I have never been prouder to be part of franchising than I am now. Since the Coronavirus hit, we have seen our industry rally. The motto “in business for yourself, but not by yourself” rings true. We have been standing together, sharing best practices, and encouraging each other to keep going.
Franchises are small businesses which are the backbone of this country. All of us in the industry play a role in their success. In the franchise brokerage business, we are compelled to support our members through this crisis. Not only because it’s our responsibility, but because we are inspired to do so. We're in awe of franchisors who have been working tirelessly to help their franchisees.
In response to the pandemic, franchisors have launched new initiatives, made pivots to their business models, and implemented new strategies—all in record time. By providing leadership and direction, they have given hope and fostered a mindset of positivity. Just like with families, franchisors are always there for franchisees, especially in times of crisis. COVID-19 has been the ultimate test to that relationship, and the positive results are a testament to the power of franchising.
While mom-and-pops have been navigating uncharted territory alone, owners of franchised businesses have reaped the benefits of being part of a system. With added resources and guidance, franchise owners have been better able to weather this storm. Here are just some of the ways franchisors have gone above-and-beyond for their franchise partners through COVID-19.
Business pivots: Franchisors have been creating new ways to run their businesses to stay ahead of social distancing regulations. For example, food brands have created curbside delivery and temporary drive-through services. Fitness franchises have launched virtual workouts. Restoration and cleaning companies have added disinfection services. Yes, mom-and-pops can create their own initiatives, but it takes time and resources. Typically, the franchisor does all the legwork, planning, and even provides marketing materials to go along with it. Having the work done for them enables franchise owners to focus on what’s important: running their businesses.
Guidance: From figuring out funding options to handling staffing issues, business owners have a lot to consider right now. As part of a system, franchisees have built-in resources. Besides getting help from leadership teams, they can also reach out to each other for added insights. Short of hiring experts, mom-and-pops fly solo when it comes to these important decisions.
Negotiations with landlords: Corporate franchise teams can advocate for franchisees with landlords. They are expert at these negotiations and know where and how to ask for concessions. Having relationships in place with major leasing companies gives franchisors the leverage mom-and-pops just don’t have.
Community involvement: Rallying around a cause is essential in times of crisis. It brings local businesses and communities together. During the pandemic, franchisors have helped their franchise partners quickly launch different types of service projects to aid healthcare workers. While mom-and-pops have created similar programs, franchised businesses’ efforts have been more impactful with contributions matched by corporate offices.
More communication: Possibly the best part of franchising is the feeling of family and a sense of “we are in this together.” Through the pandemic, franchisors have stepped up their communications by adding daily updates and more frequent, system-wide calls. These calls have kept franchisees abreast of important issues, and have spread a feeling of confidence and control in an uncertain time.
While mom-and-pops are trying to figure it all out themselves, franchise owners are better positioned to endure a crisis. A silver lining to this pandemic is a new appreciation for our industry. There is truly strength in numbers!
Don Daszkowski is a serial entrepreneur and founder of the International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG). IFPG trains individuals to become Certified Franchise Consultants and earn money selling franchises. To find out more about the International Franchise Professionals Group (IFPG), click here.