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No time for faint hearts

Written by Andy Swales on Monday, 22 March 2021. Posted in Franchise

As Granite & TREND have shown, the Coronavirus pandemic was the ideal moment for businesses to transform, develop and expand, rather than shrink beneath the covers.

No time for faint hearts

As Granite & TREND have shown, the Coronavirus pandemic was the ideal moment for businesses to transform, develop and expand, rather than shrink beneath the covers. 

When the pandemic struck a little over 12 months ago, it was crunch time for many businesses. Some decided to play it safe, by pulling up the drawbridge and sitting tight waiting for the storm to blow over. Others felt it was best to tread water and hope for clearer skies a few months down the line, while some decided it was the perfect opportunity to transform and expand.

Granite & TREND Transformations opted for the last of these three choices, as Chief Operating Officer Danny Hanlon explained: “I think you can tell a lot about a business by the way that it reacts to a crisis and we viewed the pandemic as a business transformation opportunity.

“Our strategies were all aimed at giving our franchisees a competitive advantage and to help support them throughout the pandemic. We’ve always differentiated ourselves from other franchises by striving to take an innovative and pro-active approach to how we do business. This is reflected not only in our unique products, and the way business is conducted as a whole, but also in how it supports its franchisees.”

Danny told a recent webinar that Granite & TREND Transformations is a booming business, and that this is largely down to the company’s positive attitude towards everyday trading. Last December, the company made its way into the top 100 of the Elite Franchise List for the first time.

The brand continues to expand and, at the end of 2020, had more than 25 franchisees across the UK. And Granite & TREND are looking to open at least another 10 during the current calendar year. While many companies took a more cautious approach to dealing with the pandemic, Granite & TREND was keen to grasp this opportunity by reinvesting in the franchise.

One marketing campaign featured ‘Janet from Granite.’ Janet was a fictional brand ambassador who brought a friendly, approachable face to the company. And Granite & TREND are always keen to point out to potential customers that they employ a cutting-edge 3D Design tool, while enjoying an exclusive partnership with Microban™.

Not surprisingly, Danny remains optimistic about the immediate future, adding: “A combination of the vaccine programme among our key demographics, and the need for a fresh start after lockdown, is really driving up interest in Granite & TREND. We’ve already seen a 100% increase in the number of leads we’ve generated. Yes, 100%. Sales, year-on-year, were up 40% last August and we’ve also seen a double-digit increase in four of the last six months.”

This means the company’s franchise partners are perfectly equipped to meet the rising demand from customers. Thanks to Granite & TREND’s forward-looking policies and tactics throughout the pandemic, individual franchisees across the network have remained upbeat and resilient – and are in prime position to boost future business. Danny added: “This last year has been all about keeping that growth mind set. In October, we opened our second company owned store in Eastbourne, and opened three new showrooms, with another two scheduled during the first quarter of 2021.”  

He feels proud of the support Granite & TREND has provided to all of its franchisees, saying: “We now have one of the most experienced and highly-qualified franchise and support teams (FAST) in the industry. In January of this year we appointed Mike Brocklebank as our new Franchise Network Manager. With his background in retail and franchise management, along with his status as a BFA-recognised Qualified Franchise Professional, Mike is the perfect addition. His extra level of expertise and experience makes us a stellar team.

“Our FAST team has ensured that no-one in the organisation has had to face the crisis on their own. Not only were the team always there at the end of a phone, but we also held regular web meetings and offered online training opportunities. And we all feel buoyant about the future of our brand.”

About the Author

Andy Swales

A dedicated journalist for three decades, Andy has spent much of this time working for ITN, Sky Sports and Today’s Golfer magazine, after starting out years back at the Hackney Gazette. Since leaving Sky Sports in 2018, has spread his wings into other areas and loves writing about property and the nations rising stars in the SME business world and franchise community.

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