By Cillea Houghton
NASHVILLE, TN — Nashville’s steady growth makes it a viable candidate for franchising opportunities, as it attracts more entrepreneurs interested in owning a business.
Dan Aronoff, a representative for Nashville and Memphis at franchise consultant company
FranNet, works alongside the Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center and SCORE to educate residents and provide resources on owning a franchise. “For us it’s about fit. There’s a lot of franchises that people often times don’t realize are franchises that can be really successful,” he said.
While food and restaurant franchises are the most recognizable, they only make a third of the franchise population, as Aronoff explains that companies such as Massage Envy, Supercuts and Sylvan Learning Center are also franchises. “Franchising is a critical part of any economy. There are franchises in practically every category that you could think of,” he said.
Aronoff cites “tried and true” franchise fields as senior care, education, cleaning and health and wellness. Among the SBA-approved franchises in Tennessee are AmeriCare Home Care, Caring Senior Service, Spavia Day Spa, Title Boxing Club, Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning and more.
“We typically deal with franchises that we feel have some resiliency and long term sustainability,” Aronoff said. “Those services are always going to be around. There’s a recession resistant element to it.”
Nashville continues to be a booming city, landing in the list of top 10 cities for entrepreneurs and start-ups on Business.org and ranked as the fifth most successful city for women entrepreneurs by Magnify Money. Aronoff said Music City offers a diverse population for franchisors. “Nashville certainly is a great place to open a franchise as the city continues to grow. For a lot of franchises, in most cases you need that urban density, you need the population and Nashville has it,” he said, adding that as the city expands, so will the need for essential services such as dry cleaning and senior care. “We’re working with franchises that clearly there’s a need in Nashville and they’re hot growth prospects. I would certainly say Nashville has been a thriving city for franchise development.”
Aronoff said the cultural aspect of franchising is key; aligning franchisees with franchisors that have the same values and will effectively utilize their skillset. Sticking to core values is a notion Paula M. Farmer, professor in Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies at American Baptist College, instills in her students when discussing the principles of business in her course, using Chick-Fil-A as an example.
“We talked about the fact that they’re not open on Sundays and what does that mean from the standpoint of your employees, making money,” she said. “I think the No. 1 thing they learned and that we talked about in class was the fact that they not only have this as a value, but they stick to it as a value. The fact that we have personal values and then the corporate values and either what is the gap or how do they actually come together.”
Anonoff said that franchising is a valuable opportunity for people who want to have their own business and work alongside a company that’s already established.
“Particularly for people that have never owned a business before, franchising can be a great vehicle because you’ve got structure, you’ve got that blueprint. They have the desire to own and operate their own business, but they really want a proven model, they want a recipe,” he said of what makes franchising a viable business model. “That’s what a lot of people are looking for.”