Lessons Learned During The Pandemic
We’ve all learned a lot about social interaction and what it takes to keep businesses going during the COVID-19 pandemic. industries from traditional healthcare to meatpacking, have endured difficult protocols and restrictions. Others have weathered the storm much better.
From a franchising perspective, what are the lessons we have learned from doing business during the pandemic?
Examples of Franchises That Have Thrived During the Pandemic
The best place to look for ways to cope with pandemic difficulties is the companies that have been most successful. Here’s a list of successful franchise businesses along with a synopsis of WHY they’ve been profitable in difficult conditions.
7-11 is a perennial success story for franchising, owing to the fact that as of 2020 it was operating 71,100 franchises. They’ve been leaders in dealing with pandemic restrictions, too. They wasted no time hiring extra employees and bolstering sanitary supplies. Their strategy and speed worked so well that their recent profits enabled them to buy out competitors like Speedway.
- Ace Hardware
Perhaps their success is more the byproduct of so many people being under lockdown, but they continue to thrive during the pandemic, nevertheless. Ace Hardware’s progress is largely attributable to a surge in home renovation.
Domino’s was arguably the fastest and most efficient at contactless delivery and carry-out options from the onset. Not only that, but they realized their in-house delivery efforts were insufficient, which led them to cooperate with driving services like Uber Eats. This is a great example of franchise-style innovation and adaptivity; two critical ingredients for success.
Did you notice all the new warning signs on buildings during the pandemic? Somebody had to have made them. FASTSIGNS was one such business that capitalized on that demand. Another huge driver for franchise-business success is the ability to locate demand and fulfill it quickly. FASTSIGNS has over 700 locations making signs, and they’re doing fantastic as a result.
Popeye timed the release of its popular chicken sandwich perfectly. At a time when everybody wanted a quick sandwich-style take-home option (rather than dine-in), they nailed it.
Consumer items like cleaning supplies have also surged during the pandemic. That demand drove Servpro to earn nearly $300 million in 2020.
Making the Best of Tougher Circumstances
Sure, it appears as though some companies just happened to be in the right place at the right time. There are, however, ways to cope with these challenges. Forbes outlines a few silver linings to help businesses stay positive:
- Use this as an opportunity to build deeper work communities.
- Build your team better with creative solutions such as “Virtual Happy Hours.”
- Build stronger business models that include things like curb-side services, more lucrative online interfacing, and live-streaming services.
- Take advantage of better sales processes either with in-person sales expos or virtual discovery days for your franchisee candidates.
- While they last, make use of government relief funding services like the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA).