If you’re thinking about owning a franchise business right now, you may be thinking: is now even the right time to buy a franchise? Did any franchise businesses survive the global pandemic? I want to share some inspiring stories from franchises who really survived– and even thrived– during this global pandemic.
As the world shut down in March of 2020, and nobody knew really what to expect, I had so many fears and doubts about what would happen to all of the franchisees that I had placed into business in the nineteen years that I had been a Franchise Consultant. And much to my amazement, I watched unprecedented leadership come from my franchisor partners, as they not only adapted and overcame the most amazing challenges that our businesses had ever seen, but some of the businesses even started to thrive. Of course, since we were all home and having staycations rather than vacations—last summer and last fall—we saw a surgence in home services. Any franchise business in any home services space absolutely flourished during 2020. From pest control (because we were all outside wanting to use our backyards) to building pools and patios and decks to painting houses (because people weren’t spending money taking vacations), they were now putting money into remodeling their homes. There were businesses for the interior of the home, like floors and windows, and window treatments. Again, because people were home; they were paying more attention.
It was pretty inspiring to watch some of the essential services franchises start to adapt and overcome and thrive during 2020. For example, we saw a surgence in maid service franchises—any kind of a cleaning company. We saw junk removal going through the roof. I watched as my friends in HVAC and electrical and plumbing franchises just had more work than they could handle. There’s also the rare example of the fitness franchisor—that I watched in absolute amazement—continue to grow, even when the club doors all over the country were closed due to quarantine. How is it possible that a fitness franchisor could thrive during a global pandemic? Because they had a virtual trainer. So, when all of the other mom-and-pop clubs were closed, those members started looking for a virtual workout. And this fitness franchisor had a solution, a solution that was supposed to be a corporate revenue stream. But the minute that their doors were closed, the corporate franchisor turned that virtual trainer over to their franchisees, so they could continue to draft membership dues. So, even while their doors were closed, they were drafting membership dues. That fitness franchisor added memberships across all of their brands, even when their physical doors could not be opened. It’s a story that defies logic.
There are many people who think about owning a business, especially during this time, but they bury the idea because they make the assumption that NOW would not be the right time to invest in a business. As a Franchise Consultant, who lived through 2020, helping as many people say yes to their dream to own a franchise business in 2020—as I did in 2019—I am telling you that there were opportunities. A long time ago, in the first business that I worked in and franchising, my mentor taught me that: in good times and bad franchising wins. What people invest in, and their motivations for investing, change. But at the end of the day, they still invest. So, what that means is during good times, people are investing for more of the American dream, and they might be buying more of the sexy want-based businesses. In a tough economy, people are buying to create a job for themselves that they might have lost, or they’re buying to secure their financial future, and they’re probably focused more on the essential services. But at the end of the day—in good times and bad—people will invest. I saw that happening in 2020, and it’s continuing in 2021. If you have the desire to own a franchise business; to own your financial future, DO NOT DELAY THE DREAM because you think now is not the time. There is so much opportunity out there; opportunity, even in places you might not expect. If you are ready to own your financial future, do not delay it because you think that now is not the right time to invest in a franchise business. Reach out to me by leaving a comment below or sending me an email.