As bad as the Covid-19 pandemic has been on families as well as the world economy, it’s a happy surprise that data regarding the future of franchising is actually rather strong. And it’s because of the pandemic: a recent Franchise Insights survey found that 48 percent of those responding said they expected to start a business within the next three months.
What’s more, interest in popular search terms used by in-market franchise candidates (“owning a business,” and “buy a franchise”) has pretty much held steady, with interest actually rising in early April.
Even more promising, FranConnect found that about two-thirds of franchisors were “actively moving forward” with franchise sales efforts at the start of the nationwide “shelter-at-home” edicts. Bottom line: it appears that many of the millions of people laid off in the last few months are seriously interested in purchasing a franchise.
Franchise development marketing tips during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Paid search advertising is a smart move.
Organic leads are taking a hit during the pandemic (overall leads are down by about 15 percent), but leads won via paid advertising are up almost 4 percent compared to pre-pandemic. And, while these leads may not be buying at this time, consistent outreach via email while providing prospects great information on the ins and outs of your franchise opportunity, most likely will mean you’ll enjoy a huge advantage over your competitors once robust economic activity returns.
- Don’t forget organic search.
Keeping your franchisor website properly optimized (regularly updating of your SEO) is wise, especially now as your competitors may be cutting back during the Covid-19 pandemic because they either don’t want to spend money when revenue is down and/or they believe people aren’t interested in starting their own businesses now. You, however, know this isn’t true, and so keeping your site optimized for search means you’ll enjoy higher search results rankings than your competitors.
- Take the time now to get digital marketing “to do” list done!
Marketing your franchise opportunity is time intensive! If contract signings have slowed, this could be a great opportunity for you to revamp your website, start planning and creating great marketing content, planning out your marketing strategy, and so on.
- …Get ready for a surge of interest when things really improve economically.
When this happens is anyone’s guess and we certainly can’t say what “really improve economically” will look like right now. But due to the increased search interest in owning a franchise, and if you continue to market your franchise opportunity during Covid-19, we sincerely believe you’ll see a lot of interest when the economy improves. In fact, you well could be signing new franchisees now so long as you continue with your franchise development marketing.