What a hectic few weeks for all of us, with more to come I am sure. First and foremost, I hope everyone is being safe and smart. I am so thankful for the medical professionals on the front lines of this and can only imagine the stress and worry that it is inflicting on them and their families.
Regarding our industry, at this point I have lost track of how many franchisors I have talked to about what to do next. In my opinion, when we look back on all this it will still just be a temporary unique event that will pass. We need to remind ourselves that although the form of this crisis is new, a national crisis is not a unique event. My advice to our clients is they need to be smart in the near term, but completely shutting down is not the answer. They should continue getting their FDDs updated and should not shy away from registering in the states they want to grow in later this year. Many franchisors are going to freeze, those that prepare for what’s next will be ahead of the game.
They should be exploring the emergency credit facilities the SBA is making available and other moves to keep the lights on to weather this temporary storm. Franchisors should always be playing the long game, and this is the time to really go deep on your faith in your brand and your long term vision. Today’s moves, even at the expense of your profitability and cash, that are able to reassure your franchisees and calm those around you will pay off big over the long haul.
Over the next few weeks we may end up with extra time on our hands, let’s use it wisely to plan for the potential boom in franchising that I am hopeful will come. Since the present is pretty bleak, it should be forcing us to prepare for the future when we come out of this as an industry poised for growth. Don’t forget, franchising does well in recessions. Will you and your brand be ready for what comes next?