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Strength in numbers: Why franchising hits the sweet spot when it comes to forging, building, and developing communities in the post-pandemic era.

on Monday, 13 September 2021. Posted in Insight

Already billed as one of the hottest trends in commerce, the pandemic has only heightened the importance of communities in business.

Strength in numbers: Why franchising hits the sweet spot when it comes to forging, building, and developing communities in the post-pandemic era.

Already billed as one of the hottest trends in commerce, the pandemic has only heightened the importance of communities in business.

We take a look at why the franchise industry hits the sweet spot when it comes to forging, building, and developing communities.

Over the course of the pandemic, we have seen the importance, impact, and relevance of communities soar. People came together like never before. From a business perspective, we have seen local business owners, adapt, innovate, and adopt new technologies overnight to remain connected with their customers. For many service-based businesses this meant a shift to digital communications, setting up Facebook or WhatsApp groups to connect with customers, provide services and support. 

And now, as we approach the post-pandemic era, the power of community is stronger than ever. The digital and online communication channels and connections forged during multiple lockdowns remain intact and are now amplified by people’s desire to connect in person. 

If there’s any industry that’s perfectly placed to help entrepreneurs and those aspiring to become business owners harness the power of communities, it’s franchising.

Even prior to the pandemic, the development of communities was one of the growing trends in business. This is evidenced by Facebook’s strategic shift to put more focus into the development of Facebook Groups. It is estimated that more than 1.8 billion people use Facebook Groups every month, whilst the company reportedly invested $10 million to run a 60-second commercial during a recent Super Bowl to promote Facebook Groups. 

As an industry, franchising has always had community connection at its core. By its very nature, franchising provides business owners with the opportunity to deliver a national brand, on a local level, and to engage, support and serve the local community.

This is something that we can expect to see a lot more of in the months and years ahead. At this year’s HSBC Elite Franchise TOP 100 2021 Celebratory & Awards Virtual Evening. Andrew Brattesani, UK head of franchising at HSBC highlighted that one of the key trends that would shape the franchising and business sectors in 2021 was the increase in national brands expanding into local markets through franchising.

The omni-present community

At énergie Fitness, we have seen the bond between business owner and customer strengthen over the course of the pandemic. The sudden introduction of lockdown 1.0 meant we had to rapidly adopt a new way of communicating with and serving members.

The pivot to a digital experience for gym members has been well documented, with a digital fitness offering now seen as a key component in any forward-thinking gym operator’s membership offer. 

This new level of flexibility has been embraced by members who can now enjoy a fitness experience from the comfort of their own home or in the gym itself. This has become known as an omni-channel membership experience and forms part of the development of an omni-present community. 

As a result of the communication channels developed over lockdown, members are now connected to their local gym and other members, through Facebook Groups, on-line classes, in-gym classes, in-gym conversations, and social events, meaning that conversations and experiences can transfer seamlessly from the digital to the physical world, forming a stronger bond, connection, and community than ever before. 

Franchising hits the community sweet spot

Whilst it can be argued that any business can form a strong bond with their local community, franchising provides business owners with a community of their own in the form of the franchise network and the central support of the franchisor. 

The power of a franchise network and being part of a community of like-minded individuals cannot be underestimated. For new franchisees, who may be taking their first steps into business, the aspiration to become one of the top performers in the franchise network can come from seeing the established franchisees who have already set a proven pathway to follow. 

For more experienced franchisees, the ability to mentor new franchisees and pass on their experience can provide incredible value to the franchise network. Many franchisors have mentorship programmes in place where new franchisees receive help and assistance from more experienced members of the network. 

At energie Fitness, we have taken the concept of mentorship to another level, creating a Mastermind Programme, specifically designed for franchisees with multi-site ambitions who want to build their businesses to the maximum value. As part of the Mastermind Programme, franchisees receive mentorship from members of the énergie leadership team and shareholders who have all build and sold businesses in multi-million-pound deals. 

For prospective franchisees looking to get into business, local ownership through franchising can provide the platform to deliver the maximum value to their local community, whilst sharing the journey with the support of their very own franchise network community, and that’s the sweet spot. 

This article comes courtesy of énergie Fitness, ranked 3rd in the Elite Franchise TOP 100 UK franchises for 2021. Get in touch with énergie Fitness to discover how you can join a community of like-minded professionals who will cheer on your success.

Strategic Media Partners