I, for one, will be glad to see 2021 in the rearview mirror. It was a challenging year in many ways, unusual for sure. If you made it through the COVID pandemic and your business survived the COVID shutdowns, then you are still standing and probably moving forward by now. In 2022, I think we will have new types of opportunities, and I'm looking forward to that. Here are my three ways to win in 2022.
Number one, take care of the people around you. I think we all understand now more than ever how important the people around us really are and how everyone goes through something at one point or another. I believe most people now have an increased sensitivity about the human factor and how mental health and being honest with one another has become more important. If you're lucky to have good employees, good franchisees, good customers, good suppliers and partners, or anyone around you who is making a positive impact - be sure to reach out to them, and let them know you appreciate them and do your part to take care of each other. I think that's a new awareness most people have going forward.
Number two: find new ways to reach your buyers and customers. COVID caused everyone to recognize that there are new ways of doing things that we weren't comfortable with before, such as constant meetings on Zoom, finding new ways of reaching your customers and buyers of your products and services. I believe in 2022 that the innovation and technology adoption trend will continue with new things becoming more common, and maybe a little bit of going back to the old ways of in-person meetings becoming more crucial than ever. So, reaching your customers and buyers using both new and old methods will be an excellent combination strategy for next year. What are you going to try?
Number three, strategic relationships will become more important next year. At many levels in franchising, I'm seeing people embracing the idea of strategic relationships with private equity and making more deals for “platform” companies and their add-ons. More franchise brands and suppliers are using contractors and outsourced providers of various services, and these relationships are becoming more and more normal. Be on the lookout for opportunities that you might not have considered before; if you can structure a deal that is mutually beneficial and respectful of everyone's effort and value created - give it a chance and expand your reach. I, for one, am finding new opportunities and relationships already, and I’m looking forward to them bearing fruit into next year.
Hopefully, these new strategies will become a reality for next year. I'm seeing optimism and opportunity everywhere I look! I hope it's the same for you!