Coronavirus crisis: what franchisors are doing

What franchisor actions are helping to fight impact of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The coronavirus crisis has hit every sector of the franchising community. Never has it been more important to focus on innovation and resilience, putting profit to one side and keeping the franchise network engaged and earning if possible.

Lots of franchisors are pivoting to suit the climate, as LinkedIn posts reveal. Here’s a selection of franchisor actions:

Brendan Green, CEO, Hire A Hubby

We are fortunate that our franchisees are able to continue to trade. We’ve introduced a new product we call a Virus Protection/Sneeze Screen [pictured above]. It’s to be installed into retail shops creating a barrier between customers and the staff member serving. This is helping our guys through a bit of diversification, and the retailer has a safer environment for all concerned.

Ben Fletcher, CEO, Listen To Your Body

We froze franchise fees immediately and avoided taking the fees from the previous weeks trading to give our franchise partners more dollars in the bank. We worked around the clock (almost literally) to move our business to virtual training and online fitness coaching.

We have been lobbying very hard to work with the key player in our survival who are landlords. We currently have six out on 13 with a full rent freeze. Still more to go!

Daily updates posted on all levels of support with budgets, suppliers, the government, lawyers, accountants and any aspect that will ensure we have the best chance of coming through. We have posted multiple videos on our intranet to support alignment and the strategy and communication.

We have invested and will be investing further in new technology to help us train clients remotely and build our online community. It has been tough when we go from training thousands of members per week to 0 in 12 hours, but our guys moved fast, pinned the ears back and have kept a positive mind growing a new business stream.

Janie Rose, co-owner Blue Wheelers Wash, Clip & Groom

We are very fortunate as our groomers are now working without any human contact. Their hands are in soapy water all day; they use a strong sanitiser anyway as part of their regular procedures. Most of our team are still working, albeit very differently from normal.

We are doing at least three updates each week via emails; calling all franchisees weekly and motivating all to up the ante with their marketing. Our internal forum is creating a strong community with our team. We are very focused on keeping our team on the ground while they can. It’s all about keeping in touch and supporting those team members who require it most.

Martine Hoosen, founder and franchisor, Bookwiz Franchising

We have frozen franchise fees for our Bookwiz franchisees to help them through this time. We can still operate however many of our groups clients are struggling or shut down…we need to help our franchisees as much as possible…it’s about survival not profit right now!