No, There's No "Wrong Time of Year" to Start Your Franchise: Here's Why
With the holidays coming near, you might find that things are becoming busier than normal. That, like most years, you suddenly see your to do list growing – along with everyone else's. It's because of this that many assume it's a terrible time of year to take on additional projects. However, that's not always the case. While, yes, some are busy with holiday shopping, decorating, and planning, other tasks slow down for months on end. Think about businesses that are just waiting for others to ramp back up again – that's an area you can work to your advantage.
Because of all the hustle and bustle, there are companies who cut hours, slow down staff, and more. (Think government offices, permit readers, etc.) That means you have quick access to all those companies who are seeing little action around the holidays. And, if you work for one of these employers as a full-timer, you're more likely to have hours off to start on your new venture. Without cutting back on pay or requesting leave – a win-win for all involved. (That is, until you quit and your company loses you once and for all.)
Whether or not you're starting a business before or after the holidays, it can be a great time of year to get things done. Permits, lawyer opinions, accountant advice – all of this and more can be achieved without a long waiting line. You can easily take advantage of others' slow seasons and have things done as soon as possible. Jump nonexistent lines to get papers filed, and more!
Winter is also a great time of year to find your best real estate options. (See a list of great options on our real estate franchises page.)
Few properties are moving, which means you can swoop in and rent or buy the location of your choice … without much competition. Sellers and landlords will be happy to move empty locations, and will be willing to work with you very quickly.
Additionally, you can set your own deadline with your franchising company. If a certain time of year feels too tight, ask for more time when setting up your contract. This will allow you to move through certain tasks fast, but also ensure that you have enough time overall to open up shop.
Finally, depending on what type of business you're opening, it might work in your favor to open during or even before the holiday season. Restaurants often see an increase around holiday months. With folks traveling and busy schedules that don't require cooking, opening your doors mid-winter can bring in some serious business. Service businesses can also see an increase, especially if you're willing to sell gift certificates from day one.
However, if you're worried about opening strong, or being too overwhelmed in the beginning, starting slow might not be a bad route, either. So long as you can keep your open costs to a minimum, having a slower start can mean that employees have a chance to get trained and do things right, vs. being overwhelmed in a busy flow. This can easily be done by businesses who aren't projected to stay as busy in "slow" months, or you can simply avoid advertising until you're ready for a more steady flow of customers.
No matter what type of business you're in, or what your intended outcome might be, there's really no wrong time of year to open up shop. Through planning, strategic logistics, and easing your way into training, even the holidays – which are rumored to be slow – can be an ideal setup for your new business. Take that timeline into consideration when planning, and you can be on your way to franchise success, no matter what day of the year.