Franchise System Growth During or After a Pandemic

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By Sean Manning, CEO/Founder Payroll Vault

Most businesses have approached the COVID-19 era through the lens of simply surviving, but some found opportunities for optimism, even during some of the most challenging and difficult moments.

Though it may seem counterintuitive, the pandemic and its resulting economic turbulence led many business owners and entrepreneurs to re-think their plans and become even more confident in what may be possible. These creative adjustments helped many franchises around the country create a more sustainable business model, shoring up weaknesses that went unnoticed until 2020 thrust unique challenges onto every business.

Predicting paths to success in the wake of so much uncertainty is always difficult. But, it is still necessary to consider how to keep business moving forward.

Clearly, there was an abundance of difficulties and even heartbreak in 2020, beyond the obvious toll on public health in our communities. Local economies were halted, small businesses shuttered, and employees of even some of the largest companies in the nation found themselves searching for new work, or even considering a business ownership opportunity.

This is where we find new optimism and the thought of trying something new: there is a skilled and motivated workforce eager for a fresh start. Some are unemployed. Some are employed, but amid so much uncertainty there is desire and ability to take their prospects and future into their own hands. At the same time, countless franchise business systems are hoping to attract those prospective entrepreneurs and employees to start and grow their own businesses.

The key is finding a beneficial match for these two interests. For many of these hopeful business owners, franchising could be a welcome opportunity to reduce risk and increase access to an opportunity.

Franchise models experienced the same market stressors as other businesses. Yet even when growth seemed impossible, the ability to withstand COVID-19’s challenges offered a sense of optimism for the franchising outlook as the health crisis hopefully begins receding inp the rearview mirror.

As the distribution of vaccines indicates a light at the end of the tunnel, the next few months will offer a chance to brace for a post-pandemic era and thoughts shifting toward prosperity.

Even beyond the assumption that most industries will return to a sense of normalcy as a whole, businesses across the nation will have to monitor any further COVID-19 relief legislation while also creating their own plans to prepare for changes in consumer behaviors and employee needs.

Franchising will be no different, though it will require clear communication between franchisors and the current and prospective franchisees.

Franchisors will need to educate their franchisees on various payroll and HR implications depending on federal, state, and local policies. They will need to decide how their franchise locations will approach post-pandemic performance management as well, including any carryover from the remote work revolution 2020 introduced.

There is plenty of reason for enthusiasm in the franchising space. Though COVID-19 is not yet overcome, it is certainly time to prepare for the transition. Businesses are ready to take advantage of the lessons learned from the past year with new, sustainable business models. There are countless entrepreneurs hoping to take part in that growth as they attack the future with renewed motivation.

Done the right way, businesses of all shapes and sizes could be perfectly positioned for long-term success.


Sean Manning is the CEO and founder of Payroll Vault Franchising, LLC.  For more information on Payroll Vault Franchising, LLC, visit For franchise opportunities with International Franchise Association (IFA) franchisor member Payroll Vault Franchising, LLC, click here.