>While the current economic conditions have led to many financial obstacles for small business, franchise brands are still finding innovative ways to grow. One emerging trend is a move to smaller and portable spaces including kiosks, where Smart Tax, tax preparation concept is one step ahead of the competition and is entering big-box retailers for tax season 2011. Options like this allows franchisees the opportunity to open their own business for a much lower start up cost during the rough economic climate.

The kiosk model is one innovative method that allows franchise brands to expand in high traffic venues such as malls, shopping centers, the streets of major cities, and airports. One brand who is finding success with the kiosk model is Smart Tax, who launched in November 2009 with ten locations and will open almost 30 units for tax season 2011. One of Smart Tax’s growth strategies has been to open kiosks in National Wholesale Liquidators, where they will have 4 operating kiosk centers this year and six more open for 2012. This not only allows the brand to enter a high demand outlet but allows more consumers to become familiar with the product and ultimately build resonating brand awareness. Additionally, the franchisees opening the kiosks are able to capitalize on a smaller initial investment, portable space and a larger growth potential.

These kiosk locations will look almost exactly like a Smart Tax office, minus the physical building. Each location will be equipped with an educated staff and all of the programming needed to help make filing taxes more convenient for consumers. In addition, this gives big-box companies like National Wholesale Liquidators the opportunity to fill empty space after the holiday season utilizing a company that only has a four month window business during the spring, bringing another level of one-stop-shopping during tax season.