Corporations aren’t the only thriving businesses in the United States. Franchises make up a significantly different and successful percent of companies. Though franchises have been through their ups and downs in the past, now is an excellent time to invest in a franchise as the market is thriving.

The International Franchises Association estimates that more than 11,500 new franchises will open this year, which is an increase of 1.6 percent. Overall, we’ll see a total of 745,000 franchises across the country. So what is fueling the growth? Take a look.

3 Trends Strengthening the Growth of Franchises

Shifting Consumer Desires

Consumers are looking to find companies that stand for something and have a cause. They look for actions such as contributing or launching charities, implementing sustainable business practices, and creating a new image as a forward-thinking and conscious business. Franchises are local and help support their surrounding communities and customers. Individuals are drawn to patronizing businesses where they feel good about spending their money due to the increased local interaction.

Millennials

Millennials make up a large portion of the consumer market, and you need to cater to their needs whether you own a fast food franchise or a cell phone repair franchise. They understand the pride and self-sufficiency that comes with owning a franchise. They also have strength in focusing on causes that are important to them and those that impact their daily lives.

Change in Employment Requirements

Automation offers franchisers a way to save money and speed up service, but it shifts the workforce too. Employers need more knowledge-based positions filled. New roles need filled that computers can’t handle on their own, such as positions in management or those that require creativity and variety. Franchises bring these jobs to the local communities instead of sending them to the corporate headquarters in large cities.

Franchising with the right type of business and careful selection of partners can be a rewarding path to follow. Identify values and goals with a focus on running a responsible franchise that gives back to the local community to capitalize on the success. There is plenty of room for management positions and high-skill jobs, which are in high demand with the flourishing economy.