With ‘Freedom Day’ a thing of the past, many franchisees are now in a position to return to normal levels of activity following an extended period of disruption.
With ‘Freedom Day’ a thing of the past, many franchisees are now in a position to return to normal levels of activity following an extended period of disruption. Whatever your experience as a business owner, there’s lots of work to be done to ensure you can continue operating and some sense of normality can resume for you, your teams and your customers. There are many different aspects to consider in these three areas, so let’s break them down.
Undoubtedly, a great deal will have changed in the past 18 months and things will probably look different to pre-pandemic times. It’s wise to revisit any operations manuals to refresh your memory on usual activities that may have been placed on hold lately. Whilst a much-needed refresh will do you good, it’s also handy as you won’t have any time to go back to these once things are back in full swing.
Remind yourself of systems and processes implemented by the franchisor, and clue yourself up on what you might need to know for the future. Are your clients now expecting a virtual service? Do they want to pay contactless? Do you need to adapt your service to fit more conveniently within their lives? In other words, what needs to happen to make sure you are continuing to give your clients the best service?
Talk to other franchisees in the network to see what lessons they have also learnt during the pandemic. How can you adopt the same principles to work together as a unit? By really assessing what has changed, you can find the best route to make it work in the future.
For your teams.
The workplace has undergone a huge upheaval, with many people affected. That includes your teams. Their home situation might have changed, which will probably need to be reflected in their working environment too. You’ll need to place more emphasis on their wellbeing and mental health as the pandemic continues to have a slight handle over our lives. As a leader, what can you put in place to ensure they feel safe and secure in their roles – especially if you might have had to furlough them or reduce their hours?
The common factor in all of this is communication. By speaking to your team, you will be able to fully understand what their priorities are and give them the best opportunity to choose their desired lifestyle and working situation. Discover what makes them feel the most comfortable and accommodate them to the best of your ability – we’ve all just lived through one of the most challenging times in modern history, so we must look after one another. The bottom line is that happy team members make for a great business that, ultimately, resonates with clients too.
As disposable income begins to make a comeback and people can pay for their luxuries once again, it might not be their first thought to begin working with you directly. For some, they might even be keen to pull the purse strings as they’ve been able to cut back on spending during lockdowns. What can you do to bring them back on board?
Nurture the relationship and reach out with a friendly approach (no hard selling at this point, please). Assess each situation as everyone is different and needs to be handled appropriately. Work on a way to find out their pain points and slowly persuade them (again, no hard selling) to see why they need to come back.
And you might be wondering: what about the ones who stayed loyal to you? Get in touch as above, be friendly and give that personal service that has kept them with you during this time. They need just as much attention as the rest of your clientele.
As I’m sure you can imagine, jumping back on the bandwagon can be a long process. But, unfortunately, if you don’t get the wheels turning quick enough, you’ll be left in the dust. Now’s the time to put your foot on the gas, go full throttle and return to doing what you do best.