The pandemic that has swept across the nation has left many scared, unsure of their future and, for some, wondering if they should even have one. So much about our lives depends on how well we’ve prepared – whether financially or otherwise – but nothing is more important than preparing yourself to provide long-term security for your family.
But instead of looking at the negative side of all this, I’m trying to find ways to be positive by thinking about what this means for small business owners like you and me. For us, this economic downturn will not break us. It’s an opportunity that could potentially turn into a lucrative situation.
Businesses fail when things look grim in the economy (and overall). However, if the economy fails, it doesn’t mean business has to fail with it. This is where franchising can make your dream of owning your own business a reality.
Benefits of Franchising My Business
They say that there are about 1,000 franchise operations in the United Kingdom alone – and the number is only growing as more people discover how easy and rewarding franchising can be. You may have already realized this for yourself, but here are some reasons why you should consider franchising your business:
If you’ve ever dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur but don’t know where to start, not to worry! All new franchisees receive hands-on training and support from their franchisor with a franchise.
This means you’re not alone in this process. You’ll have access to the collective wisdom and experience of those who have come before you.
One of the significant benefits of franchising is that your business will benefit from instantly recognizable name recognition and branding. When customers see your franchise’s name, they’ll know that they can trust your products or services.
Marketing and Advertising Assistance
A good franchisor knows how to market a product or service, and they’ll be more than happy to share their expertise with you. This means that you’ll have access to years (sometimes decades) of successful marketing and advertising campaigns, which can save you a lot of time and money.
Some people think that franchising merely means you’re getting a business name and logo, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. A good franchisor will genuinely help you through every step of the process, including startup and training.
Plus, they’ll be offering ongoing support in all aspects of your business – from marketing to management and beyond.
Discounted Supplies and Equipment
Want to save money on supplies and equipment? Franchising is a great way to do so! Many franchisors give their franchisees discounted rates on most of their products or equipment. You may even find that some suppliers will sell directly to you at wholesale prices, which can add up to substantial additional savings.
Is the Jobs Market Right for Franchises?
As mentioned before, this is a tough economy that doesn’t seem to be getting any better. However, it’s also an ideal time to buy an existing franchise because of this. If you think about it:
- Many businesses are failing or struggling – which means there are many opportunities for great franchises.
- The people who are still trying (or those who have succeeded) know what they’re doing – so they’re not going to sell their business unless they’re sure it’s something worthwhile.
The bottom line is that if you want your own business but don’t want the hassle and financial burdens that come with startup, a franchise may be the perfect solution for you.
How Has the Pandemic Affected Franchises?
The COVID-19 pandemic impacts franchises, but it’s too soon to tell what that impact will be in the long run. Some examples of how franchises have been affected so far include:
- Reservations and bookings are way down for restaurants and hotels – which could mean long-term damage to these businesses.
- Many people are now working remotely, so there is an increased demand for home-based services like laundry, pet-sitting, and more.
In short, it’s still too early to say precisely how the pandemic will affect franchises. However, it’s also too soon to say that you shouldn’t buy a franchise.
Remember, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still millions of people going about their daily lives. This means that there will always be a need for the products and services offered by successful franchises!
Franchise – What Are You Waiting For?
So you’ve decided to buy a franchise. Congratulations! Now it’s time to consider whether your best business option is an existing model or something innovative from scratch. The truth is:
- Buying an existing model gives you instant name recognition, product/service expertise, and more – but can often mean less freedom than starting with a blank slate.
- Starting with nothing may mean less freedom, but it also means you can make your business exactly what you want it to be.
Both choices are good ones. Which is right for you?
Restaurant Franchise? Probably
With all that in mind, here are some significant reasons why now is an excellent time for both prospective and current restaurant owners to invest in a franchise:
1. The pre-covid restaurant sector was thriving.
When covid was first announced, it didn’t remain undetected for very long: the market was too big and diverse, and the timing couldn’t have been better – or so it seemed at least. Technology had made waves across many other industries, but restaurants were still doing reasonably well throughout 2018.
More people than ever reported dining out regularly while they watched what used to be their favourite TV shows streamed online instead. It wasn’t unusual to see lines stretching around city blocks in places like London, with patrons waiting months to get in the door at some of the swankiest eateries.
Industry experts attributed at least some of this success to emerging food trends perfectly timed with covid, yet it still seemed inevitable that even more innovation was on the horizon.
As a result, many companies postponed any plans for expansion until 2020 or beyond – partly because they wanted to satisfy all their existing franchisees first and because they knew there would be no better time coming anytime soon.
The numbers are good enough, so restaurant chains could wait for everything else to fall into place instead of rushing into things.
2. People are planning their return to restaurants.
When covid first hit the market, people initially fled from dining out. Many stopped going out altogether while others tried to go about their everyday lives as if nothing had changed. They still grabbed food on the go when they could or settled for microwavable meals when at home.
Yet, with no covid signals in sight, they eventually began to feel homesick and started returning to their favourite restaurants – regardless of what was going on in the outside world.
Most of them didn’t plan on returning anytime soon. It just happened naturally and gradually after a few months of abstinence. For some people, it simply became too difficult to continue without access.
If they couldn’t find someone online with whom they could share a meal, they couldn’t enjoy themselves nearly as much, no matter how long it had been since they were last there.
3. Government incentives.
As an indirect result of covid, the government has introduced a series of tax benefits and other incentives designed specifically for restaurants. These measures were initially thought to be too little too late – as if they would only serve to prop up an industry that was already on its way out forever.
Yet it now seems almost certain those projections will prove false: now that people are flocking back to their favourite eateries and restaurant chains have begun expanding once again, there’s no telling just how high the numbers could go.
4. A renter’s market for commercial property.
When everyone started leaving restaurants in droves at the beginning of 2019, restaurateurs had to rethink their expansion strategies ASAP: who could they turn to if not existing franchisees? Retailers weren’t interested in leasing space to them anymore, especially since the prevailing wisdom at the time was that new dining establishments would never open again.
Fortunately for restaurateurs, commercial real estate brokers are starting to think differently about their potential customers these days.
It’s still too early to tell whether the market will swing back towards franchisees or new entrants after it recovers from covid, but there are encouraging signs on both fronts – which gives everyone options where none existed before.
There’s no need to rush into anything, even if you’re itching to get started again. Instead, take your time and make sure it’s absolutely what you want before committing.
5. Franchises can be.
Industry insiders have long known that franchising can be a lucrative way to invest in the restaurant sector. Not only do you get the benefit of an already well-tested and successful business model, but you also have a built-in support system that can help you through the inevitable rough patches.
What’s more, franchisors are often willing to be flexible when it comes to things like menu choices and décor – so you’re not locked into a single vision if that’s not what you’re interested in.
The bottom line is that there are plenty of reasons to consider investing in a franchise restaurant even amidst all the chaos going on right now. Yes, some risks are involved, but they’re no different from any other investment opportunity. So take a deep breath, do your research, and get started on the path to owning your restaurant!
So now that I’ve talked about some of the benefits of franchising, let me ask again – why haven’t you purchased a franchise yet? Franchises offer support and guidance through every step of starting up and running your business, which makes them perfect options for people who don’t have years to start their own company from scratch.
And with the current economy, now is the perfect time to invest in a franchise! If you’re still not sure whether franchising is right for you, be sure to check out our other resources on the subject.