Forbes Coaches Council

How Franchisors Have Helped Business Owners Through The Pandemic

The last couple of months have certainly been challenging for everyone, but if there is a bright spot in the business world, it may be found in the self-sufficiency offered through franchising.

For much of my adult life, I’ve argued that franchising is one of the best vehicles for individuals to achieve their income, lifestyle, wealth and equity goals because of how people from different backgrounds around the country and world can end up working together to create a business model that works for everyone. It’s that whole mantra that you are stronger when you work together.

If you are wondering if franchising is an area worth pursuing, you may want to consider how franchisors have helped support their franchisees in the last few months.

Franchisors have helped communicate key guidelines.

Business owners have so many responsibilities that it can be hard to keep up at times. Sometimes what you don’t know — especially if it involves a local or state law — can hurt you. But when you’re a franchisee, you have somebody who can help pick up the slack, and that’s been especially helpful in the last few months.

Christine Specht, CEO of Cousins Subs, told that the franchise’s president had “taken on the role of main communicator with our franchisees.” As she explained, “He’s the clearinghouse for communicating with them about new restrictions, legislation, etc. Franchisees don’t have the time to sift through all that, and he’s being as consistent, reliable, and factual at updating them as he possibly can.”

Cousins Subs, it should be noted, has also reduced, deferred and even halted some fees.

Franchisors have facilitated the sharing of best practices.

The great thing about any franchise is that as it expands, the company as a whole becomes smarter. If you have five capable people who are franchisees, you may have a smart business model, but if you have 500 franchisees, you have far more brainpower to draw upon — and that can come in very handy during a global pandemic.

As Brandon Solano, CEO of Rave Restaurant Group, which owns Pie Five Pizza and Pizza Inn, told, “We’ve maintained an open dialogue with our franchisees. Some have brought great ideas to us that are working for their location, and we’ll communicate those to the rest of the system.”

He gave the example of one franchisee who put up some simple yard signs and banners letting everyone know the business was still open for takeout and delivery. Solano says that the Rave Restaurant Group sent out word to all of its franchisees, along with “print-ready assets” that the individual franchisees could set up immediately.

“Another franchisee put up a tent in his parking lot and sold pizzas from there for certain lunch and dinner hours, creating a makeshift ‘drive-thru’ for added convenience for guests,” Solano said.

That’s the wonderful thing about franchising: the sharing of ideas. There are times when franchisees disagree with decisions that the franchisors make, and that has certainly happened in the last few months. But overall, the franchise model allows people to operate their businesses the way they want within the franchise systems that they purchase.

As the popular franchising mantra goes, “You are in business for yourself, but not by yourself.” Franchise owners have someone watching their backs. Given the events of the past several months, that seems more important now than ever.