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How have franchisors been helping franchisees during the lockdown in the UK?
Alan Wilkinson writes:
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused franchisors just as many challenges as it has every other business. As with the economy in general, the impact has varied according to the sector in which you operate.
Franchisors have had to find new ways of working and communicating with their franchise network. We’ve seen that most good franchisors have increased their levels of support and communication with franchisees.
Not surprisingly, video conferencing saw a massive increase since the start of lockdown. We’ve seen examples of weekly team meetings on Zoom or GoToMeeting and one-to-one video calls with franchisees on a far more frequent basis than face-to-face and telephone contact was happening pre-lockdown.
Often franchisors have had to find alternative ways of working, such as online tuition for children instead of face to face. Franchisors have had to adapt their methodology, often involving amending operating procedures and manuals, while ensuring that nothing they’re doing breached their franchise agreement.
Where franchises have been allowed to trade, new systems for social distancing and hygiene have been implemented and shared with the network and as more businesses reopen this will continue to be the case.
Alan Wilkinson is head of franchise development at The Franchising Centre and has been in franchising for over 24 years.
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