Published April 5, 2020
RESEARCHING IN THE MIDST OF AN ECONOMIC STORM
Doubt, economic uncertainty, fear, anxiety. If you haven’t experienced any of these emotions since COVID-19 flipped our collective worlds upside down then you are the envy of most. This crisis is presenting an unprecedented challenge globally. It’s ok to be worried about the future. Many of us are waiting for or already have received bad news as it relates to our jobs because of this global pandemic. So who in their right mind would even entertain researching a franchise opportunity at this time?
Well for starters, I believe that our current situation will eventually improve. There is much debate on whether these improvements will take 3 months, 6 months or longer. I will not pretend to have a magic crystal ball. The good news is I don’t need one. What I am absolutely certain about is the research involved in selecting a franchise opportunity takes about 3 to 9 months when done properly. Investing in a franchise or any other business opportunity for that matter, is not something that should be taken lightly or rushed into. You will need to perform your due diligence to ensure that the opportunity checks all of your boxes. If you have some extra time while we all are social distancing, now might be the most opportune time for you to start your research. There are a few reasons why getting a jump start on this research is in your best interest.
Location Location Location
I’ll cut right to the chase on this one. Unfortunately, there will be a number of businesses big and small that for a variety of reasons, will be unable to weather this economic storm. In it’s wake will be available commercial space in a tenant friendly environment perfect for lease negotiations. Landlords will be laser focused on getting back to optimal occupancy and will sweeten the deal to get it done efficiently.
Money is Cheaper
Even before COVID-19 interrupted our realities, interest rates were on a downward trend to stimulate economic growth. Lower financing costs can encourage potential borrowers and investors. For you as a borrower entering the market, this means that it will cost less to get a loan for the business you choose. The SBA has some attractive programs that offer the first 6 months free. I could go into more detail here, but this is a topic for another post.
Take Back Control
As employees we have little to no control over business decisions that directly impact our employment. And if you’ve caught the entrepreneurial bug, a recent job change might just be the catalyst needed to finally act on the urge to start your own business.
Assessing Franchisor Response
Part of the research process is learning how the franchise allocates resources to franchisees in need. Performing some research now will give you valuable insight on how they respond and pivot to meet the needs of their franchise partners. Good franchisors have the answers when things are running smoothly. Great franchisors have the answers in the midst of a crisis.
These are just a few reasons to not let today’s circumstances stop you from starting the research process. What are you waiting for? Stay safe, follow the guidelines from available from the CDC (www.cdc.gov) and WHO (www.who.int). Know that we will get through this together.