While it may feel like the pandemic has stopped so much in our lives, it doesn’t appear to have slowed down the growth of new businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, about 50% more new businesses started in the U.S. in 2021 than in any year in history. The pandemic has spurred the entrepreneurial-minded, meaning growth for many new and existing franchise brands is on an upswing.
But that doesn’t mean that all franchises will be equally successful. One thing that the pandemic made clear, and which continues to hold sway, is that franchises that could lean into the call for things like delivery food service, boutique fitness, and service franchise offerings have experienced much greater success over the past several years.
Any economic damage that franchises may have incurred due to COVID-19 is anticipated to have been erased thanks to the projected 26,000-plus franchise locations that opened in 2021, which added nearly 800,000 new jobs and contributed $477 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP).
The International Franchise Association (IFA) expected franchising’s overall contribution to the economy to have grown by 7% in 2021, which would return it to pre-pandemic levels of economic output.
When Tracy Toomer-Couvson was laid off from her position as VP of Operations for the largest fitness franchisee in the United States in 2020, she decided enough was enough. Tracy previously made four successful corporate moves, but her career success came at a cost. With elderly parents at home, Tracy could choose to make another corporate move and disrupt the family again or do something different. She chose the latter and has felt blessed every day since.
Tracy’s priorities include being present as a daughter, girlfriend, sister, friend, and most of all being present for herself. She began thinking about business ownership as a way to feel valued and appreciated while controlling her own time. In November of 2020, Tracy became the owner of CarePatrol Collin County Central. CarePatrol is the nation's largest and most trusted senior living placement organization, with over 150 Certified Senior Advisors throughout the country. It was founded to take the stress out of finding the best and safest senior care choices for families and their loved ones.
Tracy admits that owning a business is not all sunshine and roses, especially when you have a pandemic to contend with but feels so much appreciation for the life she's creating for herself and her loved ones through the meaningful work she's doing as a CarePatrol owner. "It's about finding ways to do what I love in service to others. I love supporting families while they are going through an emotional crisis and helping them make some of the biggest decisions in their lives. Being able to answer questions like, where will their loved one be cared for and treated with the utmost respect and dignity they deserve? That's what I am blessed to do every day".
Tracy worked with Seth Lederman, Franchise Advisor and Frannexus CEO, to determine the right business opportunity.
"The greatest value Seth and the Frannexus team offered throughout the process was in providing answers and insights around the important considerations like which financial business model is right for me. Should I look at a brick-and-mortar or an at-home business? How much and when will I break even? All of the answers to these great questions helped determine that franchising was right for me at this time in my life."
- Tracy Toomer-Couvson, Owner of CarePatrol Collin County Central
At the end of the day, Tracy feels good about her decision to invest in a franchise. "I absolutely love this business, and I know I am in the right place, at the right time to be of service to a population that truly needs it! Here's to 2022!!"
#1 Do your research! "The first piece of advice I would offer is that you can never do enough research."
#2 Talk to Franchisees. "Make sure you speak with Franchisees that have left recently. Why did they leave? How much were they earning by the end of their contract with the franchisor?"
#3 Dive into the Franchisor/Franchisee relationship. "It is like a marriage. Ask if they're happy with the franchisor and how their experience is different from what they expected?"
#4 Find out what positions are essential to hire. "If it is a business where you can work from home, ask other franchisees what positions were critical at the opening to the success of the business? Should you budget for an assistant?"
According to Fortune Business Insights, "the U.S. behavioral health market is projected to grow from $77.62 billion in 2021 to $99.40 billion in 2028". Mental health services continue growing at an incredible rate as State and Federal governments implement favorable policies.
One in five adults in America is diagnosed with a mental health condition every year. In addition, 46% of adults will match the criteria to be diagnosed with a mental health condition at some point in their lives. 50% of those individuals will develop it before the age of 14. With COVID finally easing, we are just beginning to see its effects on mental health across the nation. Treatment for anxiety and depression has increased significantly, putting a greater demand on mental health practitioners.
Currently, eight out of ten psychologists who specialize in the treatment of anxiety disorders report increased demand for treatment since the start of the pandemic, with an increase of 10% from just one year ago. Furthermore, the need for the treatment of depression has also increased by 12%. Other mental health conditions that appear to be on the rise include obsessive-compulsive disorders, sleep disorders, substance abuse, and addiction.
COVID hit just two short years ago, turning lives upside down. It forced us to reevaluate what we took for granted and what we thought we wanted out of life. Things like work/life balance and happiness were not at the forefront of many individuals' minds two years ago. Today, however, attitudes have changed, and many are looking at their lives and realizing that there are more important things than working a nine-to-five job.
According to Microsoft, at the beginning of 2020, 40% of workers were considering switching gears in their career to do something else, and since then, 4.4 million people have quit their jobs. Employees are looking to have it all. They want a career that provides them more freedom and a lifestyle that favors life more than work. Franchising is very attractive for those who desire freedom, flexibility, and wealth accumulation. Forecasters predict that the new post-pandemic mentality toward employment might lead to the biggest franchising boom in history.