Is The Green Franchising Scene Still Active?
by FranchiseKing, Guest Blogger
- Created: March 18, 2014, 8:01 am
Maybe my radar screen just needs a bit of a tune-up.
That’s because the word “green” hasn’t been on it as of late.
For a while, it seemed like everybody was talking about green.
Green energy. Green chemicals. And, green franchises.
A few short years ago, I was talking and writing about what’s turned out to be an entire new sector in franchising. I was very excited about the business possibilities. I launched a green franchise web directory. I helped a solar energy franchise get the word out about their opportunity. I tried to learn all I could about all things green. A good friend of mine in Florida, experienced with green energy and technology, brought me up-to-speed on the latest and greatest developments. I was seriously “energized” by all of it.
Solar energy intrigued me, and still does. Before the recession, there was pretty much only one solar energy company offering franchises. Now there are several. I just don’t hear about them much. What does that mean? Is interest in solar energy fading?
I wrote about green franchising on SBA.gov back in 2010. The article included a couple of different green franchise concepts. I think my enthusiasm showed back then.
Included in that article was information about environmentally-friendly cleaning agents.
“Residential and commercial cleaning services (of the franchise variety) are jumping on the green bandwagon. Some of them are starting to use cleaning products that are non-toxic, and that won't hurt our environment.”
If my memory serves me correctly, Maid Brigade, a franchisor who I had done some work for, was really the first residential cleaning franchise to get serious about the green movement. As a matter of fact, they still are*. But, I’m not hearing about the use of environmentally-friendly cleaning solutions as much as I used to. What’s changed?
Maybe the seemingly waning interest in green and the business opportunities that surround it have to do with the great recession*, and the necessary belt-tightening that went on during that time. Green products and services generally aren’t cheap. Maybe our priorities have changed because of the hit we took when the economy took a turn for the worse.
I have another theory. Maybe we’ve all gotten so used to hearing about solar energy, wind energy, and safe chemicals, we are just well...used to hearing about green things. What do you think? Are green initiatives so commonplace now that we’re just used to hearing about them?
There are plenty of opportunities you can choose from in the franchise world that are considered green. Here is an entire page of them*. Just make sure they’re truly green.
A writer for Franchise Direct wrote about what’s called “greenwashing,” which is when companies aggressively market themselves as green, but aren’t.
“When selecting a green franchise, make sure they are truly green. A lot of “greenwashing” occurs as franchisors try to profit from the hype without putting forth the effort required to be truly green. In some cases a franchise spends their entire green budget on promoting the fact that they are a green company rather than using the money to implement green practices. Also be aware that some green “awards” displayed may not be legitimate.”
Make sure the green franchise you’re interested in truly is green.
The Future Of Green Franchising
Businesses that offer and use green products and services are going to win in the long-run. As more people get educated about the importance of clean and sustainable energy, more of them are going to demand it in their everyday lives. There are franchise businesses out there right now that provide it. One day there may even be franchises that sell and install wind farms. The opportunities are endless.
In the not too distant future, almost all of the cleaning agents we use around our homes and offices will be free of damaging toxins. Franchises in the residential and commercial cleaning sectors that aren’t using green chemicals will have to…again because of consumer demand.
Green franchising isn’t going away. The sector just needs to be re-energized a bit.
*Non U.S. Government links
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