As 2020 draws to a close, we wanted to look back on the year and see, both professionally and personally, how far our amazing franchise network has come. I think we can all agree that no-one could have guessed how 2020 would pan out. But in true entrepreneurial spirit, we embraced every challenge, and as a result, our network has had the most successful year to date in our 11-year history.
Below, we focus on a few of the key moments early on in the Pandemic which helped us navigate a way through a challenging year and come out the other side bigger and stronger, and more optimistic than ever.
Here we Go – By the beginning of March, it was clear that a lockdown was just around the corner. The team at Pink Spaghetti HQ was ready and waiting with communications to franchisees offering official advice and internal suggestions and tips to help prepare them and their customers.
Our strategy from the outset was all about communication, practical help and emotional support. We published a blog – “Work from home, but do it well” and two newsletters for franchisees to send out to customers. We felt it was crucial to build relationships and communicate well to show customers we were taking a positive and common sense approach to the Pandemic. We also encouraged franchisees to share posts and advice/support in their networking groups to show what customers could be doing as small business owners.
As a work from home network, we also wanted to stress to customers that it was business as usual for Pink Spaghetti.
Zoom – as a virtual business, Pink Spaghetti was already used to using Zoom for remote meetings but realised many office-based customers may not be as well prepared. We created a branded video showing people how to create a Zoom account. We encouraged franchisees to share this on social media, in local Facebook groups, networking groups as well as sending as emails.
Lockdown #1 – As lockdown began, we created a document for franchisees to get out to their network explaining exactly how they could help businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.
We also shared a number of useful articles about remote working management and how to run virtual meetings, which we encouraged franchisees to share with customers less familiar with working from home.
We felt we were in a very strong position given that our business model had been working this way for the last 11 years.
We also wanted to highlight other companies offering free help and advice such as a company that was offering free tech to support businesses.
Help is On Its Way – We shared information which we felt would be of benefit to many of our franchisees and customers. This was initially for the self-employed only and did not cover directors. It was a taxable grant covering up to 80% of their trading profits over the last 3 years.
Positivity – Continuing our determination to spread help and positivity, we created an entire marketing campaign for our franchisees as well as a series of videos bringing together a wealth of ideas and solutions to challenges which customers may be facing. We also set up webinars with our Action Coach to help the network focus on their goals as we navigated through the unknown.
The New Normal – Thinking ahead was hugely important as part of our strategy. We put together an initial list of businesses that we felt would be busy when restrictions were eased and who will need help. This allowed franchisees to focus on where they may be able to other businesses and where their services may be needed.
Life After Lockdown
2020 Certainly wasn’t the year we were expecting – but in true Pink Spaghetti style – we approached it head-on and never shied away from any challenges or uncertainties.
It wouldn’t be an understatement to say that it truly brought out the very best in our network of talented franchisees and we will be eternally proud of what we achieved as a group.
We received countless thank you’s from customers who we helped pivot their business and in turn, cemented lasting business relationships and friendships with many of them.
The Pandemic still continues and we have continued to adapt. We can confidently say that we made it through and have become bigger and stronger for it.