ALBERTO COGLIATI