Whether you are an employee or business owner the universal business plan this year is to Pivot into strategies that can get you through the current market and set you up for easier times in the future.
The most common pivots right now center on how to best to provide service to customers and what products or services do customers need.
Some of the greatest innovations in face to face customer service have come from restaurants and gyms. I have many friends that operate these businesses today and from the earliest news they were planning and adjusting to meet the challenge.
A deep list of cleaning, sanitizing and technology all coupled with spacing out customers, setting up outside classes or dining.
One restaurant owner I just spoke with built amazing tented cabanas that are now the most popular seats in his restaurant and when things get back to normal give them 50% more seating, and revenue. On top of that they created a carry out program that replaced their entire dine in revenue when they couldn’t allow customers in, then they brought back dine-in and are doing fantastic!
Once past the current challenges their business is now much bigger without much added cost.
Just this morning a friend took an outdoor class with a major gym brand and said she really loves those outdoor classes.
Another Fitness brand is getting rave reviews online for their new class program and customers are coming back in droves. More importantly the online class platform they rolled out has brought in tens of thousands of customers that had never attended a class in their brick and mortar locations before. Now they are potential new members.
A restaurant concept I have sent candidates to has been opening new units all year, and they are thriving!
So, operators are actively stabilizing, adapting and working their models. Their goal right now, simply to get to the other side when things normalize a bit. At that time, they will have new revenue streams that they have created and maybe more raving fans.
But, what do customers want right now?
Or more importantly, if you are in the middle of a franchise search, what should you be looking at right now to replace a job you lost or are unsure of it being there this time next year?
First of all, there are NO franchises that I am aware of that only have a market during the current virus challenge. So, we are good there. But our question becomes what has strong demand now, strong demand later and is less likely to be impacted by economic or other events like what we are in right now?
Core essential services would be an interesting target. These are the things that a business or consumer needs regardless of what is going on with the stock market.
Think about your time at home or around the office, what are the things that must work? This may lead you to categories like (but not limited to) Air conditioning, heat, plumbing, internet, technology, trash removal, roof, doors, windows, insulation, security.
As you are in your home or work space and have a little extra time what things might you want to update for looks, functionality or cost savings? That could be painting, kitchen renovation, storage, garage floor, insulation, pool services, concrete and much more.
Let’s also not forget categories like tutoring, teaching, child or senior care, dog walking or pet sitting as services that help you break away to do your job when you have family in your house that needs to be taken care of.
As a very unscientific estimate I would guess that there may be more franchise companies growing right now than shrinking. The key is in how you pick your next move.
For a number of years, the industries that would impress your neighbors at a neighborhood cookout were growing like crazy. Food and fitness, to name a couple, have had great runs of growth and they will again, but for the moment they are in improvise, adapt and overcome mode.
If you can get past the need for your neighbors to be super excited about the business you are bringing to their local shopping center then those core services can offer very compelling business strategies.
Now it is time to decide if we will set this business up as a safety net semi-absentee business that you transition in to as it ramps up, only transition in if you lose your job or if you will go into full time from day one. And we should give some thought to what the long-term empire building plan might look like.
With the right focus there is almost always a strategy that you can use to grow your empire. Focus on needs that always exist and you will find a long list of opportunities that you can take advantage of in any market.
What will your success story be?
Let’s go find it!
George Knauf is a highly sought after, trusted advisor to many of the top franchise ownership groups in the world. With over 25 years of experience in both start-up and mature business franchise operations he is uniquely qualified to advise individuals that have dreamed of Building their own empires. Whether you have an existing portfolio or searching for your first franchise, he can help you to pursue your dreams. Contact the Franchising USA Expert, George’s Hotline: 703-424-2980.