It’s safe to say that no business has escaped the economic devastation brought on by the pandemic. Though some were affected worse than others, COVID-19 continues to alter our everyday lives, the consistent threat of cutting costs or closing and reopening looming overhead.
Despite its many changes, franchising is a resilient business model, and many have been (thankfully) able to thrive during the pandemic. Always ready to make changes to their daily operation and continuously adapting to new circumstances while still providing quality service to its communities, corporate support to franchisors has made resiliency a tangible thing.
Unfortunately, the real impact of the pandemic won’t be felt for years to come. Until then, let’s take a look at the recent changes to the franchise industry in 2020.
Franchises Are Required to be Flexible
It’s not to say that franchises weren’t flexible before, but with the sudden oncoming of COVID-19, businesses responded by becoming innovative, flexible, and ready to adapt. Many revisited their business models, adding incentives and coupons for loyalty during difficult times, visiting their brick-and-mortar locations, and shopping online.
Semi-Passive Ownership Has Increased
Amidst the pandemic, people are looking for ways to diversify their income. One of the rising popular ways to accomplish this is through semi-passive ownership. It’s said to be an excellent strategy for those seeking long-term wealth but requires less resource investment upfront and offers a more manageable work-life balance.
Due to the ease of transmission, the Center for Disease Control called for businesses to revise and ramp up their cleaning protocol and the general public to wear face coverings. Companies created around-the-clock cleaning schedules to reduce the chances of customers getting exposed to the virus. Social distancing, which didn’t exist before COVID-19, was implemented, and signs posted to remind customers and employees alike.
Hours of Operation
When the CDC announced its new sanitation guidelines, many businesses adjusted their hours of operation to allow teammates ample time to properly disinfect high-touch areas and provide customers with the safest overall experience. Employees underwent training on how to identify symptoms of the virus, and if applicable, how to take customer and employee temperatures.
Ad Revenue is Down
The virus resulted in many statewide lockdowns, which completely changed the way we shop. The fear and caution that comes with COVID impacts consumer behaviors, which in turn affects ad revenue. It was a shift felt across multiple industries.
Going Mobile and Virtual
To continue serving others’ needs, many franchise businesses, labeled essential, were required to go mobile or digital. For some who had never considered options like curbside or contactless pick up suddenly became experts at it.
Others, like fitness centers and gyms, switched to offering virtual training sessions and classes to keep the millions of American people engaged and committed to maintaining a healthy lifestyle while being stuck at home.
Those new to franchising got introduced to a wildly different onboarding experience than years’ past. Franchisors host discovery days for new franchisees or those looking to franchise These events are hosted out in the field or in-office. This year, they were moved to virtual experiences, complete with companies pre-recording tours of franchises and holding virtual meetings.
Finding a Way to Be Valuable
Because of the pandemic, customers started to reevaluate their values, placing more emphasis on what they need, and seeing everything else as a luxury or non-essential. Businesses began doing the same, reexamining customer needs and shifting their efforts to help customers understand the value in their products and services.
Hundred Acre Consulting
Are you interested in owning a franchise, but unsure how to do so in the middle of a pandemic? At Hundred Acre Consulting, we will work with you to help you find the perfect franchise for you.
Contact our team at Hundred Acre Consulting, and let’s find you the perfect franchise opportunity.