Since the start of COVID, which technically began in March 2020, franchise success stories continue to emerge. It is clear that a new category of business description emerged that I call “pandemic-proof.” I used to think that a really solid concept was recession-proof and Amazon resistant, but that clearly isn’t enough.

As a business owner of both franchise and independent opportunities, I immediately felt the pain of the pandemic. One of my investments is a character company, providing on-site entertainment for business and family parties. Anyone holding an in-person event these days? Another past investment was in five locations of Great Clips, a haircare franchise. Again, doors closed. Another one of my companies was deemed “Essential” by the US Government, but Illinois and Wisconsin disagreed and our employees were prevented from working. I know PPP, PPE, and EIDL inside and out!

So where is the Silver Lining?

Now that most municipalities have reopened for business, there are amazing success stories emerging. If you want sexy and hot, get ready. You’ll have to rejigger your thinking to “making money” is sexy.

Here are some of the industries that were already stable and are growing, or growing substantially, during this pandemic:
• Cost Savings for cash-strapped people, like expense reduction of utilities; insulating houses and windows
• Insurance Claims: think Mother Nature storm-related roof, siding or gutter damage; trees down; water damage, etc.
• Human Testing: it used to be random drug testing for work, now it’s COVID testing and antibodies
• Tutoring and Enrichment: young and older, now that in-person education and activities have gone virtual
• Pet care and pet supplies: a lot of dogs were adopted during COVID!
• Junk Removal, Moving, and Storage: for people who cleaned house, or had to downsize
• Home Renovation and Repair: plumbing, electric, HVAC, window treatment, carpeting/flooring
• Outsourcing labor: back-office support has gone virtual; contract and temporary jobs are up.
• Fitness: have you gained the COVID-19? Virtual classes are very effective and memberships are stable.

I run a monthly Franchise Business Owner Networking group that shares best practices. Now that we have moved into a Zoom Economy, I am fascinated to hear how technology has changed the business landscape, how comfortable these owners are leveraging virtual meetings to connect with new and existing customers, and how some of them may not need to go back to in-person meetings in order to remain successful. My owners talk about their Month Over Month, or Year Over Year, growth numbers. When I heard 700-800% year over year gains, I jumped for joy!

It is clear that COVID has NOT disrupted every business, but has strengthened many.

Curious to learn more? #taketheleap

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