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Are you considering opening up a franchise? Whether it’s your first or you’ve already got skin in the game, it can feel like a strange time to be moving forward with a business venture. Strange, no doubt. But that doesn’t mean it’s not also a good time to move forward with your franchise.

Masks will be involved, protocol will revolve around changing rules that favor toward public safety. (Sanitize, social distance, sanitize, social distance, and so on.) Franchising, as we once knew it, has changed to account for the pandemic … just like every other aspect of our days. Sure it might feel strange or different, but so does everything else we are dealing with in the status quo.

Really the only difference in starting your new franchise is the need to keep track of changes in federal and state guidelines. Keep all involved safe and distant from one another. Aside from that, there shouldn’t be anything holding you back from starting your franchise business … even in a pandemic.

Why There’s a Need For Your Franchise Business

Now more than ever, people need businesses they can count on. They need trustworthy, reliable businesses that will follow state guidelines. They need businesses that are sensitive to the news, and who are aware of public opinion. They need franchise owners who will sympathize with them and ensure a good, safe experience. They need franchise managers who offer curbside pickup or online ordering. They need franchise employees who are kind with scheduling and who can reschedule around health needs.

Customers still need businesses that offer necessary services and products. But they don’t need just anyone to do the job. They need real professionals who are aware of the status quo, and who will take care of their needs with ease.

Local stores are making headlines for not following pandemic guidelines; some are even losing businesses licenses or are being forced to close their doors. This not only serves as a guideline for what not to do with your franchise location (in a pandemic, or any other time), but it opens a need for new, grounded business owners who care for public safety, as well as serving their customers.

Businesses who simply have an agenda to earn can’t offer this same level of care and well-being.

Pushing Forward as a Franchisee

When starting your franchise business, the first question you should ask is what’s needed, and by whom? Look at essential businesses or companies whose bottom line has grown during the pandemic. Yes, many businesses have found themselves in hot water, but there is also still a need for reputable, service-driven companies. Do some market research to see what folks are looking for, and how you can help fill that need. Ensuring you’re in a business that creates its own insurance (an industry that has a repeat need to exist; customers who come in regularly for products or services) can set you up for automatic success.

Next, it’s time to check your tone. You know the saying “Read the room”? That’s exactly what you need to do with your customer base. Learn what’s important to them in the now, and find a way to reach them on a personal level. Are they scared? Anxious? Be sensitive to customer feelings. Continue with business as normal, but with an extra side of caring and understanding. Your customers will feel this shift and gravitate toward your sensitivity. A little thoughtfulness can go a long way.

Offer hand sanitizer. Provide free masks. Have a worker dedicated to cleaning shopping carts or baskets. Hang signs that let them know what’s been cleaned and how often. Ask employees to remain cheerful – you may not see them smiling due to a mask, but a friendly comment can put an anxious shopper at ease.

It’s a strange time indeed, but that doesn’t mean there’s not a need for franchise businesses. In fact, it simply means we have to adjust our focus. Take to heart what customers want and need in your upcoming venture, and you can find ongoing success, all while helping your market base with some much needed fulfillment.

By Bethaney Wallace | Aug 7, 2020 | General Franchise Information