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It's wise to always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst, and that is certainly true of any business, including a franchise in Canada. No one wants to experience a business crisis, but it's possible that at one point, you will have to deal with one as a franchisee.
What you can prepare for now
To start, you need to learn what your franchisor can help you with. Although the exact list depends on your brand, it often includes software or vendor trouble across the system. The more common emergencies you are likely to see relate specifically to the running of your location alone, including the four common scenarios below:
1. Natural disasters and power outages
Natural disasters and power failures happen every year, and you never know how they may impact your business. Take a look at the provincial and national recommendations for disaster preparation applicable to where your business is. This will usually give you a wealth of information on how to best prepare for the unexpected when it comes to the weather. Research what type of generators you may need to keep your business running and your inventory safe, if applicable, in the event of a power outage. Keep in mind that although a franchisor will support you if possible, there may not be much that they can do from where they are.
2. Lost electronic data
Your franchisor should have their sales system backed up, but this will not include things stored on your personal computer, such as your financial records or marketing materials. Reach out to IT professionals to create a data support and recovery plan before anything happens.
3. A short payroll
Payroll is a common worry for a small and growing business. A slow week or just one unpaid invoice can mean the difference between having enough to cover payroll and being short. As an employer, you cannot delay paying your workers while waiting for a client to pay up, so it's crucial you have a backup plan in place now in case you ever find yourself short on cash.
4. The books are not balanced
Accounting is, by its very nature, exact, but if you've ever handled books yourself, you know that every once in a while, things just don't look right. Maybe you made a mistake or are dealing with employee theft. Whatever it is, you must deal with it right away. If you cannot find a mistake, reach out to a professional accounting service for help. While you will have to pay a fee for this service, it's best to know what is happening so you can take the appropriate action.
While you will not be able to see every possible crisis your franchise may experience, you can still prepare as best as you can right now. Since emergencies can and do happen, get plans in place now so you're not relying on help your franchisor cannot provide.