The collapsed housing market that helped spur today's ongoing recession may prove to be a boon for franchise industries. The plethora of empty storefronts and commercial spaces have left a void in the industry and a glut of leasing opportunities for potential franchisees.

Chicago consulting firm iFranchise Group's CEO Mark Siebert said of the market, "Faced with vacant properties in their portfolios, owners and landlords are cutting deals and offering incentives that are simply unprecedented." For entrepreneurs with the credit or assets to open a franchise opportunity, now may be the best time, as Siebert's iFranchise has tracked a number of fledgling franchises that are thriving.

Until recently, the credit market has been too tight for many potential franchisees to secure capital. In the midst of a recession, lenders can be hesitant to consider a fledgling business, even if the plan includes a desirable location and an established franchise brand. Access to financing seems to finally be opening up, though, despite real estate prices remaining at recession rates. However, this could prove beneficial - more people looking for a small business opportunity will be able to secure financing and have more options for affordable locations.

Qualifying for a commercial lease is only one step in landing a franchise. The recession has caused franchisors to be wary of spreading the brand too thin and taking risks on potential start-up failures. The industry appears to be recovering however, as franchises begin to branch out into new markets and new businesses are popping up across industries.

As the credit and small business industries pick up pace, the new focus on branding is bound to drive franchising decisions. Franchisees who present themselves as capable of promoting and upholding the company's brand, and those who seek out franchisors with marketable parent companies may find success more easily than those with outdated business plans.

The Liberty Tax Service franchise opportunity is #1 in the tax franchise category of the 2011 Entrepreneur "Franchise 500." Liberty Tax Service is the only tax franchise on the Forbes "Top 20 Franchises to Start." Our tax franchise is an affordable and viable business choice. Each office provides thorough, computerized tax preparation coupled with superior customer service. For the best small business opportunity in the income tax franchise industry, choose Liberty!