Franchising Wasn’t Ready for COVID-19. Will You Be Ready for the Recovery?

There’s no doubt that we are facing unprecedented times. While quarantine seems like “the new normal”, the fact is that we will be back to business much sooner than we realize, and we need to be ready. Now’s the time to prepare to rebuild after the storm.

When the pandemic hit, franchisors swung into action to help to ensure that as many of our franchisee partners weather this storm as possible. In addition to some great resources, we’ve seen inspiring creative actions by you as franchisors to keep your operations going. Food-service operations are using the Hub to provide previously sit-down concepts with quick information on partnering with delivery services. Home services concepts are providing policies and scripts for reassuring end customers that services can continue in non-contact ways. You’re providing information on help from the SBA and other sources to help your franchisees weather the financial gap.

Now, it’s time to turn our attention to what happens next. We’re already seeing reports from the first-affected countries that business and travel activities are steadily recovering. It’s time to start thinking about ramping existing business back up, and preparing for the opportunity for franchise sales that happens following economic hardship.

  1. Find ways to expand your business opportunities. If you had some ideas you didn’t try because of the risk that they might not work, now may be the time to try.
  2. Review historic field visits to identify areas where retraining can make a difference.  Use this “downtime” to create the training and certify your owners. The silver lining of slow business is time to build infrastructure.
  3. Prepare your re-opening checklist.  There will be a lot to do when your stores re-open, from sanitizing locations to sales-stimulus programs – now’s the time to clean and devise “back to business” promotions for later this year.

Now that you’ve provided for your franchisees, don’t neglect a little “corporate self-care”. This is a good time to look at your internal processes.

  1. Clean up franchisee data, focus first on your term expiration dates and lease expiration dates because those have the potential to impact revenue downstream.
  2. Look for opportunities to refine your sales process.  Historically, after an event such as this, there’s a surge in franchise sales as people opt for more control over their own economic destiny. Now’s the time to get ready.

You’re there for your franchisees, and we’re here for you. If you’re interested in more resources, Contact Us and we’ll make sure you are on the distribution list for our upcoming resources.