Franchise Patterns Need Evolution, Thanks to #Covid19
While the entire world is on a standstill, thanks to Covid19 outbreak and the precautionary lockdowns, it is becoming more and more challenging for businesses to stay afloat. Worst hit are the small business owners especially from Non-Essential Retails and Hospitality industry.
In western world, rate of bankruptcy filing has increased multi-fold during the past few weeks. Condition in India is not going to be different. Many small business owners are terminating their existing franchises. Both franchisers and franchisees are affected.
Although the trends are changing, but franchise model of business would still remain as a favourite. Considering health and safety, people will keep a distance while investing in businesses involving physical presence. Of course, Work-From-Home is the need of the hour and franchise options that support this will be more preferred.
So, what are the options, one should consider? Let’s take a look:
1. Essential Retails: Just understand this, People can’t cease to exist. They need to keep consuming the essentials in order to survive. Agro products, Food items, FMCG etc are great options to look for. A dealership of Ramdev Masala or Fortune brand products or FMCG items or even immunity booster products like some brand of “ChavanPraash” won’t be a bad choice at such a time. Based on the amount of investments, one can choose which brand or at what scale they need to start. While this is a very good option, keep in mind, there are lot of takers for these businesses. So, Research well.
2. Medical Protective Supplies: While social distancing and self precautions are the need of the hour, this particular industry can be of special interest for at least coming few years. I can already see a lot of people venturing into the protective supplies business and marketing themselves through social media like Facebook and Whatsapp. Masks, Sanitizers, PPE Kits, Disinfectants etc are the products to look for. Even big names in the industry like Cipla, Hicks etc have started mass production of such items. This won’t be a bad choice.
3. Online Learning:
Don’t our lives revolve around our kids? Isn’t skill development a national mission?
I know; schools, colleges and training institutes are there, but last I knew they are closed or transitioning to online mediums. Still, they are facing lots of challenges in terms of content, connectivity, stability of product and what not. A lot of new platforms are coming up every day while existing names like Byjus, Udemy etc are also functioning. But due to this Corona Virus Lockdown, they face a major challenge – The reach to the end user. Franchisees can play a significant role in marketing these platforms while still staying at home. It may be a new field in franchise model, but worth exploring.
4. IT & SaaS Products: Now, this is my favorite to recommend.
One of my friend who worked as a franchisee for an IT services company in selling their services has managed to continue his business if not declined. When I spoke to him last, he was quite optimistic on new business, since he has got a good pipeline of customers willing to increase their IT spending post the lock down. What these customers need are; less expensive products by which they can monitor their key business functions including employees, sales and projects etc directly from their phone. Such products are needed in almost every organization from Manufacturing, Agri, HR, Sales & Distribution and even Public sector. TimeKompas is one such product growing up fast and offering a very good & viable franchise option. The best part with such products is, you can start with almost zero investment and use only your time and connections to get returns.
This is a time to re-innovate yourself and think about newer ways to bounce back. After all, we have always agreed to the theory that says “Survival is for the fittest”.
Stay Healthy, Stay Safe!