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Steering Your Franchise Through the Downturn

Some franchises have shaken off the recession. Others still struggle with the shrinking economy. Either way, every entrepreneur will gladly take free advice for boosting sales when it is offered.

Erik Morris, managing director of the Atlanta-based private equity group Roark Capital Group, has contributed interesting article to the latest edition of Franchising World, entitled Maintaining Franchisee Profitability, System Growth in a Downturn. Morris provides an honest opening: there is no handbook that can guide an entrepreneur to certain profits, especially when the economy is suffering. But given the intense struggles of the last two years, franchisors can learn directly from the businesses that have made profits during this downturn.

Morris outlines a number of areas for franchisors to target, from cutting real estate costs to implementing proper tracking systems to introducing alternative franchising schemes.

Ultimately, as Morris writes, franchisors must adapt to the changed playing field and bring in quite serious changes.

“By focusing on our franchisees’ success and capitalizing on growth opportunities available due to the downturn, the brands we represent are better positioned than ever to grow even faster during the recovery. Partnering with experienced management teams taught us that.”

If, as some economic experts predict, the kind of incredible growth that the country experienced in the middle of last decade is hard to replicate, entrepreneurs should learn from lessons like these.

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