This article was featured in the May issue of Franchise Dictionary Magazine.
Keep Calm and Carry On
A few years ago I visited London with my wife and kids and one of the highlights for me was our visit to Churchill’s War Rooms. In this time of uncertainty and stress, it calms me to think about what others have endured and overcome. When things happen that are completely out of our control, all we can control is how we react.
As for many of you, in the strong pre-Covid economy, 2020 was shaping up to be a banner year for our firm. We were just about to launch a new national marketing initiative for our monthly flat-fee model for franchisors when the world came to a screeching halt. My initial reaction was frustration, anger and even a bit of sadness for what could have been. But, as a small-business owner and leader, you must press on. The world changed – if you don’t change with it and adapt your thinking, you will be a casualty of the calamity instead of a front-runner in the recovery.
Those of you who have read my columns before know that I always advise playing the long game. Now more than ever, franchisors need to play the long game and anticipate what the business world will look like when things start to open up again. I am writing this article in early April, quarantined in my home office and hopeful that these are the darkest days. As spring turns to summer and we head into fall, no matter how slow or fast things open up, the world will be different. The franchisors who have continued to forge ahead, update their FDD, move discovery days to Zoom meetings and generally face this new reality head-on, will be positioned to excel when franchising enters what hopes to be a strong growth phase in 2021.
Franchising is a counter-cyclical business that grows in most recessions. When their six-figure corporate jobs don’t come right back, many people will be revisiting their past dreams of business ownership. You are either making the decisions or someone is making them for you. In an era where security and control will drive critical decisions, many will come to realize that owning their own business is still the best way to exert control over their own destiny.
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