Recently FoxBusiness.com illuminated a business phenomenon that has developed out of the challenges of the COVID-19 working world in an article titled, How coronavirus led interior design companies to start virtual consultations. Social distancing and sheltering at home impacted the ability of consumers to shop as well as the ability of businesses to sell. Home Franchise Concepts (HFC) and its family of home services franchise brands made a quick and efficient metamorphosis from face-to-face consultations to virtual consultations. When other franchises closed their doors, HFC franchise business owners were able to continue working and providing services to their customers and communities.
An opportunity for innovation
Franchise owner of two Budget Blinds franchises in Bergen County, N.J., Sonie Skogerson, made the successful transition. “It was a big learning curve trying to figure out how to do it, how to make it work.” She started telling her clients that if they had a measuring tape and a phone or computer to do a video chat, she could help them get started on designs. “That’s kind of how we started doing these virtual consults, and then it evolved into, wait a second, this is actually working really, really well. The last three weeks, I have a ton of leads coming in every day.”
Similarly, Todd and Juliana Carter, franchise owners of Tailored Living of Northern Virginia & Montgomery County, took advantage of technology to reach out to homeowners, stuck at home, who had time to focus on home improvements. Todd explains, “We had some experience with these technologies, where we have clients that are moving to this area from out of state or out of country. Now, we’ve just taken it to an entirely different level of engagement online.”
Advancement from adversity
The HFC Home Office lost no time in developing numerous recovery strategies to support its 1,800+ franchise owners across all its brands—Budget Blinds®, Tailored Living®, Concrete Craft®, and AdvantaClean®—as everyone began adapting to the new environment.
- Home Office created support materials to help franchise owners pivot quickly to virtual consultations, including digital marketing resources, email templates, print ad templates, COVID-10 marketing resources, and more.
- IT support was immediately available for franchise owners that required help transitioning to virtual consultations.
- Negotiations with vendor alliance partners began in order to shore up supply and delivery protocols so customers’ needs could continue to be met.
The synergy of local and national marketing efforts turned the challenges of virtual business into advancement as explained by Heather Nykolaychuk, Chief Marketing Officer at HFC: “We learned a lesson from COVID-19, and I think what that was is how quickly we could come together as a brand and pivot. What we realized is that, foundationally, this is a long-term endeavor for us. So even outside of the pandemic, we should do this. We should be available to our consumers however they need us to be available.”
A very supportive franchise family
Along with exemplary customer support, the HFC franchise family network is supportive of each individual associate and franchise owner during these trying times. A recent report from franchisees in the NJ/NY/CT area show how camaraderie and support are taking virtual meetings to a whole new level. Sal Millitello, Budget Blinds of Wayne, along with Todd Greenberg, Budget Blinds of Ossining, and Sonie Skogerson, Budget Blinds of Paramus & Westwood, transformed their quarterly in-person meetings at the local Firehouse restaurant to weekly virtual meetings that now include 52 participants, including owners from other areas of the U.S. and Canada. Participants learn, listen and ask questions ranging from virtual consultations to government loan programs and sharing ideas on how to continue driving awareness for the business. While a business focus is priority, franchisees are just as happy to see one another and gain strength in knowing they’ll get through these trying times together!
If you’re interested in starting a franchise business and taking charge of your future, the HFC family of brands is continuing steady growth as new franchise owners come onboard every week. Support is a major component of franchise success, and you’ll not find a more supportive network than within the HFC franchise family. New owners Doug and Michelle Lumsden believe that now is a great time to start a business with HFC. Doug shares, “The franchisees that we spoke to all said that Budget Blinds has a wonderful business model. They stated that both management and the vendors have gone out of their way to help franchisees through this difficult economic time, and that was extremely appealing to us.”
So, don’t wait “for things to get better” before you make a move. Right now, everything you need to investigate the franchise opportunities with HFC is available virtually. Call 1-800-420-5374 or go online to Home Franchise Concepts and learn more about franchise ownership with HFC. One of our franchise licensing advisors will be happy to answer any questions you have, discuss financing options, and explain the advantages of “attending” a Virtual Discovery Day from the comfort of your own home … no travel expenses. Invest some time, see which brand is right for you, and make that call today!
Read the complete Fox Business article here: How coronavirus led interior design companies to start virtual consultations