Put infrastructure in place now to reap the rewards.
From a franchise sales perspective, experienced franchise companies understand that recessions generally benefit franchisors. Typically, the combination of the higher unemployment levels of more qualified candidates, increasing availability of real estate locations, and better available capital (as generally happens in an improving economy versus a recessionary environment) presents an exit from the economic downturn.
We now see a post-COVID boom on the horizon that will be the biggest economic expansion since World War II in most parts of the world. Every franchise CEO we talk to has domestic and international growth in mind. The business world and most franchise businesses have been forced to change through the pandemic downturn. We are confident that there may be more change to come; however, some franchise leaders are still worried about beginning to invest in their future franchise system growth.
The time to start building is now. We have identified three imperatives, as a part of our “playbook for growth” that franchisors need to focus on implementing as they think about their future. Each of these is fairly simple to implement but critical to the successful growth of your company.
1. CHOOSE YOUR FRANCHISEE CAREFULLY
Identify and highly qualify your target franchisees from your candidate group. Remember that candidate qualification is 1) Objective – seeking certain candidate skills, 2) Subjective – the candidates’ values, personality, and personality fit for your company, and 3) Candidate capital oriented.
You are looking for franchise candidates that will build a profitable business for themselves and provide high, sustained royalty profits to the franchisor, over time. This requires that you are committed to objectively evaluate each franchise candidate you work with.
2. ALIGN YOUR RESOURCES
Many franchise companies reduced (or eliminated) their investment in franchise development through the pandemic. It’s now time to start investing in your expansion and future success.
Build the capabilities that will enable your company to be the best competitor in your category. Stretch yourself and use this opportunity to upgrade your systems, technology, processes, and most importantly, your development staff. You need to identify your own best practices and use that knowledge to improve your development processes to achieve franchise industry “best practice”.
3. MANAGE YOUR ORGANIZATION
It’s time to reset the organization’s expectations. You need to begin to shift from a “defensive” stance focused on managing and protecting your system going through the pandemic to a growth mindset.
Better days are ahead. Given the lead times to hire staff for development, put the infrastructure in place for growth. Implement market initiatives and a longer sales cycle which includes greater candidate due diligence for both the prospective franchisees and the franchisor. In today’s heterogeneous markets, franchise companies need to begin the act now to capitalize on an improving economy.
AT A GLANCE
Main HQ: Arizona, U.S.A.