The inevitable force the world is dealing with at this stage has disrupted the way our world works. The African continent has been one of the worst-hit health-wise and financially, with its start-up sector facing the brunt of the pandemic. COVID-19 has affected the financial sector in a way that mere survival at this point is a luxury for most Africans. Many experts raised concerns over the intensity of this crisis and put forward ways how one can contribute to reviving the economy. The pandemic effect on businesses is irreparable. Battling the COVID-19 pandemic effect on franchises is one of the worst, from tourism to hospitality, food industry, and small franchise owners, recovery might take a long time from now. Small industries have always been vital to the growth of African nations and must be protected. Franchisors along with the government support need to act immediately to bring about a strategy for their franchises to stay afloat post-pandemic.
With a few suggestions as follows, from the experts, franchisees can ensure they do not lose their ground:
Force Majeure Clause
Force majeure, the contract clause that removes liability for catastrophic events, such as natural disasters and warfare can come as a savor for African franchises. In business practice, a force majeure is a contractual agreement between parties that excuses no-performance of the contract in a situation that is beyond their control. COVID-19 when included in this clause, will provide a defense mechanism during these trying times. In general terms, a Force Majeure clause is termed as an “Act of God ” or event beyond the reasonable control of parties” such as war, epidemics, pandemics, labour unrest, natural calamities. Effective implementation of this clause and acceptance or revising their contracts by various franchisors across sectors would help franchises sustain. COVID-19 effect on franchises cannot be reversed, but at least can be dealt with effectively.
Establishing a Special task force
It becomes the responsibility of franchisors to hold on to their franchisers during events like these and take care of their health and safety. While Africa has already been deeply affected by the pandemic, averting further damage from the post-pandemic effect on franchises, they can establish a special task force, if not done yet. The proactive force can be assigned with tasks to deal with this situation. The task force can cover some assignments amongst these-
Work closely with franchises for financial security.
Franchisors can work hand in hand with franchisees to build a sustainable financial model for a quick response to the pandemic. They can define key performance indices, bottleneck areas. No wonder the pandemic effects on the economy have raised global concerns. This too shall pass, if provided with financial security.
Identifying Customer reaction and acting in the direction
Although the global market has sunk and the demand has gone down, it will not vanish off entirely. The task force with the franchises can come up with ways to meet customers’ requirements in and around Africa. So, instead of abandoning the small business altogether, franchisors can give their input to the franchises to build their network online. This would call for some creative ideas and might open a chain of new opportunities. COVID-19 pandemic effect on franchises is a force that can be redirected to a better place.
Making sure the franchises are not neglecting their employees
That being said, the post-pandemic effect on franchises is huge but it has much more impact on human behaviour than possibly any other thing. The tiring times are testing humanity globally too. It becomes even more important to ensure the employees are looked after well and they have confidence in their employer. Communications at this juncture have to be clear, defined, and for the welfare. Humans have always been the biggest force and minds behind any successful work. Their safety and health have to be ensured by the employer.
With the impact of this pandemic effects in Africa has risen to an immeasurable height. Giving humanity and creativity a chance might render a new dimension to the business world. Prioritising health and safety, ensuring employee welfare, creating opportunities might soothe the effects. During this time franchises are really looking up to their franchisors for leadership, and instill confidence in them.