This year saw many businesses struggling to keep up in an ever changing environment. The COVID-19 world pandemic certainly hit and hurt many businesses and will continue to hurt them for some time to come in a changing and challenging economy.
At Gutter-Vac, we worked very hard to keep up with all the regulations and restrictions through the COVID-19 lock down period and we did all the precautionary measures required. Plus, we are a no contact business! This meant that whilst many businesses had to shut down and lost income …. For months….. we were able to keep working and continue to service our customers, both residential and commercial.
Sure, we had to change how things were done. No more greetings and chats with our customers in their front yards, simply a wave from the window. We took precautions with all of our staff and maintained social distancing. We also had to make sure the word got out that we could do the service no contact, allowing our customers to not fear risk of exposure, but at the same time continue the important maintenance on their properties.
Within our business, we came together as a team and I was pretty proud of how we managed it all and how the franchisees banded together like a real family. We increased communication with daily – sometimes two or three times a day – updates via video. We had to cancel our conference (which was a real shame as it was to be in Fiji) so we took our conference online with a session each week that franchisees voted to continue so we are still doing our ‘Conference @ Home’ now each week. We even did our annual awards presentation online.
We increased our marketing efforts with increased social media, local area marketing tools for the franchisees and then also a regular email out to all of our customers to continue to help and serve them.
Our Franchisee Advisory Council increased the frequency of their meetings and even met on a Saturday to ensure all was covered so franchisees could continue to work and maintain their livelihoods with steady income.
Out of all of this, we didn’t just survive over the last few months, Gutter-Vac has thrived. We have been up about 25% on last years figures! UP … yes, up! We grew as a collective.
We had a brand new franchisee, in a brand new territory, start just a couple of weeks prior to lock down. He has probably had the best start to a franchise we have seen in the last couple of years. We supported him to continue to build his business and helped with how to modify his local area marketing to work even during lock down. So even with everything that from the outside said he should struggle, perhaps even fail, he has exploded into his business.
More than I have ever felt in the last 20 years since we began franchising Gutter-Vac, I can say without a doubt, Gutter-Vac is a good, honest, STABLE business that I would proudly suggest to anyone who wants to own a business and is prepared to do the work to gain the rewards. We have a business that works….. even if forced to do so with no contact.