The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented stress, confusion and uncertainty in Canada and worldwide. Life has been and continues to be disrupted in just about every aspect. This, naturally, has introduced snags into the franchise search process, so here's what to consider as you weigh your options.
You can continue to look
Searching for a new franchise is not the same as officially committing to one, so you can still continue to search and research brands. Since you are likely at home more than you usually are, you now have more time to conduct a thorough search.
If you decide to contact franchisors for more information, you also have a new question to ask. Find out how the brand is adapting to the outbreak and what impact it has had on demand. This will give you insight into how the company is able to handle a crisis and how such crises can affect its bottom line and operations.
Of course, now is not the ideal time to actually open a business in most cases. The current economic landscape may be affecting the business type you're interest in. But, as noted, researching doesn't mean you are committing yourself to any purchase, so keep looking and note whether you are satisfied with a franchisor's answer on how Covid-19 has affected their business.
What to do right now
You should always have your finances in place before you commit to a franchise, but now is the time to dig deep and decide how much you can invest and what your financing options are. Call as many current franchisees with the brand that you can, considering you have extra time to do so. Ask them what the brand has done in response to the pandemic and how effective it has been.
Start your business plan even if you haven't narrowed down your candidate pool entirely yet. You will need a business plan to get financing, and as long as you know which industry you will be investing in, you can get started on yours.
It's too soon to tell when or even if life will get back to what it was before the pandemic. However, regardless of what happens, people will still need and want goods and services that your new franchise will be able to provide, so don't give up on your search just yet.