As people have more time to reflect upon their careers while we go through a period of high unemployment numbers, there are growing opportunities in franchise and small business ownership, making it the ideal time to consider entrepreneurship.
Franchisees tackled challenging times and modified their business models to stay afloat following the outbreak of the novel coronavirus this spring. Many franchisees turned to the CARES Act, a $2 trillion economic relief package, to keep employees on the books and their stores in business during this unprecedented time. Despite a difficult spring, experts expect franchise sales to rebound as businesses slowly reopen and Americans flatten the curve to conquer the pandemic.
Adaptability has always been a primary focus within the franchise community. When a crisis occurs, the franchisor is already looking at how they can adapt so their franchisees can continue to move forward. This is one of the many benefits of joining a franchise model rather than going into business yourself. You don’t need to figure it all out on your own.
The popular saying about franchising is that you are in business for yourself but not by yourself. Traditionally, the franchise industry has successfully weathered difficult economic times. In my experience, franchisees are innovative entrepreneurs and are prepared to conquer any challenge.
Given the events of the first half of 2020, people may naturally be hesitant about starting a business. Franchisors and entrepreneurs both believe you don’t start a business because of what is happening today. They open a business based on what is expected to happen tomorrow.
Industry experts are forecasting that 2021 will be one of the strongest years ever for franchising, according to Franchising.com. Prior to the outbreak of Covid-19 this spring, the franchise industry was on track to add 232,000 jobs in 2020, growing total employees to 8.67 million, as reported by the International Franchise Association. The number of franchised businesses in the United States was forecasted to grow by 1.5% this year, to a total of 785,316 establishments. While the pandemic changed these estimates, 2021 is still slated to be a boom year for franchising.
Franchising provides a path to self-sufficiency and career ownership that is welcome during times when people are suffering from anxiety over job security. Here are some of the reasons to consider franchising in the coming year:
It’s a chance to make a fresh start.
The pandemic provided many Americans ample time to reevaluate their career path as they navigated teleworking and suffered from worries over layoffs and furloughs. Workers who face what I call “Battered Career Syndrome” have little job security and are being asked to work harder for less reward. Time for reflection is leading many hardworking Americans to take ownership of their careers by fulfilling their vision of self-sufficiency. That process can help people identify their income, life, wealth and equity goals to propel them forward during this difficult time.
Franchisors provide training and support.
Franchising offers entrepreneurs the opportunity to launch a new career with a proven business model. They provide ample training and support, which offers comfort during uncertain economic times. Career ownership coaches can help guide budding entrepreneurs as they begin the discovery process and hold them accountable to their dreams to attain financial freedom.
Funding is easy to access.
Low interest rates and easy access to debt capital make funding your dreams a viable option during this unique time. According to Fundera, the Small Business Administration offers loans with high capital amounts, long terms and low interest rates. Many franchisors have funding solutions for new business owners as well. Experts predict cheaper real estate in prime locations that were not previously available will also help franchising surge next year, according to a report in Global Franchise Magazine. Historically, the government offers special incentives for new entrepreneurs during slow economic times, which experts predict will also help fuel a surge in franchising.
There’s a large pool of potential employees.
The pandemic sent unemployment numbers through the roof. More than 15.2 million people lost their jobs due to the impact of this unprecedented time, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. High unemployment numbers mean new business owners can more easily hire and retain reliable staff.
While we all cope with the dark times, we know there is light at the end of the tunnel. It is during this time that entrepreneurs can start to do their due diligence process, explore their options and, if necessary, speak with a career ownership coach who can help get them on a path to self-sufficiency.