UPS Longitudes | Recognizing Business Dreams: Better Times on the Horizon?
For almost all business owners, COVID-19 changed everything. Certain industries shut down for months or had to pivot operations to meet evolving consumer demands. Customers stayed home, either shifting their purchases online or not making them at all.
With the rapidly changing economic landscape, the savings rate hit a record high. A silver lining here? With consumers spending less and saving more, some of the top franchise experts predict a boom in franchise sales heading into 2021.
So why franchising compared to other businesses? Instead of starting from the ground up, buying into a franchise is buying into a system already in place, with a support network and guidance built into the foundation.
There is a level of consumer confidence with a national brand name and inherent notions of customer service and quality control — even though individuals own each location.
“Instead of starting from the ground up, buying into a franchise is buying into a system already in place, with a support network and guidance built into the foundation.”
Recipe for a growing interest in franchising
Despite the challenging economic environment, for some, this is actually a good time to open a business, specifically, a franchise business. There have been layoffs and furloughs from companies small and large — at all different salary levels — which means the labor pool is larger than normal.
With other businesses closing or facing foreclosure, this may lead to an increase in vacancies and could drive down the cost of rent. Debt capital is also available at historically low interest rates, and some people have access to substantial savings in the form of home equity.
Franchises tend to create mutually beneficial relationships, including one franchise opening inside the physical location of another.
The most effective entrepreneurs utilize such resources in creative ways to maximize value in any given situation.
Why franchising makes sense
Franchising is common in almost every sector of business. Some examples include food and beverage, home healthcare, hotels, auto repair, dry cleaning and more. Like any business, with success brings the desire to expand and repeat that successful formula.
The UPS Store franchise has many owners that own multiple locations, including Jay Soucia, who now has ownership in nine stores in Texas.
“Now more than ever, when looking at franchise options, potential investors should examine how a brand or business sector might operate amid uncertain times.”
His first experience with The UPS Store was at 18 years old; Soucia worked part time while in college. His part-time gig turned into a full-time position as a store manager, and 12 years after working at the same location in Austin, he purchased the franchise from the retiring store owner.
When asked why he decided to move forward with owning a The UPS Store franchise, Soucia said: “I had a unique relationship with each and every one of the 500 mailbox holders that came in the store. I enjoyed coming to work. I enjoyed solving problems for customers, building relationships with local businesses, the art and creativity involved in packaging fragile items. I took pride in turning what might be a meaningless errand for many into a positive experience.”
Sometimes, a family shares this entrepreneurial experience, including the Patel family, which owns three The UPS Store locations in the greater Seattle area. In the franchise business for more than a decade, they have expanded from one location to three.
The Patel family owns three The UPS Store locations in the Seattle area.
On the experience, Priya Patel shared the following reflections: “We loved that we were buying into a lifestyle store. It allowed us to go home in the evenings and spend time with our family. Like us, our family members were drawn to a franchise brand that allowed them the flexibility to sell a variety of products and services with a vast amount of support.”
Now more than ever, when looking at franchise options, potential investors should examine how a brand or business sector might operate amid uncertain times.
Is it an essential business? Does it have multiple ways to sell its products and services?
Shipping has become an ever larger part of everyday life. With so many retail locations closed, online shopping and subsequent delivery of purchased items is now more essential than ever.
The UPS Store can help fill a natural void for entrepreneurs of all stripes — both today and well into our uncertain future.
Interested in learning more about opening a The UPS Store franchise? Visit here for more information.
Photo courtesy Ian Schneider/Unsplash.
Read more on UPS's thought leadership blog, Longitudes.