By the time you read this article, hopefully most issues around the pandemic will be resolved. If not, please save this message for when the crisis has passed, and you are ready to get back to business.
For businesses that made it through this very tough time, much opportunity awaits. It is likely that many of your competitors did not make it. If so, your opportunity to grow market share will be unparalleled. The country will likely be in recession, but your larger slice of the market should more than make up for it.
The opportunity to sell franchises may never be better. Why will it be a great time?
- Real estate will be abundant and cheap, unlike before the crisis, when good locations were hard to find and expensive.
- A lot of displaced senior executives with capital will be looking for opportunities.
- Finding qualified talent will be easier than it was before the crisis when the labor market was much tighter.
- You will have less competition, because some of your competitors will have closed.
- There will be pent-up customer demand.
You need to be ready though. That is a challenge because, before the crisis, we didn’t realize that things were about to break.
Here are some new realities to think about:
- Get your onboarding systems ready, because now is the time to think through the process and revamp.
- Look at your leader lead training and see what can be shifted to lower-cost virtual lead training. People will be more open to it and at the start of the recovery, people will still have fears of flying.
- Create a powerful online franchise university. Online universities have been growing in importance and there will be greater interest and willingness to use them.
- Encourage your stronger franchisees to buy or take over weaker ones. The presence of more multi-unit franchises will encourage more growth franchise-wide. Plus, your stronger franchisees are capable of restarting your weaker locations.
- Look at upgrading your staff. You will find that experienced people will be available who worked in other franchises. Look to hiring and training them now.
- Train your franchisees and their staff. Doing so will give you a competitive advantage just when you need it the most.
- Look to help your more successful franchisees grow. Support your known top performers as they add units or buy up weaker players.
- Make sure your supply line is in place. Not all your suppliers will be recovering or coming back strong from the crisis.
- Develop new marketing. Focus on making people aware that you’re back in business, better than ever, and ready to do business.
- Look for new efficiencies. During the crisis, you might have found out that working remotely works. Therefore, this may be a chance for you to reduce overhead and enable more staff to work from home. And offering good employees the option of working from home can help improve employee satisfaction and retention.
A New Beginning . . . Where Do You Want to Go?
Planning is key. Start with the end in mind and focus on where you want your franchise to go. Now is a great time to be bold, because people will be more open to new ideas than ever before. Tap into the collective knowledge of the whole system.
No one wished for this pandemic. But there is light at the other end of the tunnel – and opportunity.
About Evan Hackel
Evan Hackel, a 35-year franchising veteran is a nationally recognized expert and speaker on franchising. Evan is founder and CEO of Ingage Consulting, and CEO of Tortal Training, a leading training development company. Evan is an active advisor in the C-Suite Network. He is also author of Ingaging Leadership, and host of “Training Unleashed,” a podcast covering training for business. Contact him here, follow him at @ehackel, or call 781-820-7609.