How are you and your family? I hope you’re well and that you’re adjusting to these challenging times, which seem to be altered daily. First and foremost, please reach out to me if I can provide you or your business any endorsements, advice, referrals or recommendations. And I am deeply familiar with all of the CARES Act and SBA programs available to small business, so let’s talk if you need help understanding any of it. I have some extra commentary today, I hope you will stick with it.
The good news is that this challenge will find its end. Sometime soon. We don’t know exactly when and we’re not sure what it will look like, especially for small business. But it will run its course. Every crisis does. Just as change is inevitable, so is equilibrium. Every day that passes brings us closer to a new equilibrium. While every industry is impacted differently, they will also recover differently. Some that did not dip as much may not have as much pent up demand upon return to normal business.
There are many reasons why starting a business seems absurd right now. I get it. We can all come up with reasons. However, there have always been a ton of reasons not to start a business. Since you’re in this for reward, look for the reasons TO start a business. In the long run, don’t you expect there will be more recessions, shocks and blips in the economy? So if we are correct about that, then when should you enter the market, whether for stocks or starting a business–at the top or at the bottom? It always requires due diligence and a carefully considered plan. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore every opportunity.
These comments are just food for thought as we all process this current situation and contemplate our future moves. Now is not the best time for many otherwise qualified candidates to start a business. But there are reasons why it’s arguably the best time ever to contemplate a franchise business if you or someone you know is in transition, was already frustrated in their current career, or looking for something else that could provide a high level of financial control once our societal and economic equilibrium again reveals itself.
Business design. Some things aren’t going away, and many franchises provide essential services. Not every business is going to shut down. Cleaning surfaces of all kinds may take on a new value to many. Pets and people still need to eat. Plumbing lines still need to be … plumbed. HVAC still needs to work. Backyard pools will be opened and enjoyed. Mosquitoes will continue to wage their battle against us… and many more.
Accessibility. Many franchisors have already altered their systems to fully accommodate virtual research efforts. It was mostly virtual, to begin with, but now it’s never been more streamlined to enjoy meaningful conversations with franchisors and franchisees, from “Hello” to a decision of “Yes” or “No.”
Availability. Several of my candidates who are no longer permitted to fly around the country all week have expressed how easy it now is to complete a lot more franchise research on their desired timelines. Formerly engaging in just 1-2 hours of research weekly, it’s easier now to invest a worthwhile 5-20 hours of valuable research weekly with franchisors and franchisees.
Timing. Searching is not committing… it’s just a path to a decision. Some candidates have in their minds that they can have an in/out decision in two weeks. That’s not the case. Anyone can say “No” in a heartbeat; however, my candidates typically work with me for 3 to 4 months to achieve the level of knowledge to say “Yes” to a franchise without remorse. The fat part of that bell curve is 2-3 months from “Hello” to “Yes.” That means the people to whom I introduce franchises in March will trend to make “Yes” decisions over the Summer and to begin operations at a point of their choosing thereafter. Now is a great time to use your time wisely in this endeavor.
Access to Capital. Lending has opened up. This isn’t like during the Great Recession when the banks said, “leave us alone” and shut down lines of credit. Currently, access to capital for business endeavors that put employees to work is the best I’ve ever seen it.
Access to Quality Labor. Since it takes a couple of months to “get to Yes,” and then it takes several weeks to engage in training or several months to open up your commercial space, my candidates who begin their research this month will be opening for business later this year for a service-related business, and likely sometime next year for retail storefront businesses. Again, these are general timelines, but if we’re being honest, there could be more talented people available to hire. I greatly look forward to business owners solving the dip in employment.
Franchising may or may not be for you, but it might make sense now to figure that out. If you have an interest and you’ll invest some time and thought, I guarantee we’ll have real, worthwhile conversations.
I wish you safety and health during this period. Look out for your family and your neighbors. May we all get through this and find simpler days ahead. And don’t hesitate to reach out to me if I can be of any assistance to you–whether an endorsement, recommendation or referral, I believe in paying it forward for my network at all times.
David Busker is the Founder of FranchiseVision and a Franchise Consultant with FranChoice, the premier national network of franchise consultants. David helps candidates exploring franchise ownership to set their criteria and then matches them with the perfect franchise. Learn more about David at FranchiseVision.
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