There is supposed to be a famous quote from Darwin that says, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”. Whether or not he did say that is immaterial, but whomever did was spot on.
Businesses need to evolve and change over a period of time, otherwise they do become dinosaurs and eventually become extinct. This is part of the natural evolution that business owners not only need to accept, but actually drive through with passion. Learn from history, but do not be afraid of the future.
However, when an event like COVID-19 happens, you have no choice; It's a sink or swim scenario. Change or be changed!
Now they say that a problem shared is a problem halved and this is so true in a franchise relationship. Each other’s success and well-being is equally as important to you as the other party. So, during this lockdown period, we have actually expanded our franchise operation and our franchisees are performing better than ever.
How? Read on…
So let’s take a new business launch as an example…... The formal training that Gareth attended had gone really well & the build up to his business launch was only weeks away. Gareth is a proud Welshman and his home territory of Newport was about to see a complete transformation in the customer service experience and the quality of a professional window cleaning service.
In order to give our new franchise owners the best start possible, we adopt a proven pre-start marketing plan that has always historically provided over fifty 50 customers in their first month of trading. However, COVID-19 was looming and we jointly decided to pull the campaign and re-think the situation.
A new online portal was found and we posted various articles, which were not only well received, but actually produced 58 live customers and £3,405 of revenue to date, as well as the repeat on-going business. Success, but we wanted more…
Traditionally a third-party distribution company would implement a leaflet campaign. During lockdown, this was not appropriate and we were concerned over potential brand damage. Leaflets had always produced good returns and we had to re-evaluate how we would distribute and with what.
A new COVID-19 leaflet was produced; reassuring the potential customer of the necessary pre-cautions we were taking. But what about the distribution method? Well, Royal Mail was still delivering post and this seemed to be an acceptable and trusted form of distribution by the public. Furthermore, we had noticed a decline in leaflets that were being distributed by Royal Mail. Had other companies taken their foot off the pedal? Was this the time to strike?
We held our breath and the Royal Mail leaflet drop, along with a new, un-proven design of leaflet, commenced. The results speak for themselves: 52 enquiries leading onto 51 regular customers and a campaign that has already paid for itself.
Records were broken and a couple of pints of Welsh Brains beer were enjoyed!
We always scrutinise the first month’s data, as an initial comparison of success. Gareth had smashed all previous records. In fact, one of his week’s revenues amounted to £1,400 which was more than the whole first month’s worth of revenue our pilot franchise owner in Canterbury achieved when they started.
Learning, adapting and trialing is so important for any business and ours is no exception.
But as a business, we have actually gone on and successfully partnered, trained and launched a further four franchisees in the lockdown period. Amazing!
Not only that, but our existing partners have continued to expand their businesses during 2020. Alan in Canterbury has now gone multi-van and has over 600 regular customers. Josh in Bournemouth has hit his highest grossing week’s turnover since he started.
Our pride comes through our franchisees attitudes in these difficult times, summed up beautifully by Gareth:
“Here’s to many more records, hopefully the next wave of franchisees can break them working from our experiences”
Spot on (...or as the Welsh would say... Tidy!).
All the best,