Many franchises more than just SURVIVED the Covid-19 pandemic… they THRIVED. Here’s what the 2020 pandemic taught us about franchising.
We thought we could control it all, and then 2020 happened. We didn’t know what to expect for days, weeks, and even months. The good news is, franchising as an industry did more than just survive. In many cases, franchises thrived. Stick around, so I can share with you what the 2020 pandemic taught me about franchising.
Leadership support One of the most important things that I saw franchisors do was become human and connect with their franchisees on an emotional level. Some franchisees needed more than PPP or PPE. They needed a hug. They needed support. They needed reassurance that everything would be OK. Never was it more important to have unprecedented leadership, and never in all of the years that I have been a franchise consultant have I been more proud of the franchisors that I work with than to see how they responded and adapted and overcame and supported their franchisees—whether with physical adaptations or by helping their franchisees get out of the emotional fetal position to reopen safely and engage the customer in a new way.
Selecting the right franchise in 2022 I’ve been coaching people away from big food and big retail for a long time. My sweet spot has always been about low fixed costs, about being able to control your expenses so that even if nobody is coming in, you’re not bleeding to keep our doors open every day. When I talk to business owners who are frustrated with their business, who are lying awake at night and can’t sleep because they’re so stressed out about their business, inevitably, it’s because of these fixed costs that they can’t control. So in my mind, years ago, it made sense to avoid that, to help the majority of the people sleep peacefully at night and enjoy their business because they had a business where they could control those fixed expenses. So, this idea of leading people to a low fixed-cost business always seemed like a good idea in my mind. But in 2020, I absolutely saw the genius of this idea. I also saw how important it is to be in business for yourself but not by yourself.
The franchise leadership sets the course. The leadership of the franchise is what’s creating a culture—hopefully a culture of abundance—that no matter what is happening, we can come together, and together, we are going to be stronger. Watching what was happening to mom-and-pop businesses, non-franchise businesses, and even franchises that didn’t have amazing leadership, I know for certain that the fees in a franchise can always be justified if the leadership is the right partnership for you.
In good times and bad, franchising wins As a 24-year self-employed person, one who’s been both an entrepreneur and a franchisee, I’ll probably never start my own business from scratch because if a 2020 should ever happen again, and God forbid, I want to be a part of an organization where I can be supported by leadership, where I can come together with my colleagues and my franchisor partner, and together we can figure out how to conquer the obstacle.
Years ago, one of the first mentors I had taught me that in good times and bad, franchising wins. What people invest in and their motivations for investing may change, but the end result is they still invest. So in a good economy, people want more of the American dream, and they’re buying businesses to achieve that dream. In a bad economy, people may be looking to create stability after losing a job or feeling like they may lose a job. But the end result is, in the end, the franchise industry wins.
To be in business FOR yourself but not BY yourself, to be partnered with people who have your best interests at heart, who can lead you out of the most uncertain time and lead you to certainty and to victory, it’s priceless, and I want that for you. If you are considering owning your future by starting a business, please reach directly out to me using the form below!