Tips for Prepping Your Franchise for Social Distancing
We are truly living in unprecedented times, and that means learning as we go. Not only in social settings, but with your franchising business. Dealing with a pandemic is certainly not something a new franchise owner prepares themselves to deal with, however, taking thoughtful time and consideration when planning and setting protocol into place can help you set your brand up for success. After all, as business owners who thrive off of being busy and drawing in new customers, it can be hard to actively tell folks to stay away. In the same light, doing so is the best thing for public safety. Actively embracing social distancing and state mandated orders or recommendations for safe distances can help the masses in both the short and long-term.
Besides, social distancing doesn't mean your franchise business is put on hold, it simply means you have to get creative in sales.
Start with your franchising brand itself. What is their protocol? Do they have recommendations on new or increased revenue streams? Are other franchisees offering creative solutions? Follow their social media pages and channels. See what others in your industry are doing and more. By remaining open to new ideas, you can come back to your franchise location with the best ideas to weather the storm.
Follow Distancing Guidelines
Be sure to keep social distancing guidelines to heart, and to keep them strict within your locations. That might mean briefing employees, signage that reminds customers of good practices, and more. Floor tape that maps out six feet of distance is also a good idea for checkout lines. (It's further than you'd think!)
Meanwhile, you might have to limit the amount of customers who come into your franchise location at a time. Or you can offer creative sales tactics. Can your shoppers order online? Can they call in and place a delivery order? What about curbside pickup? If you don't have the infrastructure in place, consider a quick fix, like social media posts with pricing and instructions for calling and picking up. This is a great way to keep your revenue stream flowing, but without sacrificing the health or safety of those around you. Besides, customers will be happy to get what they need without the cause to go inside or risk additional germ exposure.
Offer Personal Protection Equipment (or PPE)
For franchise employees and customers alike, offer access to PPE. This includes gloves, masks, hand sanitizer or wipes. And remember to clean surfaces often. Set up a regimen in place for how often employees should wash their hands and sanitize common surfaces, like door handles or checkout keypads. Setting strict guidelines in place for your franchise will help offer peace of mind for employees, and it will show customers that you're taking the pandemic seriously and care about their health and well being.
Don't overlook simple additions like masks or gloves, even a sign reminding others not to touch their face. If available, these products and reminders can greatly cut down the spread of germs, while helping your franchise thrive in the status quo.
Non-Essential Franchises Use Their Best Skills
One of the biggest fears among business owners comes with those who are classified as non-essential and have been forcibly shut down. While you should certainly follow state and/or federal guidelines, this is when your creative revenue streams come into play. Sell products, offer online classes or tutorials. Consider VIP memberships or at-home delivery on products.
While desperate times should not call for desperate measures with your franchise business, it does call for some creativity. Get your juices flowing and put your best ideas into action to help draw in revenue for your franchise business, even when you've been listed as a non-essential location.
Don't forget that many financial resources are available for business owners, including SBA loans that will be forgiven when used toward expenses caused by COVID-19.
And finally, consider giving back! What does your company have to offer that could benefit the masses? It might not be much, but every little bit helps, whether it's a donation of hand sanitizer or volunteering to make masks for hospitals.
As a business owner, your community is important to you and you want to see it thrive. Consider finding ways to help those around you in order to contribute toward the common good.
By Bethaney Wallace | Apr 09, 2020 | General Franchise Information