Jack Burris is president of Red Beard Marketing, a marketing, business development and brand consulting company based in Charlotte, NC. RBM is a full service firm, and we also happen to have a lot of experience in the franchise vertical and currently work with some of the best and brightest minds in the franchise community including Franconnect, Franchise Business Review, Franchise Payments Network and FranchiseWorks LLC, all small businesses designed to help franchisors, franchisees and interested investors through the franchise process. RBM is always results-oriented.
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It’s very easy to get stuck in the doom and gloom that’s Wall Street. Just this past week, we heard that over $18 billion of the infamous Ballout Fund ended up in the pockets of Wall Street executives (in the form of bonuses) and over 200,000 additional people lost their jobs. Even the International Franchise Association and PriceWaterhouseCoopers “forecasts that the number of business format franchise establishments will decline in 2009 by 1.2 percent, from nearly 865,000 to less than 855,000—a net loss of some 10,000 establishments.”
But that doesn’t mean that success isn’t possible.
Some franchise establishments are flourishing in these tough times. I’m a fan of Power Lunch, I think it gives a succinct overview of what’s happening in the market without spending too much time on any given sector, and I try to catch it at least a few times a week while I eat lunch in my office. Panera Bread (a franchise) has mentioned several times the past few months and their stock has responded accordingly. Other companies with lower ticket items like McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s are also doing well. (The Dollar Value Meals are a hit during tough economic times.) Other non-food businesses are also surviving or even thriving during these tough times. Often times, it’s the hard work and perseverence of the franchise owner that helps turn tough times into success.
So, there’s a potential light at the end of the tunnel. Most franchising experts also believe that franchising will emerge even greater once the nation turns the corner. Matt Shay, the president of the IFA, says that “after the recession of 2000-2001, and the tragic events of September 11, 2001, the industry created more than 140,000 new businesses and 1.2 million new jobs over a five-year period.” So give it a month or two (or six), don’t stop working on your business plans and potential business ideas, and don’t forget about franchising … a proven business model that can help you become an independent business owner without the support of people who have done it before.