Buyer Sentiment Survey: Franchise Inquirers Looking Past Pandemic Effects

Respondents to a March 17-19, 2020 poll of aspiring franchise owners showed slightly more reserve than in previous surveys, but less than one would imagine given the impact of Covid-19 on business and the markets. Granted, these respondents are stepping forward at a time like this to consider business ownership, so they do not represent the general population or overall consumer confidence.

Do You Agree that Now is a Good Time to Start a Business?

Over 55% agree or strongly agree that “now is a good time.” For context, this may be explained by the time horizon for the search process — 48% of respondents expect to start a business within the next three months, and another 16 percent within four to six months.


Are you more or Less Likely to Start a Business than 3 months ago?

Though there was a drop from February to March, the March responses were similar to January, when the economy was considerably more stable. February’s optimism may have been fueled by strong consumer confidence and record levels in financial assets.


Three months from now, do you think that general business conditions will be better than they are now, about the same, or worse?

A majority of respondents (55.7%) believe that business conditions will improve in three months, while 20.3% expect them to worsen.


How does the emergence of Covid-19 affect your interest in business ownership?

The responses reflect undaunted entrepreneurial spirit, with only 19.2% of the respondents indicating plans to put their business startup search on hold. Presumably due to the recent tumult in the financial markets, 17.3% of the respondents reported that they had less capital to invest.


The Small Business Startup Sentiment Index™ is based on a monthly survey of individuals who have recently inquired about businesses or franchises for sale on the digital assets of Franchise Ventures. Franchise Ventures is the leading demand generation platform for potential franchisees to thousands of growing franchise systems in the United States and Canada. Its franchise lead-generation businesses include, Franchise Solutions, Franchise Gator, Franchise Opportunities, Franchise For Sale, and, and together they provide the largest collection of prospective franchise inquiries in the U.S.

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