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Coronavirus and Franchising: Lauren Wanamaker of Amazing Lash Studio®

Nick Powills and Charles Internicola are joined by Amazing Lash Studio® Senior Director of Development Lauren Wanamaker to learn how brands are tackling the challenges of the COVID-19 crisis.

The coronavirus continues to have dire effects on businesses across the country, and the franchising industry is no exception. Franchisors across segments are strategizing new ways to support their franchisees, keep customers satisfied, help local communities and come out stronger on the other side of this crisis.  

To that end, 1851 Franchise publisher Nick Powills and Charles Internicola, founder and partner of the Internicola Law* Firm, are covering the coronavirus and its impact on the franchising industry through a webinar series titled “Coronavirus and Franchising: Mindset + Strategy to Recover and Grow.”

In today’s morning webinar, Powills and Internicola spoke with Amazing Lash Studio® Senior Director of Development Lauren Wanamaker to discuss how the brand has pivoted to better serve customers and franchisees. 

Here are some of the key insights from their discussion.

We’re all in this together. 

Leadership teams, franchisees and employees are all dealing with similar situations right now, and everyone is doing the best they can. This is uncharted territory. 

Regular communication is critical. 

People can draw from all sorts of experiences to help deal with this crisis. Experience in public relations and communications is particularly valuable right now. Leverage that experience to craft deliberate and effective messaging to your audiences, including franchisees and customers. 

This situation has unfolded differently in different states. Regular communication across the board, from franchisees to customers to employees, is critical. 

Franchisee support is paramount. 

Helping franchisees stay in communication with employees and customers, and providing them with the tools they need to stay in touch, is crucial.

Brands should provide franchisees with resources for rent relief, tools and templates for reaching out to landlords, information regarding the CARES Act and SBA relief and more. 

Brands with membership models might be at an advantage. 

Brands with membership models must think about how they can help franchisees maintain their membership base. An advantage of a membership-based franchise is that franchisees might be able to pick up where they left off once the crisis is over. 

Loyal customers do not want to see their favorite brands disappear. 

Customers of membership-based brands want to continue supporting those brands. This is encouraging and should make it easier for brands to weather this storm. 

Smaller businesses are bound to close. 

Unfortunately, there will be smaller businesses that will close. They lack the support and infrastructure provided by franchisors. Many self-employed business people may soon realize they need the support and backing of a larger business model. 

Brands need to start looking at changing consumer behaviors. 

Little everyday things are changing, and consumers are picking up new habits. For instance, people are being urged to frequently wash their hands and use hand sanitizer. Brands must start to reevaluate common practices, such as menu sharing and cleaning, and how they might need to adjust moving forward. 

There are silver linings.

Brands will see franchise growth out of this crisis, which is why it’s so important to focus on franchisees and helping them get through this crisis. New prospects will learn about that support through their validation process.

This crisis will also open up the workforce. Many people will be looking for work, which will help hiring managers.

*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.