Moving Forward as a Franchisee: Now What?
Businesses are starting to open back up based on governors and owners' discretion. Customers are starting to shop, albeit from a distance. And for the first time in months, we're starting to see some resemblance of normal. Of course, that also comes with multiple caveats: wearing PPE and remembering to keep your distance, the threat of an increase in virus numbers, and a view of the business world that continues to take hits for months, possibly years into the future.
Or, to sum up – some things are returning to normal-ish, but there are still many changes ahead into the future. And there is no way of knowing what those changes might be and when they will hit.
Luckily, as a franchisee (or aspiring franchisee), you're able to roll with the punches. You take hits with the market and you find a way to put them into your business. As COVID-19 continues to change franchise markets and business ownership realities, you have a leg up on the rest of the world. Business owners make quick decisions. They make big changes based on last-minute news that hits markets, laws, and more. They have to take the information at hand and determine what would be the next best step for their brand. This is a normal for franchise owners. You do this on the regular, and it's a skill that will serve you well during the pandemic.
Big changes are hard. Fast changes are even harder. When there's not time to weigh out the options and perform research that support your move, it feels like a hail Mary. Some will thrive under this pressure, while others will crumble under the stress.
Franchise Owners and Their Time to Shine
Of course there's a level of risk, but remember that all franchise business owners are in the same boat. Everyone is following the same market and the same changes based on their industry. Use your past work experience, your willingness to own a franchise location, and get a head start on the pandemic market.
Anything worth having is worth working hard for. That might include some unknowns, but that's simply a sign of the times. Finding a way to push forward through those unknowns is what will set your franchise apart from the competition.
Bring in your creativity, your business savvy, and your best planned out risks. It's likely that we won't see another pandemic (especially like this one) in our lifetime. That means it's time to go all in and give your business the best shot it deserves. Find success with a little risk and a lot of trusting your own instincts.
Relying on Franchise Resources
Don't forget to take advantage of available resources either. The government has set several programs into place that can help offset funds or efforts associated with the coronavirus. Look at government disaster assistance, small business loans, and more. You can also look to local efforts, such as franchise eligible grants, that are available in your state or county. By putting out as many feelers as possible, you can give your franchise a leg up with financial help or grant efforts that can help you give back to the masses.
Your corporate location might have its own programs into place, too. Discuss with your contacts about any assistance or ideas they have for you to follow during these strange times. Look toward legal guidelines, as well as protecting yourself and your employees going forward.
Remember, even as businesses start to open up, the coronavirus is still making its way through the population. That means it's important to have safety procedures in place, such as social distancing and wearing masks. (As well as encouraging on-site customers to wear masks themselves.)
While, ultimately, it's up to you, the business owner, if and when to open your doors as normal, but safety procedures can help. You can also continue with delivery or curbside options in lieu of lobby hours; this is all based on personal preference and the severity of COVID-19 in your state.
Give your franchise its best fighting chance by taking advantage of available programs, and using your best business skills.
By Bethaney Wallace | May 08, 2020 | General Franchise Information