Historically, tumultuous times offer the greatest waves of opportunities for entrepreneurs. The needs of businesses and consumers change in ways that are not always served in the prior months or years.
It is a common inclination among many people to hunker down, hide and get very conservative when markets are undergoing challenges or change. Doing that may ensure you miss the greatest opportunities in years.
Yes, there are some challenges in the market today, but there are challenges in every market. If challenges stop you from growing, you will never take the steps to realize your goals.
When you run into something that causes you to pause, what you are often missing is information that will help you choose a path that may get you through or around that issue. By simply seeking out that information, you will be outperforming many potential competitors in a market.
This is why opportunity is limited when the market is good. The path is clear and easy, so everyone is willing to jump in and play. The field ends up being crowded, the costs are higher, employees are hard to find, real estate is scarce and expensive, and more businesses are dividing up the rewards.
When times are more challenging the competition thins out, cost of doing business often goes down, and customers are very appreciative that you were there to serve them.
While we don’t know what will happen with the employment scene or the stock market over the coming year or two, we do know that we can identify specific needs that consumers and businesses have, no matter how challenging the market gets. Both have wants, things that they would pay for out of disposable income, but we may want to hold off on those and focus on needs for now.
Keeping in mind that businesses are not like jobs, in the sense that you can have more than one at a time, we should also focus on portfolio building over time. This is far better than looking at just one brand. With this diversified approach we can build an empire that fills the needs of customers in both strong markets and more challenging ones.
As you look at franchise options, imagine the customer for that business. Are they buying in both strong and challenging markets? What motivates them to buy? Is it need-based categories like food, shelter, health or safety?
We all have to live, eat and work. All of the core services we have always relied on—like plumbing, heating and air conditioning, locksmiths, windows, garage doors, roofing and cleaning services—are still core services today. Some are even more in demand.
I have talked to franchisors and franchisees as well as our past candidates about this. I can tell you that there are very identifiable pockets of activity, even growth, in our current economy. They cross into every category, even food and retail businesses.
The focus, however, has narrowed. You want certain brands. Not all brands have stepped up to the challenge. Doing your homework can help you narrow the field. Reading this is a start. So can calling someone like me that has been in the arena for decades.
It isn’t just the franchise owners growing in their local communities. National franchise brands are growing fast as people are looking for ways to advance their careers in ways they can control. Employees simply don’t feel very secure in their jobs anymore. When they are confident they have the skill sets they need to succeed, they want to put them to use building their own empires, not someone else’s.
We are moving into a period with potential for a massive shift from corporate employment to self employment or franchise ownership. This shift may be compounded by current market conditions. Franchisors, lenders and other industry support professionals are all ready to keep up.
If you have good experience in management, sales or other operational skills, then you may be an outstanding candidate to be the CEO of your own franchise empire!
Look for the underserved gaps in your market, do your homework, seek advice, don’t worry what your neighbors think of the business and most of all, be sure the role of the owner is a great fit for you. The current market will improve on the horizon, opportunities for great team members, fair priced real estate, and much more will abound. It is always a good time to be looking at core services.
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.