Starting a business is tough in any climate. So why would anyone think about starting a business in the midst of a global pandemic? Over the past few months, I have seen many people become frozen with fear allowing uncertainty to rule their lives. I have also seen many others who are taking bold and calculated risks because they understand that, fundamentally, the bigger the disruption, the greater the potential opportunities that will arise from the disruption.
As a business owner myself, I understand that entrepreneurship encompasses two sides of the same coin: risk and reward. In many ways, entrepreneurship is a balancing act — containing and minimizing the risks while leveraging all of the possible rewards. In my experience, franchise ownership is unique in that through its proven business model, it reduces financial risk considerably while increasing the potential upside for its franchisees. It is a way to get into entrepreneurship with less risk and greater efficiency.
If you’ve ever thought about starting your own business, don’t shy away now. This may be the best time to start your own franchise. Here are some of the compelling reasons why my clients are deciding to begin their business now.
It’s a way of regaining control of your career.
As the world paused, many people also paused in their lives. They took a deep introspective look at their careers and asked themselves the hard question, “Am I living the life I want to?” The answer that came back to many of my clients was no.
Professionals around the country are starting to realize that they want to escape the 9-5, generate wealth and finally live life on their own terms. Many are realizing that franchise business ownership could be the opportunity they have been looking for to reinvent their careers and take back control of their destiny.
It’s a way of “recession-proofing” your career.
40 million. That’s the number of people who have lost their jobs since the pandemic was declared on March 6. While the number itself is astounding, it masks the true toll of these numbers. For every person who lost their job, one family’s future was jeopardized.
If this is you or you are in fear of getting laid off, this may be just the right time for you to start exploring business ownership. Don’t allow the vagaries of the economy or a virus to dictate your future. As a franchisee, you own your own business and cannot be laid off or furloughed from it.
It’s also a chance to vet how “pandemic-resistant” a brand is.
Franchises represent some of the most successful businesses in the world. Now, more than ever, franchises have been put to the test. Their business models have been stress-tested in real-time and those that come out of the pandemic stronger and more creative will be that much more attractive to future franchisees seeking a brand that has withstood one of the worst times in recent history.
Many of the brands I work with have changed their operational and marketing tactics. Through pricing and vendor management strategies, these brands have pivoted to continue to grow through the pandemic. Some have had the best quarters they have ever had in their history.
Good franchisors communicated daily with their franchisees as they pivoted their business models in real-time to minimize store closures, reduce employee layoffs, implement new initiatives to keep customers, help franchisees obtain PPP funding and renegotiate leases with landlords.
As you explore whether franchising is the right option for your career, you will be able to speak directly to franchisees to understand how their brands supported them through the pandemic. Were they able to continue to grow and make money? Did they have to shut down their location? As businesses reopen, what support did they receive from their franchisors? This is the perfect time to understand whether a franchise is truly recession- and pandemic-resistant.
There’s currently an opportunity to take advantage of funding opportunities.
On March 27, 2020, the president signed the CARES Act, which provided billions in relief to American workers and small businesses. As part of this program, the Small Business Administration is offering various funding options that make it easier to start a business. Coupled with lower interest rates that we have not seen in a very long time, business ownership has become a viable option for many people.
You can leverage a softening real estate market.
Unfortunately, many businesses will not be able to survive the pandemic and they will have to vacate their storefronts and offices. This means commercial landlords will have real estate available for which they may be willing to negotiate more favorable terms. Many franchisors are negotiating such favorable real estate deals for their franchisees. These cost savings can be considerable.
The philosopher Meister Eckhart is often credited with saying, “And suddenly, you know… it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of new beginnings.”Are you ready to begin the journey of finding your perfect fit franchise?