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5 Hot Franchises for 2014

Contributed by Franchise Financing Partner Guidant Financial Group.

Looking ahead to 2014, quick service food and cleaning services are perennially popular and lucrative franchise opportunities. Here are five white-hot franchises that may surprise you.

Painting with a Twist

Art, friends, and wine. Painting with a Twist is burning up our Facebook feeds and growing at a tremendous rate. Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney began franchising their Corks N Canvas business as “Painting with a Twist” in 2009 and there are now 106 locations to enjoy social art instruction.

School of Rock

Good times or bad, people will always spend money on their children, making kid-centric businesses virtually recession-proof. School of Rock combines music education and rock n roll with the added benefit of an unofficial tie-in movie (2003’s The School of Rock starring Jack Black). Franchising since 2005, there are over 100 schools worldwide with more than 10,000 little rockers enrolled.

Liberty Tax Service

Taxes may not be sexy, but they’re unavoidable. What makes Liberty hot? It’s on both the Entrepreneur list of Fastest Growing Franchises (#5) and the Forbes list of Top Ten Franchises for the Buck (#7). There are over 4,000 franchise locations in the U.S.

ShelfGenie

The company was founded in 2000 in Richmond, Va. and began franchising in 2008. Currently there are 123 franchise units in the U.S. ShelfGenie franchisees design and install custom shelving featuring the trademarked Glide-Out shelves. This business can be run from home and is an Entrepreneur Top 10 New Franchise for 2013.

HUMAN Healthy Vending

Everyone from the media to educators to the First Lady of the United States are waging a war against fatty, nutrient-poor food. There’s never been a better time to jump into the health food business, and this company does it in an innovative way: through vending machines. Founded in 2008, HUMAN Healthy Vending has been lauded in the press as one of “America’s Most Promising Companies” (Forbes) and Entrepreneur Magazine’s “100 Brilliant Companies” of 2011.

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Franchise Mergers and Acquisitions

There are several reasons for franchises to consider acquiring another franchise. It could give them the opportunity to add new products without the risk or cost of developing these offerings internally. It could help the buyer add new markets, geographically or demographically speaking, with an already strong existing brand. Acquiring a franchise supplier or distributor could build efficiency through vertical integration. Acquisitions can also help a franchise develop sufficient scale to compete with a larger rival more effectively.

The KFC Ad You Can See from Space

Yes, according to a report on space-visible ads by NPR's Mito Habe-Evans, the Kentucky Fried Chicken gang has paid the ultimate tribute to their late leader, with a tile portrait of Colonel Sanders, out in the middle of a dry expanse of dirt in Nevada, that's visible from beyond our atmosphere.