I’ve lived in Florida my whole life, and have owned businesses here nearly half my life. When people ask me what they should know about Florida, I always tell them to watch Key Largo. The plot isn’t relevant, but the good guys—Bogart, Bacall, and Barrymore—are just trying to make a living in a land that is still wild and difficult and, before the baddies show up, they are succeeding.
The point is that Florida is still a land of opportunity. It’s a land where you can make something for yourself—if you’re willing to put in the work.
That’s why now is a great time to buy a recession-proof franchise in Florida. Florida is always reinventing itself, and now is no different. With things in flux, and a recovery on the way, now might be the best time to own your own business.
What kind of franchise is right for you? How do you determine the best course of action? How do you find the resources that you need? Should you open a store, or go into the always-reliable real estate market? Here’s some guidance on what to look for if you want to buy a franchise in Florida.
What To Look for in a Florida Franchise
Saying that it is a good time to buy a franchise in Florida doesn’t mean that it is a good time to just buy any franchise. Florida is a land of opportunity but it is also a state with a lot of people trying to take advantage of those opportunities.
Some franchise opportunities are fly-by-night. Some are well-meaning but not well-thought-out. Some exist more on hope than on reality, and some are just outright MLM scams. You obviously want to avoid all of those situations.
Even if you find franchises that are legit, it doesn’t mean they are right for you…or right for Florida. Here are some considerations I make when looking to buy a franchise in Florida.
National Name Recognition
Florida has the second-highest population of people born in other states who live here. Folks come from all over the country to live in Florida, and most people want to stick with something known to them. Having a franchise with national name recognition means not having to start over when it comes to marketing. Someone moving from New York, Oklahoma, or just across the panhandle should have heard of your business.
Florida is a surprisingly huge state with a lot of topographical and cultural variances. Your business should be able to translate to a multitude of different areas if you want to expand. That could mean not being stuck to a physical location.
There are some franchises that tell you how many people to hire, what to pay them, what to serve, how to talk, and even how to dress. That’s fine, and it works for some people. But there are a lot of people who want at least some independence. After all, you want to be your own boss, not pay for the opportunity to have a corporation tell you what to do.
You want a well-known franchise brand because you have a base on which to grow. The best franchises give you the support you need, which includes training, mentoring, and maybe most importantly, marketing. You can run your business while not reinventing every wheel.
What is the growth potential of your franchise? Are you essentially punching a clock, or can you expand from hard work, determination, and your own talent? Are you in a growing industry?
Those are the considerations. And they boil down into a few questions.
7 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Franchise
- Do I want a physical location or be able to work from anywhere?
- Do I want to be able to make a lot of my own decisions?
- Do I want some level of support?
- Do I need to have a lot of training before I start?
- Do I need to do all of my own marketing?
- Do I want to do this by myself or with a partner?
- Do I want to hire people?
There are no right or wrong answers here. These are only your answers, and how you respond will influence the type of franchise you buy.
5 Franchises to Buy in Florida
Here are five potential fields of growth in Florida—all with different considerations for the savvy businessperson.
Health and Wellness
Crossfit. Hot yoga. Boxing gyms. These have all been very popular in the past, and a lot of them have closed recently due to restrictions around gathering during the pandemic. There are an enormous amount of these types of franchises in Florida, and an unsurprising need for them.
- Pros: People will have a lot of pent-up energy once stay-at-home orders loosen, a new-found appreciation for health, and will likely want to get back to exercising. If you have a franchise that helps with virtual and hybrid offerings, you might be set.
- Cons: These are expensive franchises, and in an over-crowded market (not to mention that a lot of people realized they could work out at home pretty well). Folks might be leery about gathering anytime soon, even after a vaccine, and not every franchise smiles upon virtual offerings. The safest gyms, with the best filtration systems, will have a higher buy-in.
There has been a huge uptick in home deliveries for 2020. This isn’t unique to Florida, but with the high percentage of older adults who are more likely to avoid dangerous gatherings, Florida has seen a huge boom in franchises that deliver everything from groceries to plants to pets.
- Pros: It’s a growth market. Even after the pandemic subsides, ordering nearly everything will be a habit. Florida’s combination of older adults, pedestrian-unfriendly streets, and small businesses means a franchise that specializes in deliveries will have a lot of clientele.
