The Positive Side of Shutdowns, Social Distancing and Franchising
When the new decade kicked off just a few months ago, I didn’t expect it to look like this. Just like 9/11 and the Great Recession, we will roll with the punches. As Napoleon Hill says, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it a seed of an equal or greater benefit.”
I’ve been asked a number of times over the past couple of weeks what will happen in franchising. Just like every other form of business, some won’t make it, some will struggle, and some will flourish. While we are not taking this lightly, it’s not all doom and gloom for the economy. If your situation dictates a change, or you need to diversify your portfolio in an area you can control, the timing could give you some major benefits.
Costs of Business Are Down
Here’s the biggest benefit I see in the current situation: The cost of doing business just dropped significantly. Only a month ago, labor was expensive and competitive. The layoffs just brought a heap of incredible potential employees. The turnover rates will likely decrease as we usually see in slower markets. That’s great news for business owners, and employees are going to be counting on new entrepreneurs to ramp up the job market.
The cost of money is lower, too. Interest rates near 0% and market liquidity means borrowing money is cheap and remains easy to obtain. This is the single biggest differentiator between this potential slowdown and the great recession. Although the market took a hit in the past couple weeks, we are still above the
2017 market which was considered a strong economy, and you’re likely still “up” if you’ve been investing for more than a few years. Now is a good time to diversify and put that money into something you can control.
There are several more financial benefits to consider as well. Real estate costs are going to be lower and easier to find. Marketing costs like pay-per-click advertising are already dropping. The cost of goods and other expenses will likely decrease as well. The cost of doing business is going to make businesses more profitable, and that’s a win for everyone.
Take Back Control
One consistent theme from the people with whom I’ve connected is the feeling of a lack of control right now. There is a lot you can still control, and some industries are thriving. Investors and those with extra time are finding ways to capitalize. With record-breaking layoffs and instability in the job market, some people need to find a “Plan B” to carry them through whatever comes next.
For other people that have some sense of job stability in the short-term, you might be watching your 401(k) and investments declining and looking for a safer place for your funds. Many people are moving their retirement funds into a franchise investment with no early withdrawal penalties or taxes to allow them to control the growth and stability of their nest egg rather than waiting to see if their 401(k) becomes a 201(k) like it did in 2008.
I know some of you have already been laid off, some of you are concerned a layoff is inevitable and some are business as usual. A variety of franchise models allows you to operate on a full-time basis or work around your other commitments as an executive model. The flexibility to work with your situation today as
well as handle tomorrow’s unknowns makes this an attractive option for some people that face uncertainty in their career as well as their portfolio.
Is Now Right for You?
For some, this is not the right time to start a business. For others, your seed of equal or greater benefit may be in launching your next chapter as an entrepreneur, and you have a lot of benefits to striking now. You suddenly have extra time and nowhere to go, so the investigation period will finally fit into your schedule. Most thorough franchise investigations take a month or two before any agreements are signed, leaving you ready to launch when the economy reopens. Many franchise companies are working on ways to help with additional launch incentives like delayed royalties to ensure flexibility with opening.
If you’re not sure if franchising is a good option for you or if the timing is right, and you want to ask questions or get some free, no pressure/no sales/no nonsense advice, we are here to help. We can also send you a free e-book, The Career Transition Guide, to help you learn about your options.
We are praying for your health and that you recognize your seed of equal or greater benefit soon.
Jessica Houston, Franchise Consultant