Franchising is the Rodney Dangerfield of the business world - no respect. We're guilty of this here at Small Business Labs. We don't follow, study or report on franchising as much as it deserves.
I was reminded of this while reading CNBC's Hidden Small Businesses: The Case for Franchising Growth. The key quote is on the size of the franchising industry:
There are more than 825,000 franchise establishments across 300 business lines, which employ nearly 18 million people and accounts for one in eight U.S. private-sector jobs.
To put this number in perspective, it's more than the 12 million people the venture capital community claims works for U.S. venture backed companies (which includes firms like Fed Ex, Microsoft, Google, Starbucks, etc.).
It's way, way more than the roughly 3.5 million Americans that work in the Auto industry, which includes auto parts manufacturers and auto dealers.
Bottom line - franchising is an extremely important sector of the U.S. economy. We're going to try and treat it with more respect going forward.