Although we have seen businesses struggling to keep up with the demands that the global COVID-19 crisis has delivered, it’s also important to think about the next steps and what new opportunities will arise from this uncertain situation. When confidence reappears and businesses start to reopen their doors again, there will be a wave of new opportunities.
As the saying goes, "when one door closes, another door opens" and this can be said for the current climate. The recovery could take time and new opportunities could be months away, but the positive thing to remember is that change is on the way. We're headed in the right direction.
We have seen most franchise systems continue to operate and provide products and services to their customers, even through a reduced offering. We’ve seen businesses adapt to new government regulations. We've seen business owners change their entire business model to comply with the social distancing rules that were recently implemented to combat the current health crisis. It's been tough for most small businesses!
Examples can be seen in the hospitality industry where restaurants have completely transformed their services to takeaway and delivery-only options. With this, we’ve also seen franchisors supporting and helping their franchise partners to continue operating in a number of ways, from reducing royalty and marketing fees and assisting with payment and lease deferrals.
Importantly, there are positive stories being published and experienced within the franchising industry. If you are thinking about buying a franchise business, remember that it can take months to formally ‘open’ or ‘launch’ a franchise business, especially with most recruitment processes taking place 'virtually'.
Once an enquiry is made, there is a thorough and in-depth process that needs to be followed before signing the franchise agreement. As mentioned, most franchise sales teams have also transferred their usual face-to-face meetings and processes to a virtual experience, allowing potential franchisees to go through the often-ten-step recruitment process from the comfort of their own home.
As businesses start to recover and people return to places of work, opportunities in franchising will continue to increase. Mike Geddes, Franchise Development Manager at Poolwerx believes that franchise lead generation performances will pick up again in the near future. He reiterated that, “When unemployment is low, leads will rise. We see this as people need to take new business avenues and choose new careers in a time of change. We see that people want to take control of their futures ahead of them, so once the virus settles down I believe that we will see a big spike in leads again.”