Being hit head on by a global pandemic in 2020 was nothing any of us expected. As we settle into our new normal, you may be thinking about franchising your business. What sort of opportunities have arisen out of this crisis? Social distancing, toilet paper shortages, mask requirements — is it truly the right time to franchise?
Opportunity has arisen from this crisis in several ways. After my franchise development team and I have seen record franchise sales this year, I say with resounding confidence that the groundwork has been laid and it is indeed an excellent time to consider franchising your business.
Opportunity #1: The World is Virtually Easier to Navigate
Necessity is the mother of invention. When COVID hit, we figured out a way around social distancing and fast. The digital world is more user-friendly than ever. Let’s break down what this means for franchising your business — the franchise sales process goes faster, and training can be done through readily available virtual platforms. Even trade shows are virtual, eliminating geographical bounds!
After you made the sale of your first franchise, your brand is blossoming, and your franchisee is operational — now what? Businesses and consumers step in stride with contactless payments, order-ahead tools, and third-party delivery services. There are stronger additional revenue streams that have occurred due to this national crisis bringing in customers virtually who may never have otherwise set foot in a brick-and-mortar. I’ve enjoyed seeing the ingenuity of franchised brands, such as The Local Culinary, the first-ever virtual kitchen brand family to hit the franchise market during this time.
Opportunity #2: Well-Qualified Candidates Seek New Ventures
Darwinian law has been in full swing during the pandemic crisis for businesses. Businesses who couldn’t adapt, shuttered. What’s left? People who need jobs and candidates for your franchise who are open to new ideas. The talent pool is rich with well-qualified, well-capitalized potential franchisees. The market is ripe with opportunities for business owners looking to develop a franchise because individuals are open to it due to the newfound mindsets of flexibility. As people have found themselves suddenly unemployed this year, their minds turn to alternative ways of bringing in income.
As stated in our opening paragraph, my business has seen record franchise sales that have outperformed any other year in my 11 years in operation. This demonstrates people’s willingness to take risk, the desire to be their own boss, and their openness to business ownership. The opportunity for you as a franchisor is a wider, deeper candidate pool from which to choose.
Opportunity #3: Real Estate
When developing the franchise business plan, we factor in real estate costs. Here’s the opportunity: several businesses shut down suddenly when COVID hit leaving empty stores and broken leases in its trail. Don’t let this scare you. These businesses weren’t prepared, and their models couldn’t adapt quickly enough. When adequately prepared for the unexpected you can benefit from lowered real estate pricing and desparte landlords trying to make ends meet. Stores that can be retrofitted lower costs for your franchisees making the value of your franchise offering go up. McDonald’s closed 200 stores in 2020, half of which were in Walmart. Joe’s Gourmet restaurant, a franchise based out of Georgia, capitalized on these empty sites and now has a viable, sustainable, pandemic-proof model in place that will take over these empty sites inside of the nation’s #1 retailer.
Recognizing the opportunities that this pandemic has presented — such as empty real estate with desperate landlords — or knowing how to price everything for the current market’s conditions, it all starts with franchise development wisdom. In the same way that franchising uses a proven model to best deliver results to the business owner, a proven development process with a dedicated team of experts behind you is essential.
My team and I can help walk you through this decision-making process. Is it the right time to franchise your business? Contact us for a free consultation!