CHILDREN’S FRANCHISING FEATURE

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Gina Gill

Nowadays children have a lot more choice. every product has a million features and every brand carries a plethora of toys in a number of shades.

The current generation of kids is used to the wide variety and it creates a huge competition amongst businesses to be the next best thing. Though we can’t all produce the next Anna and Elsa, or better yet, the Tickle me Elmo, anyone can be a part of that competitive, ever evolving industry through franchising.

Kids are used to choices, and parents want to provide their kids with the best that they can. There is a high population of people under the age of five and the buying power of their parents is large: the average household income in developed countries is $50,000. Not only that, but the closer involvement of grandparents help double the buying

power of parents. The baby boomers are one of the first generations to retire off a double salary and they want to share the wealth with their growing families. Though products, including toys, baby supplies, arts and crafts to name a few, is a huge market, services provided to kids is another considerable field as well. With both parents working, there is not only a need for daycare, but people have more money to spend on activities, camps, lessons and again, toys.

TOYS

The size of the global toy market is estimated to be at 84 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, of which 20 billion U.S. dollars are attributable to the U.S. market, so it’s nothing to shake a Ferbie at.There are entire stores dedicated to the sale of toy products that prove to be profitable industries on their own. Well known toy franchises usually come with great marketing, an established household name and carry well known branded toys that every kid wants and needs as soon as possible. Not all parents are willing to indulge in their children’s everyday whims, but between Christmas, birthdays parties, rewards, allowances and so much more, the toy store is becoming a weekly visit on most family’s schedules.

The toy industry is an ever growing market. Kids will keep coming and adults will continue to produce, creating a constant set of purchasers. Kids have always been associated with toys from Hop Scotch and Jacks to Barbie and Legos. With the increase in technology, toy departments have grown in the last decade to include game consoles, videos, Blue Rays and Ipods. Kids are learning to adapt to technology and it’s an everyday characteristic of their free play. For the most part, technology has created high ticketed items that help drive sales.

BABY PRODUCTS

The U.S birthrate has been on a steady decline for some time now. In the States, the birthrate decreased to 13 per 1,000 of the population compared to 16.7 in 1990 in 2010. Even though there are less teeny tiny consumers, the baby market is on a rapid increase. The global market is expected to increase its sales to 66.8 billion U.S dollars by 2017, compared to 44.7 billion in 2011.

With constant research into baby safety and children’s health, more and more products are being produced to help

service all the many needs newborns have today. The family dynamic has changed and this has created a lot of different needs that have created new products including pumps for working moms, entertainment for busy parents, safety seats, swings and chairs. Baby needs are increasing with a better understanding of safety standards, plus parents always want the best for their new bundle of joy.

The internet has given parents easier access to the variety of products and services available to them. Surfing the web has given the busy mom or dad more buying power- once they recognize their baby’s needs, they can easily order with

the click of a button all while cradling baby in their arms. People are also choosing to start their families later in life, which means they have stabilized a comfortable income and have more freedom to buy.

The baby market is a guaranteed franchise opportunity- with children always being born and research leading to better and new products, it’s a market that continues to increase in value consistently.

EDUCATION

Education is not only provided within the doors of a school, but it is a continuous effort throughout the day. Children have homework, they need support and with a broader and better understanding of learning disabilities, more kids can seeks professionals that can help them reach their potential.

Tutoring programs are well known in the franchising industry. Parents obviously want their children to succeed and support them throughout their struggles and tutoring offers educators who specialize in specific fields. People can now access specific study sessions, pinpoint their issues and create solutions, either in a group environment, one on one or even online.

After school programs offer homework assistance as well as academic activities that give parents more incentive to send their children for care with learning opportunities.

DAY CARE

With both family members working full time and mothers returning to work after a short lived maternity leave, more children are requiring day care services. In fact, nearly 11 million children under the age of 5 are in some type of childcare service in the States.

With more families struggling after the recession, some parents had to pull their children from organized childcare and reach out to other venues because of the expense. That being said, if parents had the financial backing and ability they would choose an organized facility for their child. Though it took a hit during the recession, center-based daycares account for 26% of childcare arrangements, while their mother works, which is the highest percent in that category in 2012. Meanwhile, 67 % of mothers with children under the age of six are working parents who need child care.

Parents are usually having their kids close together; guaranteeing two clients at the same time from one family and the day care market is always a necessity with a continuous demand.

A childcare franchise offers children a guaranteed set of regulations and expectations that would be consistent with the brand. This branding gives franchises a stronger reputation compared to its competition and has an already developed marketing strategy. Parents are likely to leave their children in the hands of a well established facility because the research and reviews have proven to be positive and reliable.

A lot of day care facilities provide other services, including after school programs increasing profit substantially. In 2012, the average annual fees for before- after school care for a school-age child in a center was between $1,950 and $10,950.

One of the main benefits of franchises focused on children is the consideration of the franchisee’s work-life balance. It would be important to enjoy working with children and have a perspective about the family dynamic, as well as an understanding of the values parents hold for their children. One thing is for certain, if you are passionate about kids, a franchise in this market is profitable, self-fulfilling and always in demand.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: After receiving an English Degree, followed by a Journalism Diploma, Gina Gill became a freelance journalist in 2008. She has worked as a reporter and in communications, focusing on social media. She currently works as a community information officer with Epilepsy Society, while pursuing her writing career at the same time.

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