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‘Good time to build for the future’

on Monday, 29 March 2021. Posted in Analysis

Co-owner of Flip Out, Richard Beese, says the current financial climate offer plenty of opportunities for franchisors to grow their businesses.

‘Good time to build for the future’

Co-owner of Flip Out, Richard Beese, says the current financial climate offer plenty of opportunities for franchisors to grow their businesses.

Covid-19 may have been in circulation for more than a year, but it remains an ever evolving situation. And with every passing day, the business landscape is changing. The leisure industry has been badly affected over the past 12 months but we, at Flip Out, remain focussed on the future. We are also extremely positive about the next few months and years.

As I will describe later in this article, there has never been a better time to switch careers and join the world of franchising. Neither has there been a better moment for franchisors to extend their networks. I will outline how lockdown has concentrated the minds of so many people, and will explain why taking the franchise route is an opportunity not to be missed. For those who opt to become a franchisee or a business partner, depending on which description you prefer best, you can benefit by tapping into a proven business model which has been improved and modified over time.

Likewise, if you are already a franchisor, looking to expand your network, the opportunities for growth are immense, whether you want to hire new talent, rent another property, or buy out one of your main rivals. As we slowly emerge from the pandemic, here are five key points to consider. If you want a better work/life balance, or grow your existing network, then read on:

A) Many people seeking a career change

Covid has been incredibly destructive on so many levels. Industries have had to change the way they operate, and their employees have similarly been forced to change their working habits. The daily commute has ended for so many people – some for the better, some for the worse. Yet lockdown has given individuals the time and space to consider their futures, with many opting for a complete career change. And this is where franchising comes in, with many former employees now seeking to become business owners. They want to be their own boss, which has led to an increase in the number of people making enquiries about franchising. News reports are telling us that many people have boosted their savings during the pandemic. Because of lockdown they have saved money on rail tickets, petrol, restaurant bills and general retail – while stuck at home. Others were awarded redundancy packages, so there has never been a better time to attract new franchisees.

B) Improved property opportunities 

Another consequence of lockdown is that the property market suddenly favours those wishing to rent. If your business depends on bricks and mortar, there has never been a better time to strike a good deal. But it may not last forever, so this is the ideal time for franchisors and franchisees to act. So while landlords, for once, need us more than we need them, go and check out the property market. Just one piece of important advice: Make certain your solicitor includes a Covid clause into any lease negotiation. There is always the potential for another lockdown, even the emergence of another damn virus, all of which may curtail your opportunity to trade. Insert a clause that will protect you if this were to happen.

C) Good time to hire top talent

Never lose sight of the fact that companies are always trying to find top quality candidates to employ. This applies to franchisees who need workers, and franchisors seeking business partners. Hiring talented personnel can be costly but usually worth the money. Yet, because of lockdown, and with hordes of people seeking career changes, there are many more high-calibre personnel on the market than ever before. So it’s a great time to go in search of top-notch performers. At other times these people would be difficult to find, hard to attract and costly to employ. But in today’s business climate these people may even accept a drop in salary.

D) Check where you can save money

This is also a good time to make strategic savings across your company. When times are hard, every pound must be justified. Start by looking at all nonessential costs. Chat to suppliers about freezing certain charges, and maybe even suggest that they reduce certain administrative fees while the pandemic is ongoing – or even for just three or six months. It’s in their interests too for clients and customers to remain in business. Be firm and calculated in your approach. Some suppliers and contractors will become more flexible if pressure is applied. But never hide away from what needs to be done. Sensible, honest communication is important.

Make certain you are aware of your insurance rights. Some contracts may even stipulate that you are not covered by interruption to business caused by a virus epidemic. Speak to brokers. They are the experts who may be able to find you lower charges during periods when you are not trading. Read the small print – now. You may be able to call in money owed to you by debtors. But, don’t forget, they are probably also affected by the lockdown. It’s in everyone’s interests to work together and emerge stronger from this pandemic. All businesses should have a common goal.

E) Check out your rivals

Companies are going into administration at an unprecedented rate. As yet, none of us really understand the true damage caused by the pandemic. We may be aware of the personal devastation created by Covid, but we’re still in the dark about the extent of damage inflicted on businesses. The fall out is yet to be assessed fully. Therefore this may, terrible as it sounds, be the perfect time to pounce on a rival and acquire parts of their business. You may even be able to purchase the entire business. However ruthless this is, do it before one of your main competitors gets there first. Prices will probably be favourable too. You will have to act like a vulture, but it may save your own business from crumbling in a few years’ time. It’s all about being the last man or last woman standing, because this will be the person or persons who will reap the greatest rewards.

This article comes courtesy of Flip Out the home of trampoline, adventure & inflatable parks.

Strategic Media Partners