Franchise exploration

Why is NOW the Best Time to Consider Franchise Exploration?

Why is NOW the Best Time to Consider
Franchise Exploration?

As a franchise coach, this question has consistently topped the list of those I receive the most from clients. “Now” usually refers to a particular point in a client’s career or life – typically people in their 50s and 60s – either in transition or contemplating an exit strategy out of corporate for the next chapter in their life. 

But since the pandemic started in 2020, the word “now” has taken on additional and significant meaning. The many uncertainties of COVID have frozen some people into inaction or “safe” moves, while others are ready to make bold changes in their lives. 

As an entrepreneur myself, I always see the possibilities in risk. That’s a big part of why I love the franchising world: the risks are carefully analyzed, and the opportunities are diverse and plentiful. 

And this is especially true today! Even with all the ups and downs of the pandemic, franchising offers a wider range of benefits to new business owners through these uncertain times than most other entrepreneurial options out there. 

Here are some of the top reasons that now is a great time to consider franchise exploration. (I say “exploration” because the focus is not on investing, but rather on exploring and learning to see if it’s the right fit for you and your family.)

Franchising aligns with our renewed emphasis on life-work balance



 

The challenges of COVID have prompted many of us to re-evaluate and strive to improve our life-work balance. Through every crisis we have faced, we’ve learned the importance of taking care of ourselves, both physically and mentally – and we are more committed than ever to making time for wellness, as well as for all the things that bring us joy.

Franchising attracts entrepreneurs seeking both financial security and schedule flexibility – which is often tough to find in the corporate world. While the idea of business ownership might elicit thoughts of working 24/7, this is rarely the case in franchising. Franchises are proven concepts, so there is little to no guesswork for new owners – saving time, money, and energy. The start-up items that typically take time to develop, such as branding, systems, and procedures, are already established – allowing you to breathe easier from day one.

This is not to say that there isn’t hard work ahead on the franchising path, but rather, that you hold the reins on that path. And because that path has been cleared and paved for you by the franchisor, it’s a journey that offers the autonomy, financial stability, and the flexibility to do all the things you’re passionate about in life. 

The franchise world is thriving

In 2021, franchising is projected to open more than 26,000 locations, add nearly 800,000 new jobs, and contribute $477 billion to the US GDP. An outlook this positive is a rarity through today’s challenges – and a testament to the resilience of the franchise world and network. As a matter of fact, in times of previous economic recoveries, franchising expanded faster than overall GDP – due in part to the franchise model’s unique structure that allows for faster hiring, rapid business openings, and more stable performance than independent businesses.

In 2021, franchising is projected to open more than 26,000 locations, add nearly 800,000 new jobs, and contribute $477 billion to the US GDP. An outlook this positive is a rarity through today’s challenges – and a testament to the resilience of the franchise world and network. As a matter of fact, in times of previous economic recoveries, franchising expanded faster than overall GDP – due in part to the franchise model’s unique structure that allows for faster hiring, rapid business openings, and more stable performance than independent businesses.

To be transparent, many franchises were impacted by COVID, such as restaurants and certain personal services requiring face-to-face interactions. However, these impacts were outpaced by the significant growth in both existing and new concepts. Consumer demand has generated a boom in categories like home improvement, property management, senior care, boutique fitness, and a wide range of services that the internet can’t touch. (For example, Amazon isn’t going to help you cut down a tree in your yard or paint your house!)

A thorough franchise exploration (one that aligns to your unique life goals and interests) can help you identify the best concepts for consideration – franchises who have proven they can adapt and pivot successfully through a changing consumer environment.

During challenges, franchisees are not alone

The most successful franchises share this common trait: the franchisor treats their franchisees as partners and cares about them as much as they do their own businesses. Support comes in many forms, from ongoing training and resources, to direct support through challenges, to pure brand name recognition that keeps you at the top of consumers’ lists.

Franchisees can also rely on each other. In times of challenge and economic downturns, the added support of an established and successful community of like-minded franchise owners offers value beyond measure – from best practice sharing to network building.

Franchise exploration in today’s environment allows you to connect with other franchisees to learn what their experience was like with a franchisor in the midst of a crisis. (The pandemic has shown us the true character and value of many things in our lives, from our personal relationships to the companies we work for – and the same is true in the franchise space.) Open, candid discussions with other franchisees can help paint a picture of the support you can expect from the franchisors that interest you – to ensure that even though you are in business for yourself – you are never by yourself.

The bottom line...

The challenges of the pandemic shouldn’t be a deterrent to exploring new career pathways, but rather, an inspiration for taking action!

And speaking of inspiration, here’s a client story that ties together all of the reasons listed above to consider franchise exploration… 

Within the last year, a client in her late 50s came to me during a critical time of career transition. Previously a VP at a large healthcare player, she had been out of work for about 9 months. 

She still had gas left in her tank, but felt strongly that she didn’t want to return to a corporate role. At first, she hadn’t considered franchising, but after participating in a roundtable discussion where I shared some of the benefits of the franchise world, she was intrigued. 

After many discussions and a deep dive into her needs and interests, she decided to pursue an opportunity in boutique fitness, and she currently runs three successful locations. And most importantly, she’s living the life she always wanted for herself.

This story – and so many others like it – are why I love what I do, especially today. It has always been rewarding to help clients figure out what they want out of life (and how to make it happen), but those silver linings mean even more through today’s challenges. 

So, here’s to all those silver linings – particularly those that bring you closer to your goals, the things you’re passionate about, and a life you love.