- Cons: There are already a lot of major businesses doing this. Uber, Amazon, and other giants are trying to control the market. I’m not saying they’ll win. I’m just saying it will be hard for any one franchise to cut through the noise to establish partnerships and pass the tipping point of ubiquity.
Water Purification and Filtration
This is probably the most surprising franchise possibility on the list but there are a large number of franchises that offer water purification and filtration systems. They sell to individual households, companies, HOAs, even municipalities. It’s a growth industry.
- Pros: With rising seas and porous surface rocks leading to increasingly brackish water, Florida is at the center of the new water industries (and that doesn’t even count legal disputes over the Chattahoochee River). People, businesses, and governments are getting more concerned about securing clean water.
- Cons: Building trust. It’s a new industry, and there will be a lot of distrust around it. Combined with larger companies taking an interest in this sector, many franchises won’t even get off the ground before it’s taken over by huge players.
OK, perhaps this is the most surprising franchise opportunity but Florida has been loosening its CBD laws lately, in conjunction with legalizing medical marijuana. No one knows when or if recreational use will become legal, but much of the south has been changing its laws, and Florida may follow. As it stands, CBD is already a huge industry.
- Pros: This is obviously one of the fastest-growing industries in America. CBD itself is legal and there is a huge appetite in Florida for it. As the Baby Boomer population ages and continues to move to Florida, and as medical marijuana laws change, the market will continue to blossom.
- Cons: A CBD market and eventual THC ones will be different. The market is crowded as it is, and when it shifts to THC the worth of CBD will plummet. As it stands, huge venture capital firms are already investing heavily in this, making it harder for mom and pop operations to sustain themselves.
Real Estate Investing
Florida real estate has been one of the state’s primary markets since speculators would claim swamplands by dropping sandbags onto them from helicopters (true story). It remains huge, and there are markets for wholesaling in Florida, for buying Florida rental property, or for sticking with fix-and-flip homes.
- Pros: With real estate, you have a ton of independence. You are really your own boss if you own a franchise—and you don’t have to stick to one location. You can buy rental property in college towns like Tallahassee and flip homes in residential areas like Fort Lauderdale. With the high percentage of people moving in, the rate of people needing to sell when their plans don’t work out, and just the general in-state flux, Florida real estate is a good investment.
- Cons: Despite what TV shows might seem to imply, real estate isn’t easy work. You don’t just stumble upon a gem in the swamp and sell it for a million bucks. It’s hard work, and requires a steep learning curve. Experience matters and before that, training matters. A lot of people fail in real estate because they think they can do it totally on their own. Not everyone can but, if they have the right support from a franchise, it becomes a lot more possible.
So there are pros and cons to all of these types of franchises. But when weighing them, I chose real estate…many, many years ago. And the decision to become an independently owned and operated HomeVestors® franchisee was what made that choice the right one.
How To Make a Real Estate Franchise Work for You
Why do I think that HomeVestors was the right choice? Because they answered all the questions the right way for me.
- I can work from anywhere in my Territory, including with new remote and virtual capabilities.
- I have the independence to make my own decisions about what to buy, where to buy it, and how to plan my business. There is no mandate for a commercial office.
- I have support in terms of incredible tools, great guidance, and a network of professionals I can do business with and learn from daily.
- This is an industry that requires one to receive a lot of training and they provide it. If you are starting out, HomeVestors® training is invaluable.
- HomeVestors has a nationally-known brand (“We Buy Ugly Houses®”) that does a ton of marketing work. People who need to sell call and the call can come directly to me, and I receive a quality lead.
- I’ve worked with partners, but don’t have to; there is freedom in the choices I make.
- I don’t have to hire anyone (except contractors). I don’t need to deal with employees, and this is a business I can run by myself.
You might have different answers, which is fine. But, if the opportunity to buy a franchise in Florida appeals to you and offers you freedom and opportunity for growth, I’d look into this. Like so much else in this wild, wonderful state, it’s an opportunity for the taking. If interested, request information about becoming an independent franchisee today.
Each franchise office is independently owned and operated.
HomeVestors of America® is the nation’s only real estate investing franchise, providing business opportunities to real estate and investment professionals across the nation.