The Opportunity To Sell Franchises May Never Be Better
Please save this column for when the worst of the pandemic 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 pie should more than make up for that.
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.
- Displaced senior executives with capital will be looking for opportunities (and there will be more of these people than ever).
- Finding qualified talent will be easier than it was before the crisis, when the labor market was so tight.
- You will have less competition because some of your competitors will have closed.
- There will be pent-up customer demand.
Where to start
You need to be ready, though. This is a challenge because, before the crisis, we didn’t realize things were about to break, and now many brands are simply scrambling to survive. Looking to a better future, 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.
- 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, as they are capable of restarting those weaker locations. In addition, the presence of more strong multi-unit franchises will encourage more growth system-wide.
- Look at upgrading your staff. You will find that experienced people will be available who worked in other franchises. Look to begin hiring and training them now.
- Also train your franchisees and their staff. Doing so will give you a competitive advantage 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 chain 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 that working remotely works. This may be a chance for you to reduce overhead and enable more staff to work from home. Offering good employees the option of working from home can help improve employee satisfaction and retention.
A new beginning…
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. It’s called opportunity, for those nimble and courageous enough to capitalize on it.
Evan Hackel, a 35-year franchising veteran, is CEO of Tortal Training, a leading training development company, and principal and founder of Ingage Consulting. He is a speaker, 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.
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