'Macro' things a franchise can do right now to grow

In a challenging market, good franchise brands are, or should be, ticking these things off.

The latest quarterly pulse check survey on the Australian franchise sector certainly captures the falling confidence and fatigue being experienced across the broader small business sector. 

We know that many franchisors are feeling frustration and running on depleted energy levels, just like their franchisees. However, we also know from surveys and the hundreds of ensuing conversations that many franchise systems have used this period to set themselves up for growth. Some of the ways they have been investmenting for tomorrow's success include:

Franchisee Support With Franchise Buyer

Franchisee support 

Quality franchise systems have always invested heavily in supporting their franchisees. They know the success of their franchisees is inextricably linked to their own success. 

The pandemic provided multiple proof points of that support being delivered when franchisees needed it the most. Negotiating with landlords, assistance in accessing government support programs, navigating health regulations, advice on approach to PPE and forms of financial assistance are all examples of simple but invaluable support mechanisms in play.

Franchise Lender Relationships On Franchise Buyer

Lender Relations

Active franchise lenders have been impressed with the actions of many franchisors during a hectic period of loan deferrals and special arrangements.

The better franchise systems have been on the front foot; 

  • Proactively contacting lenders, 
  • Informing them how they are supporting the broader network, 
  • Providing examples of specific support for the most vulnerable in their network, and 
  • Giving the contact details of key personnel to provide information or assistance if needed with individual issues. 

Lenders have long memories. 

Respectful, constructive and loss-reducing interactions have been well received and will be long remembered.


While there have been winners and losers during the pandemic, there has been a lot of evidence that those brands that have or continue to invest in innovation, have out-performed. 

Establishment and enhancement of online ordering platforms, facilitating 'click and collect', drive-through capability and agility with COVID product and service offerings, have all contributed heavily to being open for business or tapping new income streams.

Innovation For Franchises On Franchise Buyer

Pursuing a franchise recruitment (sales) edge 

While some of the traditionally strong franchise recruitment channels like expos and face to face activities have been interrupted, we have seen a number of brands investing heavily in their digital presence. They've been doing this through maximisation of their social media presence and investing in video and related mechanisms, that bring the appeal of their opportunity to life for prospective franchisees.

Others have invested in independent and external assessments of the relative strength of their franchise systems in an effort to achieve a point of differentiation.

While different approaches work better for different brands and many uncertainties remain, it seems pretty clear that tomorrow’s best growth returns will come from the investments of today.