Will The Stimulus Bill Create New Franchise Opportunities?
With the recent passing of the huge economic stimulus package there has been some speculation about whether some of its provisions will create or spur the development of new franchise business opportunities in certain industries like health care or renewable energy. The obvious question is whether major government incentives and investments in these 2 highlighted industry sectors will create sustainable franchise business models after the initial boost from the stimulus spending bill plays out.
In my opinion the answer is that this is a very realistic development given the scope of the stimulus bill and some of stated new policies of the current administration regarding health care and energy. In fact, potential small business opportunities emerging from the stimulus bill are becoming more obvious, (particularly in renewable energy) and appear to have a very good chance to create some viable franchising opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Heath Care: According to what I have read, the economic stimulus package includes nearly $20 billion dollars to help digitize or computerize health and medical records in the United States. I would think this could present some serious potential opportunities for small business owners and entrepreneurs because obviously private companies will become involved in providing services for this enormous and long term project.
Even with the recent news that Sam’s Club and Dell intend to enter this market by selling software to digitize medical records doesn’t mean there will not be plenty of other niche opportunities and markets available to develop and service. According to recent stats only about 17% of doctors offices are currently digitizing medical records. And with nearly 800,000 active physicians in the United States, many with small to medium size practices, their will undoubtedly be opportunities for smaller players to develop health care franchises that can service business opportunities that emerge from this program.
Renewable Energy: From what I have read and heard nearly $60 billion of the $790 billion stimulus bill will be spent on alternative and clean energy projects and other environmental related projects and research. This includes billions of dollars for greening government buildings, weatherizing homes and businesses, and providing significant tax credits and grants to help fund and subsidize renewable energy applications across the board.
Surely this type of massive government investment will almost certainly spawn a number of new franchising concepts to service the emerging business and consumer needs that will be created by this commitment. This would conceivably include the development of solar power franchises that would provide installation of photovoltaic panels for residential and commercial applications. Or green consulting franchises that would provide expertise to commercial businesses on how to “go green” or conserve energy. Or maybe new home improvement related franchise businesses will emerge that specializes in weatherization and residential energy efficiency.
In summary it’s going to be an interesting time to see how the franchising industry will adapt and ultimately capitalize on the potential business opportunities and new markets that will be created and supported by the stimulus bill spending. My guess is that it should ultimately produce some viable and profitable franchise companies that may someday become familiar household names and brands.
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