Hurricane Ike and Franchising
Hurricane Ike struck Galveston-Houston and caused enormous damage. Five days after the storm, over a million have no electricity. In Galveston there are no electricity, no water and no medical resources. There is an enormous public health problem – you can’t flush the toilet in many places and won’t be able to for quite a while. Supermarkets are normalizing, but that process has at least another week to go. Business interruption is unbelievable. Small business operators have it the worst. Finding contractors to do anything is not a happy process these days. Insurance adjuster teams have flown in from all over, but that only facilitates paperwork and claims payment – not remediation.
This is not the time for anyone to think of investing in any franchise to be located in the first or second tier of counties from the Gulf of Mexico. You will not get any attention from construction contractors, and you certainly will pay more than top dollar for everything right now. Start/completion of construction dates are just myth. Contracts that require you to begin anything by a date certain are a death sentence.
All the “normal” risks of small business start up are exponentialized for several months to come.
Franchise sales people are telling sucker investors that the hurricane has produced enormous pent up demand and that now is the best possible time to invest in a franchise. FORGETABOUTIT!
If you are having problems with your existing business, those problems will be much worse than anything you previously experienced for the next few/several months. The courts are closed. They may open later this week. Electronic filing gets you a filing date and nothing else. O J Simpson wishes his trial was happening in Houston right now. He would get a mistrial when court reopens.
Franchising and south Texas are now oxymorons.