Resilience in the face of adversity

As a Franchisor, and a business leader, it's so easy to feel deflated from recent years. Becoming ever harder to stay positive, inspire your network and build resilience throughout your franchise.

Resilience in the face of adversity

As a Franchisor, and a business leader, it’s so easy to feel deflated from recent years. Becoming ever harder to stay positive, inspire your network and build resilience throughout your franchise.

This is a vital tenet to creating a successful franchise system, resiliency is the bedrock that creates stability. Especially when faced with a turbulent, rapidly changing economic environment and consumer buying behaviours. How then to remain vigilant, positive and inspire those around you for the coming months…


Is one of easyStorage’s brand values. We hold our values in the highest esteem as they are the measure by which gauge every major decision in our business.

Transparency breeds trust, franchisees don’t want to be lied to, and they don’t deserve to be lied to. In most cases, a franchisee will have had an extensive career outside of your business and will have navigated many of the challenges that you are now facing. Perhaps not a pandemic, but most likely a recession, war and change in economic policy.

All our businesses are navigating those hurdles once more, do not shy away from them. Celebrate what’s gone right (and more importantly, analyse what could have gone better) and lay out the facts in an easy-to-digest format that allows the network to see the challenges faced and the action taken. Be honest, and outline what you and the leadership team will do about it. Franchise councils and forums are a great way to dial network experience into the business, creating open communication streams and appropriate platforms to workshop ideas as a One Team mentality.

Alas, just because you’re a franchisor that does not mean you have a crystal ball or impeccable foresight, however, your franchisees will still want to hear your outlook. Not only will this help franchisees understand what needs to be achieved, but also build trust and greater support for any new initiatives that may be in development. Trust and goodwill can instil a subtle but deeper positivity that balances the difficult news you may be communicating.

I must stress that whilst I write this, I cannot say that we always get it right, communication is a two-way street and often things can get lost in translation or misinterpreted, especially when there is a lot of anxiety and stress about the future of a business. However, transparency of the process reassures all involved that action is being taken for the better of the network.


Another of our values, empathy is often taken for granted and is rarely factored into businesses, which is completely understandable, a business is operated on facts, statistics, reports, and results… Not emotions. The onus on this skill is largely placed on the franchisor, but as with communication, it’s a two-way street. It stands to reason that if you invest time to get to know the people within your network, as well as what inspires them, you may well be better placed to communicate and interact with them for the greater good of your business.

Innovation through tumultuous times is critical to maintaining the competitive edge, in this empathy is essential, not only for franchisees and employees but for our customers too. Creating and developing an empathetic approach to meetings and touchpoints establishes an environment where franchisees feel heard and welcomed. Leading to greater interactions at every level, teamwork, and creating agility within the model.

It’s also important to note that the effect of the last two years has in some cases had a profound and lasting effect on people’s lives, whether that be through their work, business, family, health, or finances. These pressures whether directly visible to colleagues or peers may already be affecting resilience to make critical business decisions. As franchisors, we have a duty of care to our franchisees to ensure they have the support needed to continue their business, but also that they have the mental and physical fortitude to weather some of the strains that are yet to come.

Mental health has become a major player in the modern zeitgeist, and one I’m sure that each of us has had our part to play, whether that be again supporting a franchisee or colleague through a difficult time, or a close friend or family member. The empathy for an individual’s circumstances creates a stronger more resilient platform to support those that need help the most, and one I fear that each of us will need to be mindful of in the coming months.

Lead by Example

Our Franchise still operates its first pilot territory, often a franchisor will sell on this territory to an incoming franchisee, whilst this relinquishes responsibility of an area and creates additional revenue from the incoming franchisee it also relinquishes your ability to lead by example.

Any new initiative that easyStorage enacts in our wider franchise system has first been tested in the pilot franchise territory, this gives our business the ability to test, analyse and hone any decision without putting our franchise partners at risk. It also allows us to put our money where our mouth is, we will never ask our franchisees to partake in something that we haven’t already done ourselves, presenting each franchisee with the pros and cons of enacting any new system or process.

Where this becomes especially important in building resiliency is that you can test high-risk, high-reward strategies that you may not necessarily wish to expose your franchisees to without first testing, as more than anything a failure of these systems in an already challenging period can cause further anxiety in the network.

Whatever the next 12 month brings, resilience to weather the coming storm will be paramount. Trust in your team, your franchisees and your system and don’t be afraid to make the hard decisions… However challenging they may seem at the time.

James Thomas QFP
James Thomas QFP