What a year it’s been.
It’s been absolute chaos on so many levels - and it’s not over yet.
The reality of the pandemic - as well as the fear of what was to come - hit me in early March when I attended an investment conference. The three-day conference was held in Dallas and was set to be a good time. I was excited to see the new deals, meet new people and connect with old friends.
But because of COVID fears and travel restrictions, many people never made it.
The impacts started hitting my franchise clients as well - I advised a few that they needed to cut costs wherever they could...including the coaching fees they were paying me.
Just as the severity of the virus has varied from person to person, it has impacted businesses differently as well. I saw some clients go from full steam ahead to a screeching halt as stay-at-home orders forced their businesses closed. Others - especially franchisors in the cleaning and sanitizing space - saw their businesses surge.
IFA & Community Support
One of the most impressive things I saw during this time, was the support of the International Franchise Association (IFA), which really stepped up to help franchise owners. Not only did they generate a great deal of informational content for its members that they then made available for free to the general public, but they were at the table to make sure the franchising industry was well taken care of when the PPP/Cares Act was put into place.
Likewise, they were at the front end of providing information about government programs to ensure business owners (whether they were IFA members or not) knew how to take advantage of the programs they needed.
I saw similar support come from my clients as well. All of them provided their franchisees with a consistent stream of information through articles, videos and webinars to ensure they had the information they needed to keep their businesses running. I saw many franchisors sharing information with each other, as well.
And while it’s been nice to see the level of support and teamwork, it’s not surprising. Franchising has always been a community that takes care of its own and helps each other succeed. THAT’S the core advantage of joining a franchise organization - in franchising you’re never alone.
I, for one, am trying to do my part as well. Instead of doing in-person events, I’ve pivoted and have made a keynote video series to help franchisees make the most of their investment. I’m also providing more information on my blog and social media channels than ever before.
This pandemic is far from over. I encourage you to stay vigilant and stay healthy. We need to do everything we can to get through this together. If you’d like to connect and share ideas, please reach out to me anytime.