I think one of the most challenging parts about the pandemic we’re all living through is that nobody really saw it coming, so many people are scrambling to find solutions for this new reality. Franchise opportunities may seem distant but in the franchise world, we’re seeing some verticals like senior care, certain food-service sectors, business coaching, and essential service-based franchises business remaining fairly strong despite having new logistical challenges. For others, they’ve had to deal with unexpectedly closing their doors and all the financial and personal repercussions that creates.
Many businesses are finding ways to quickly adapt to the situation by moving more of their services online, offering new delivery options or finding other ways to offer value and continue to generate income. For better or worse, entrepreneurs are accustomed to problem-solving and thinking on their feet so it’s not surprising to see this kind of innovation taking place.
On my end, we’re having a lot of conversations with clients about the impact of COVID-19 on franchise recruitment. I know it can be confusing to navigate these uncharted waters so I thought it might be helpful to share some of my observations on the topic so far.
In terms of interest and level of response from franchise recruitment advertising and/or outreach, we’re seeing the amount of leads coming in remaining constant or increasing in some cases. I believe that this is due to 2 factors. The first factor is that people have more time to look into opportunities because their work lives may be slower or completely at a standstill. The second factor that I believe is influencing this trend is that many people are taking this time to rethink their lives. That may be because they feel the future of their jobs are now uncertain or because world events have led them to take a moment to pause and consider a new path for their lives. I spoke with one client last week who told me that the prospects he was in discussions with prior to the pandemic are still keen (if not keener) to eventually move forward, despite the fact that this franchise’s locations are currently closed.
It’s been encouraging to see that interest in franchise opportunities is still strong but I suspect that prospects will be more cautious and possibly take more time to make a decision about moving forward with a franchise opportunity. Franchise outreach requires a lot of follow-up and nurturing during the best of times but it’s inevitable that this time of uncertainty will result in some people feeling they need even more time to ride things out before making a new financial commitment. This is a time for franchise salespeople to continue to build relationships now in the hopes of winning business later.
One benefit for businesses that are still looking to promote their franchise opportunities via digital marketing is that advertising costs are coming down due to the decrease in competition. According to Social Media Today’s analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on social media advertising, “with competition for the same audience lower, you’ll inevitably see lower operating costs (CPC, CPMs) […], thus making your spend even more impactful.”
Another consideration with franchise recruitment outreach during this period is how to adjust your messaging in a way that is sensitive to the current state of affairs. We’ve been making tweaks to some of our campaigns to address that. For example, adding a line in an outreach campaign that says something like “we know this is a challenging time for many people but if you’re curious about this opportunity for the future and would like to ask us any questions, we’re happy to jump on a call.” We’ve found people to be quite responsive to this approach and it’s a lot more thoughtful than trying to sell to people without even addressing the situation.
Those are just a few thoughts and tips I’m hoping will shed some light on the world of franchise recruitment right now. Feel free to reach out with any feedback you may have on this topic – or anything else you’d like to chat about for that matter
Stay safe and healthy,