Historically, tumultuous times offer the greatest waves of opportunities for entrepreneurs. The needs of businesses and consumers change in ways that are not always served in the prior months or years.

It is a common inclination among many people is to hunker down, hide and get very conservative when markets are undergoing challenges or change.  Doing that may make sure you miss the greatest opportunities in years.

Yes, there are some challenges in the market today, but there are challenges in every market. If challenges stop you from ever growing you will never take the steps to realize your goals.

When you run into something that causes you pause, what you are often missing is information that will help you choose a path that may get you through or around that issue.  In seeking out that information alone you will be outperforming many potential competitors in a market. This is why opportunity is limited when the market is good.

The path is clear and easy when the market is good so everyone is willing to jump in and play. The field ends up being crowded, the costs are higher, employees are hard to find, real estate is scarce and expensive and more businesses are dividing up the rewards.

When times are more challenging the competition thins out, cost of doing business often goes down and customers are very appreciative that you were there to service them.

While we don’t know what will happen with the employment scene or the stock market over the coming year or two, we do know that we can identify specific needs that consumers and businesses have, in some cases no matter how challenging the market gets. Both also have wants, things that they would pay for out of disposable income. We may want to hold off on those and focus on their needs for now.

Keeping in mind that businesses are not like jobs in the sense that you can have more than one at a time, we should also focus on portfolio building over time, this is far better than looking at just one brand. With this diversified approach we can build an empire that fills the needs of customers in both great markets and more challenging ones.

As you look at franchise options imagine the customer for that business, are they buying in both good and challenging markets? What motivates them to buy? Is it need based category like food, shelter, health or safety?

We all have to live, eat and work. Our children have needs in terms of education and activities. Our businesses and workers have newly discovered needs for technology and work environments. How we use transportation may be different, what we expect of our home environment may have changed.

All of the core services we had before are still core services today. Some are even more in demand today.

Core services are businesses like plumbing, heating and air conditioning, locksmiths, windows, garage doors, roofing, cleaning and much more.

I talk to franchisors and franchisees as well as our past candidates. I can tell you that there are very identifiable pockets of activity, even growth, in our current economy. They cross into every category, even food and retail based businesses.

The focus has just narrowed, you want certain brands.  Not all brands in any category have stepped up to the challenge. Doing your home work places like right here can help you narrow the field. So can calling someone like me that has been in the arena for decades.

And it isn’t just the franchise owners growing in their local communities. There are National franchise brands growing fast as people are looking for ways to advance their careers in ways that they control. Employees simply don’t feel very secure in their jobs anymore. When they are confident they have the skills sets they need they want to put them to use building their empires, not someone else’s.

We are moving into a period with potential for a massive shift from corporate employment to self employment or franchise ownership. This shift may be compounded by current market conditions. Franchisors, lenders and other industry support professionals are all ready to keep up.

If you have good experience in management, sales or other operational skills then you may be an outstanding candidate to be the CEO of your own franchise empire!

Look for the underserved gaps in your market, do your homework, seek advice, don’t worry what your neighbors think of the business and most of all, be sure the role of the owner is a great fit for you. The current market will improve on the horizon, opportunities for great team members, fair priced real estate and much more will abound. Even if you are looking for retail based opportunities we may be at a perfect time. It is always a good time to be looking at core services!

What will your success story be?

Let’s go find it!

George Knauf is a highly sought after, trusted advisor to many companies; Public, Independent and Franchised, of all sizes and in many markets. His 20 plus years of experience in both start-up and mature business operations makes him uniquely qualified to advise individuals that have dreamed of going into business for themselves in order to gain more control, independence, time flexibility and to be able to earn in proportion to their real contribution.

Contact the Franchising USA Expert George’s Hotline 703-424-2980.