Despite the overall feeling of gloom in the economy and with the coalition government beginning to show the plastered over cracks (well done, Vince) franchising has had a pretty good year.
I’ve always said that a decent recession is always good for franchising.
A recession tends to push people out of employment through redundancy, often with some kind of payout in their hand. If it’s happened a couple of times before people start to think, ‘I don’t want this to happen again’ and decide to take control by going into business for themselves.
I’ve also said that franchising is a natural balance in an economy, the bridge, if you like, between corporate world and the highly risky and precarious position of being ‘self-employed’.
But what made 2010 so good?
Well, there was an influx of new franchisees into the system… albeit, it took a bit of time getting them through bulging franchise pipelines, what with the banks still not lending to small businesses and all…
Oh, sorry, I forgot, banks are lending aren’t they? Or so they tell us by wheeling out regular facts and figures about the money they’ve lent. On the ground, though, I know it’s still very difficult to get credit.
Anyway, enough ranting about banks.
Pipelines have bulged, but franchisees are now getting through, which means 2010 was a pretty good year for franchise recruitment.
A really worthy winner took top prize in the BFA’s Franchisor of the Year awards… and it seems as though franchisors are following the winner’s suit by properly systemising their businesses so that franchisees have a process to follow.
More and more businesses are seeing the benefits of franchising, although not all are really ready for it yet. The good thing is, though, that by setting up their own businesses as franchises with systems and processes to follow will make them more efficient and profitable, even before they take on board any franchisees.
So, all’s well in franchise world in 2010.
Well, yes and no.
2011 is going to be an important year in franchising. As economic conditions slowly ease franchise recruitment should continue to increase, especially if public sector redundancies begin to kick in. Many franchisors have already set themselves challenging recruitment targets for the coming year.
Generally, this is a good thing, as long as the right infrastructures to support hugely increasing networks are also put in place. Otherwise, we have disaster.
Franchisors won’t be able to give franchisees the help they need to create really successful businesses (and I mean really successful, not just ‘surviving’), franchisees will get disgruntled and leave the industry with complaints, litigation increases and franchising is set back ten years.
So, 2011 could be a good year and I’m sure recruitment will go well. But let’s make sure networks are properly supported so 2012, 2013, 2014 and beyond are also goo.
Happy Christmas everyone. Have a great break, leave your mobiles at work (impossible, I know…and advice I don’t take, either), switch off your routers, unplug PCs and come back in 2011 refreshed and ready to face the challenge.
Doctor Richard says, ‘That’s an order!’