Franchise Direct's Business Insights Video from IFA Convention in San Diego

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While it continues to be a trying time to do business, leaders from the small business community told Franchise Direct at the recent IFA convention in San Diego that franchising continues to thrive. On a video for Franchise Direct's franchising blog, a range of entrepreneurs and franchisors state that franchising remains a measured and reliable investment in these hard times.

People are afraid - do I sit on the capital, do I invest - what do I do?

Franchises are a stellar investment and the industry is growing steadily despite the global economic downturn. That was the consensus of a number of entrepreneurs and small business experts who spoke to Franchise Direct in the latest edition of the Business Insights video series, recorded at the annual International Franchise Convention in San Diego.

Last month, the entire world of franchising, including Franchise Direct, one of the world's leading franchise portals, converged on San Diego for the annual IFA convention. Throughout the convention's numerous forums and meetings, all conversations returned to one talking point: how is the franchising industry suited to endure the harshest economic climate since the Great Depression.

Franchise Direct's Lillie Burroughs sat down with a number of the leading figures in the world of franchising to get their feelings on the state of the franchising industry. The overall consensus was that while times are tough for everyone in business, franchising is resilient and will withstand the current economic difficulties.

According to Donna Ettenson from the Association of Small Business Development Centers, "things are very tight right now and we're hoping that the stimulus package will encourage banks to begin lending to small businesses again". But she expressed her optimism about small businesses, saying that "people are still interested in starting a business and one on ten people in the United States wants to have their own business."

Doc Cohen from Cookie Associates Limited said that the difficult economic times are forcing business people to re-evaluate their business plan.

"We're looking at our entire operation," he said. "We're making sure that we're operating efficiently but what we're not going to forget is that we owe a duty to our country and our customers to continue to provide them with a top notch product and outstanding customer service."
Pam Price, Vice President of Domestic Development for Nexcen Brands says that for people concerned about their business future, franchising may provide a lifeline.

"People are afraid - do I sit on the capital, do I invest - what do I do?" she said. "The nice thing about franchising is that right now it is one of the strongest mediums to start a small business, and small business owners have really got to start putting that money back into the economy, I think, to really help perpetuate growth."
Finally, no one perhaps summed up the attitude of the franchising industry better than Dina Dwyer-Owens, head of The Dwyer Group and incoming IFA chairwoman.

"[For] those who aren't doing well, we as an organization, of course have to work very hard to provide them with the tools they need to be able to survive through this … at the end of the day, we're all going to be stronger businesses as a result of this downturn".
If you'd like to hear more from the leaders of the franchising industry, you can view Business Insights video on Franchise Direct's franchise blog.

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Diana Thurmann
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