Stories from the Covid-19 Front Lines: Mark Hemmeter, Office Evolution CEO
Name: Mark Hemmeter
Brand: Office Evolution
Segment: Business services
Total units: 73
Locations: 25 states
How many locations has your brand reopened? How many closed permanently?
Throughout the pandemic, Office Evolution locations have remained open to provide vital essential services to local small and medium-sized businesses and workers of larger corporations who need a work space close to home that is cost-effective, safe, and inspired. We offer an essential service and remained open throughout the pandemic. Unfortunately, two of our locations did close permanently and one temporarily as a result of the pandemic. Still, we remain encouraged about our brand and motivated by our incredible franchisees. Last year we opened 13 new locations, 9 of them during the pandemic. We feel this is a testament to the increased demand for our services, the strength of our model, and the caliber of our franchisees who make up our “Ohana” (Hawaiian for family).
What are your franchisees doing for their customers?
Our franchisees have provided our members with access to a safe, flexible, and convenient work environment that has allowed them to continue to focus on their businesses. Every location is following CDC protocols, as well as any guidance provided by the local government and health agencies.
How are customers responding to your reopening guidelines?
Members have truly embraced us during the pandemic. Our “Dreamers, Risk-Takers, and Doers” campaign not only helped us connect with them, it also helped showcase our support for their businesses and dreams. Additionally, they have appreciated the protocols and guidelines we have implemented through our “Welcome” campaign at our locations. They know we are doing everything we can to help support them through this difficult time, and that they can rely on us to help them.
What new programs did you introduce for franchisees during Covid-19?
At the very start of Covid-19, our marketing team took action to underscore to our franchisees, business center managers, and members that Office Evolution was there to support them so they could continue focusing on running their businesses and taking care of their families. Our team developed the “Dreamers, Risk-Takers, and Doers” initiative, which was our way of supporting and lifting up our Ohana. This initiative allowed us to virtually wrap our arms around our franchisees and employees. We sent all members and franchisees a t-shirt to symbolize our unity and invited them to share their story on their social media page. It went viral. Another program we implemented is a no-touch visitor management system from Greetly. This system allows members to use their smartphones to check into the business center. This eliminates the need for face-to-face contact during the check-in process and provides members with a more streamlined and safer way to enter our office spaces.
How do you see the future of your brand, operations, market, etc. post–Covid-19?
Office Evolution is poised to continue our growth trajectory in every region across the U.S. As we head into 2021, we are slated to open 3 new locations within the first 3 months of the year, and plan on opening an additional 12 throughout the rest of the year. As shutdowns increase across the country, more and more businesses will be looking to provide their employees with access to a cost-effective, safe, and convenient work space.
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