If you happen to be the owner of an independent pizza shop, and you're ready to take your business to the next level, a conversion franchise may be something for you to consider.
Sales of new franchise units have been pretty flat as of late, and some franchisors are using some very creative (and good) ways to attract prospective franchise owners.
One way is by convincing (gently, of course) owners of independent businesses to consider converting their businesses to franchise businesses. This can work out well, in some situations.
I think that it depends largely on the personality traits, and management style of the prospective conversion franchisee. If the independent owner is too set in his or her own ways, it could be a nightmare for both parties; the franchisee may not be as open to following a lengthy franchise operations manual as he or she first thought.
On the positive side, if the new franchisee follows the plan, the business could get to a new level.
Mark Siebert, the CEO of The iFranchise Group, was kind enough to share his perspective on conversion franchises, and some general trends in franchise development with me in a recent Small Business Trends post.