Being in a good franchise is so much better than on your own in a small business during COVID-19.

Being In A Good Franchise Is So Much Better Than On Your Own In A Small Business Now 780X660

Being an owner of any business right now is hard, with so many challenges being faced. 

I’m not a franchise business owner. But, I’ve worked very closely with hundreds in varying ways across the years in marketing, field support and operations. 

I’ve been, and still am, a small business owner. 

If I’m truly honest about it, in my first business years ago, I acted with more than a bit of angst after a totally unexpected redundancy, drove me to start a business really fast. 

I had a job one minute, the next it was gone. I was annoyed at my ex-employer, which gave me some emotional fuel to run on, but it was not the best rationale for starting my own venture. 

I ran my own mobile coffee van in 2003-04, working my butt off trying to build my business day in day out. I sold out of it within a year, and luckily recouped at least my initial investment in the van and fit-out of it. 

I exited as I realised it was just not what I wanted to do. At that time, my vision was to build my own coffee empire with what I thought I knew.

I wanted to be big. I wanted to be the big cheese, the guy with all the answers to hundreds of franchise partners across the country in my own franchise network.

I’ve been thinking how hard it would be to be in that same business right now, on my own, and scrambling to find all the answers I need to navigate through this crisis.

A small business of your own can be a lonely place

I saw a story very recently about small business owners feeling anxious, lonely and isolated during the Covid-19 crisis. ‘Hungry, polarised, and seeking answers: Small business owners flock in droves to facebook communities as COVID-19 anxiety reigns’, is the title of the story on SmartCompany, published on 30 April.

The story, as per the title, focuses on small business owners turning to facebook small business groups for support through the crisis. It focuses on one group owner running it as a business now. The story reports that the group in question has seen;

The crisis has driven interaction up exponentially, with about 75% of members engaging daily, up from 30% previously.

Good franchise networks are made for a crisis

Franchises on the other hand, are ready made communities, built for supporting each other in a crisis like this. Of course, they were not designed with a crisis like this in mind - nothing was. 

But, the structures of a good franchise network see’s things like, but not limited to;

  • Regular, researched advice bulletins that are specific to your business,
  • Internal communications platforms already in place, NOT playing catch up to communicate together using Zoom etc,
  • Stronger supply chain management where often being a key larger customer gives a bit more weight to help,
  • Face to face field coaching and support visits, or if not allowed, personalised virtual field support visits,
  • New marketing and product initiatives to react to respond quickly to the market needs and opportunities.

Of course, not all franchise networks are created equal. But, the fundamentals of a good franchise network mean that it is arguably the best possible small business community you can be a part of in this crisis.

It is showing itself to be a crucial lifeline and key support system for so many business owners in the country.

The support being craved in facebook groups is pretty standard in good franchise networks

I was talking to a prominent business coaching franchise recently about how they are going during the crisis, and they told me they have never been in more demand! Yes, small business owners are looking for business coaching, advice and support - looking for connection and guidance on what to do. These are the things franchise owners get within good franchise networks.

And again, in late March, our house was out of toilet paper (like many of us I guess due to the hoarders:-). I’d heard that a Godfrey’s franchise near me had large packs of commercial grade toilet rolls. I went to buy my $32 pack, and told the franchise owner I was involved in franchising, and asked him how he was going atm. He simply pointed to his left and literally said “Here is my franchisor right here with me.” (serving another customer). 

Godfreys And Franchise Buyer

That’s right, Godfrey’s the vacuum cleaner franchise had sourced toilet paper for their network to sell, bringing people in-store. And it’s also not unusual to see a franchise field support manager helping a franchise owner in-store. I see it all the time at franchised cafes and food operators in particular as well.

People proclaiming the end of franchising

I have seen a lot of LinkedIn posts especially over the last couple of years of people pontificating, and taking the position that the franchise business model is irrelevant now. Often, their reasons centre around the fees to be in a franchise not being worth the value received.

Franchising is dying, they’d say. 

They are still saying it, and if anything they are saying it more often during this crisis. And they are entitled to have their opinion.

But, from what I can see, the franchise business model is coming into its own, and is actually reminding us of its value during this crisis.

The End Franchise Buyer Story On Covid 19 Franchise Response