5 Ways To Help Your Franchisees During Covid-19
The economic impact of Covid-19 has affected all of us in some way. Customers may have temporarily or permanently lost income, which may prevent them from being able to pay for your products and services.
As franchisors, we feel the pressure, but so do franchisees. And it’s our job to lead and support them, and in turn show them how they can adjust in these difficult times and find different ways to help their customers. Here are 5 ways franchisors can help their franchisees during the pandemic.
1) Increase communication
A troubling aspect of the crisis is the future uncertainty it brings. A franchisor can instill calm in franchisees by communicating with them more regularly. Distributing more content to franchisees through video, posts, or articles shows unified leadership committed to helping your franchisees during difficult times.
2) Provide special deals they can offer customers
With some customers financially strapped from the impact of the virus on their employment status or funds in general, it’s a good idea to give them leeway in payment schedules. Franchisees who provide economic relief to customers in tough times for a service they enjoy demonstrate their empathy for them, create bonds, and build customer loyalty for the long term. For example, if an established, active customer decides to cancel their service because of Covid-19’s impact on their personal income, you can go further with your franchisees and have them offer customers complimentary services for a limited time.
3) Help them control their costs
For most small businesses, significant fixed costs include rent, loan repayments, and wages. Every dollar you can help your franchisees save will increase their financial viability –especially by assisting them in negotiations with suppliers, landlords, and lenders. Fixed costs can quickly sink a business when there is a severe decline in sales. It’s more important than ever for your team to be consulting with your franchisees on ways to reduce their costs and adjust their budgets.
4) Keep your mental game sharp
To lead with calm and confidence, franchisors must stay sharp and maintain a constructive mindset. You can’t help your franchisees if you’re taking on their worries and problems. Supporting them is what you want to do. It is possible to care and show empathy without feeling personally responsible for the feelings of others. This requires a certain level of professional detachment so you can think clearly and perform at your best. It also requires taking care of yourself. It helps to have a good network of supportive peers.
5) Keep marketing to new franchisees
This wouldn’t seem like the best time to spend money, but targeted spending expands and strengthens your group and can go a long way right now. With unemployment so high, many jobless people are looking to have more control over their future by investing some of their savings in a new career. When you invest in marketing to new franchisees, you have a deeper pool of them – and, at the same time, you’re showing your current group of franchisees you’re excited about their future and supporting their growth.
This is a time for franchisors and their franchisees to band together and actually get stronger. At a time when consumer spending is more conservative and there is so much uncertainty, franchisors must communicate to their franchisees that this also is a time of great opportunity – a time to build a brand that both they and their customers can trust.
Joey Osborne is Founder and President of Mosquito Authority, a leader in mosquito control with franchises serving communities across the U.S. and Canada. A lifelong entrepreneur, he also serves as CEO of Authority Franchise Systems, a company he founded in 2009 and which operates in 38 U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and Canada with more than 500 employees supporting 85,000 clients.
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