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Opportunities for Savvy Franchise Entrepreneurs in the New Year

Opportunities for Savvy Franchise Entrepreneurs in the New Year

2020 is almost over and 2021 is right around the corner. If you’re a small business owner, this year may have felt like a full decade! As we look ahead to the new year, there are many opportunities facing franchise businesses and the franchise industry as a whole. Some of this year’s obstacles for small business owners will linger through the beginning of 2021, but these challenges will open doors for savvy entrepreneurs to capitalize.


Restaurant owner working at table

Rapidly Changing Conditions

You’ve probably had to make plenty of quick adjustments to your operations this year. Between CDC guidelines, local and state restrictions, and the dynamic nature of coronavirus hotspots, it can be a lot to keep up with.

As circumstances shift, it’s important to stay flexible and be ready to implement procedures on short notice. Take stock of what worked this year, what didn’t work, and determine ways to optimize your policies. This can include staffing, store capacity, supply chains, and anything else you found yourself needing to adjust in 2020. Staying on top of your local Covid situation and keeping contingencies in place will be a great way to avoid unnecessary risks and costs in 2021, which will ultimately boost your bottom line.


Man Using Sanitizer in Business

Community Safety

Human capital has been an issue for retail businesses throughout 2020. Some of these hurdles will linger through the new year. Despite understandable coronavirus concerns in retail sectors, there are signs pointing to businesses overwhelmingly doing a good job of protecting workers and making them feel safe. For instance, a majority of polled workers who are working in-person and frequently interacting with others are satisfied with the steps their employers are taking to protect them from the virus.

Brick-and-mortar franchise businesses in particular stand to make big gains from coronavirus vaccinations and an eventual return to regular social movement and traditional shopping. This is especially true of restaurants and retail stores, both of which have measurable pent-up demand among consumers.

Customers already eager to return to in-person shopping, provided businesses are taking proper Covid measures. Per a recent survey from Square and Wakefield Research, most consumers would feel safe shopping in a physical store this holiday season.

Keeping people safe is an excellent opportunity for business owners to not only do the right thing, but to generate goodwill and differentiate themselves from competitors in the new year.


Mobile Pay

New Consumer Preferences

You’ve probably noticed a huge uptick in the use of technology for shopping this year, even as many in-person options have returned. The U.S. has seen a 20% increase in preference for contactless operations! Pivoting online used to be a suggestion, but it’s now essential for many businesses.

Services like delivery and mobile payment have become part of our everyday lives, and many of these habits are expected to stay, even after regular in-person shopping has returned; per a recent Accenture report, consumers are adapting well to new shopping technology, which is great news for business owners willing to adapt to these changing preferences.

Customers have also shown an increased willingness to open marketing emails, and to engage with businesses on social media. Adapting to these new consumer habits presents an excellent opportunity for business owners to reach new customers and better serve existing customers – by adapting to these new consumer habits, through 2021 and beyond.


The Big Picture

Among franchisees and franchisors, resiliency was a theme throughout the year. The franchise industry is a supportive ecosystem with many advantages over non franchise businesses. Having the freedom of small business ownership and resources and support of a parent organization is the best of both worlds for entrepreneurs, which has been particularly helpful throughout 2020. Franchisors were able to use their size and reach to support business owners in ways that allowed them to outperform their non-franchised peers.

In Washington, the International Franchise Association (IFA) has been lobbying hard on behalf of franchise business owners throughout the pandemic, and pushing for the inclusion of franchise businesses in small business aid plans. The long-anticipated third stimulus package will include $284Bn in Paycheck Protection Program loans, much of which will be available to franchise entrepreneurs.


2021 on Stack of Coins


A “New, new normal” is finally on the horizon. Rather than planning for a return to the old normal, franchise business owners should take stock of changes in their customers’ preferences and determine which changes are here to stay among their customer bases. Leveraging these evolving changes will help entrepreneurs position themselves for success in 2021 and beyond. For aspiring franchise owners, or franchise owners looking to expand, 2021 has so much room for growth.

If you’re a current entrepreneur ready to expand your business, or an aspiring entrepreneur interested in taking advantage of 2021’s unique circumstances, it’s critical to work with a trusted funding provider. FranFund provides custom strategies to meet entrepreneurs' unique needs, which is especially important in these dynamic times.

Our complimentary funding webinars allow current and potential business owners to learn about funding strategies in a casual setting.

To register for our upcoming webinar, sign up here. If you’re interested but unable to attend, feel free to register and we’ll send you the on-demand video afterward. We look forward to meeting you!


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