In case anyone forgot that founders and creative entrepreneurs are the very backbone of successful franchise organizations around the world, a messy virus called upon them to do what they do best: keep on inventing greatness.
Some of the biggest, most well-known franchise organizations with hundreds and even thousands of locations that credit their success to following a proven system were forced to reinvent their business in a matter of days or weeks. That’s the tsunami of business change that COVID-19 created.
Franchisors were up to the task, however.
In fact, the innovation hasn’t stopped.
Giving the virus the one-two punch
The world’s largest kickboxing franchise, 9Round, closed gyms across the country and around the world and took workouts online for members far and wide.
The response was overwhelming, connecting with members in a whole new way outside the four walls of actual locations
Co-founders Shannon and Heather Hudson also delivered free workouts online via Facebook Live. And the sweating continues as people stay fit to fight and loyal to the brand and its motto: Stronger in 30 minutes.
Water restoration services are an essential business at any time, but never more than now as disinfecting services surged for Restoration 1, the fastest-growing franchise in the restoration sector.
With TV interviews getting the word out to those in need, and an army of trained technicians in hazmat suits doing dirty and essential work, the calls keep coming.
Whole foods in a healthy way
Edible Arrangements pivoted business in a week’s time to begin offering boxes of whole fruits and vegetables with no delivery charge.
The boxes of produce rapidly became best-sellers across the system, meeting a growing demand from consumers sheltering in place.
Not to be outdone, franchisees have been donating fruit cups, arrangements, and more to healthcare workers and first responders on the front lines as well.
Rocking out at home
Topping the charts for innovation, School of Rock launched Rock Remote, making virtual music lessons available to over 40,000 enrolled students.
The VIP treatment escalated to include live Artist Sessions with some of the world’s most famous musicians, including band members from Bon Jovi, Alice Cooper, Guns N Roses, Pink and others.
Senior care heroes in a pandemic
With heightened concerns about health and safety for seniors, ComForCare has seen a wave of interest for home care options. And sister-company CarePatrol has also been instrumental in helping hospitals discharge seniors safely to free up beds for COVID-19 patients and place them in the best environments for continued care.
FaceTime your plumber
A plumbing emergency creates added stress for a world sheltering at home. To ease the tension, bluefrog Plumbing + Drain began offering real-time virtual DIY troubleshooting with plumbers — introducing virtual options for customers to attempt repairs on their own before a licensed plumber needs to enter the home.
No membership needed to sweat
Gold’s Gym, the world’s trusted leader in fitness, has been giving everyone across North America FREE access to its GOLD’S AMP personal training app and new At-Home on-demand workout videos. With no gym membership required, the organization is inspiring everyone and anyone to be Stronger Anywhere…even outside the gym.
These are just a few of the ways that some of the world’s leading franchisors have helped their franchisees pivot and respond to the global pandemic. And these examples serve as a reminder that the old saying has never been more fitting than now: franchising means you are in business for yourself, but not by yourself!