Fibrenew’s Key Pivots Through COVID-19
Fibrenew’s Response and Position During the COVID-19 Pandemic
With a keen eye on the future, and as the situation with the COVID-19 outbreak has evolved, Fibrenew has adapted and responded accordingly to support our Franchise Partners through this time and keep our company moving forward.
Since early March/2020, Fibrenew has rolled out numerous essential updates and changes in response to the pandemic. This has included info-sharing and pro-active steps on financial relief, ramped-up support and on-going education, the establishment of new industry partners, as well as the development and release of new products. All the while, we have been guided by a consistent message to stay informed, stay safe, and stay positive.
“Major kudos to the team for your support through this period. I really appreciate it. Looking to and expecting success for everyone from their efforts once the dust settles.”
– Franchisee, Joey Weber: Fibrenew Chico, CA
An Essential Business: Fibrenew’s Mid-Long Term Outlook:
While the COVID-19 pandemic has had a short-term effect on Fibrenew’s ability to perform work at full capacity, it has not entirely disrupted our ability to operate. Although at a reduced capacity, many of our franchisees have continued to provide services to essential businesses in their local areas during the shelter-at-home orders.
As restrictions lift in the days and weeks to come, we anticipate a return to the strong demand for our services across all the industries we proudly service. We also anticipate increased demand in the medical and hospitality sectors. In particular, a speculative change in regulations and expectations of the condition of vinyl, plastic, and leather being kept in excellent condition – with no rips, tears, cracks, or holes in substrates whatsoever. That’s a need that Fibrenew will be able to provide. We’ll be here to help.
10 KEY OPERATIONAL PIVOTS:
Since early March, we have all been waking up to a changing reality – one that’s been refreshed every 24 hours. With that changing reality has come the need to respond as best we can along the way. Below is a play-by-play overview of those operational pivots we felt necessary to best navigate this period and come out stronger:
1) Relief on Franchise Fees:
- For the months of April, May and, June, franchise fee waivers were issued for all Franchisees across the system
- This was a full waive, not a deferment and was done in good faith in light of the unprecedented circumstances our Franchisees faced in the spring of 2020
2) Annual Seminars Rescheduled and Delivered via Zoom:
- With stay at home orders in effect, April was an opportune time for our franchisees to sharpen repair skills, learn new techniques and refine processes
- All previously-scheduled live, in-person seminars were canceled
- Seminars were then conducted April 20 – 24 via Zoom where we hosted over 250 Franchise Partners from around the world
- We anticipate live, in-person seminars to resume once it’s deemed safe and appropriate
3) New Vendor Partnerships Formed and Strengthened:
- We established new alliances with industry partners and strengthened our relationships with existing ones
- Deeper discounts and incentives with 3rd party suppliers were set in place
- We established more customer referral channels with partners
4) Ramped-Up Company-Wide Support:
- New company-wide ‘Huddle Calls’ via Zoom now happen every Wednesday morning
- All franchisees are invited to attend these calls for a dose of motivation, to share ideas and to to keep the Fibrenew community strong
- We published numerous support articles on steps that can be taken during this period, including marketing, business planning, and learning new skills
- We produced new internal podcasts with team members to share ideas and to keep a common thread in philosophy
5) Training New Franchisees:
- For our March class, in the midst of the first wave of restrictions, we revised the training schedule in order to send trainees home as soon as possible
- Starting in May/2020, and for the foreseeable future, we are conducting our 2-week training course via Zoom for new Franchise Partners. It has worked wonderfully and all new franchisees who have completed training via Zoom have gone on to successfully start their businesses
6) We Released and Developed New Products:
- We continued to develop, produce and ship our proprietary products
- On April 23rd, we released a new line of topcoats (with an antimicrobial ingredient) and new cleaning products (some with a bleach disinfectant)
- We also released and shipped new tools and equipment that all help expand our service offerings
- In mid-March, we began the development of an all-new disinfectant cleaner that Fibrenew Franchisees will soon use for every repair they perform in the field
7) For Potential Franchisees: Virtual Ride Days & Conference Calls:
- We moved on-screen for our Ride Day process that allows prospective franchise owners to see the process of how we work in the field from the comfort of their home
- We have also introduced another round of communication with more current owners and our leadership team as part of the validation process
- To meet an increase in franchise inquiries, we are now holding conference calls twice per month for those interested in learning more about our franchise concept
8) Government Relief Options:
- We provided clear instructions and information on programs from the US and Canadian Governments
9) Operations and Staffing:
- Our executive team, support, administration, warehouse, and training teams continued to work regular hours
- No staff members were let go during this period
- Our Franchisees were able to keep their businesses running by utilizing safe protocols and by following their local health authority’s guidelines. This includes wearing proper PPE such as masks, gloves, and foot coverings and using hand sanitizer throughout their day as they interacted with clients.
- Our franchisees are also asking clients about any COVID-19 related symptoms or possible exposure before booking appointments.
10) Our Mantra During this Time:
- As independently owned and operated Fibrenew Franchise business owners, we encouraged everyone to: Stay Safe + Play Your Part + Think Big + Maintain a Positive Attitude
To date, this has been a period of redefinition for us all. On both personal and business levels, it is presenting unprecedented challenges. It is pushing us to examine our place in the world, how we conduct our daily lives as well as how we work and play. While this pandemic has physically forced us apart in the short term, it has so far proven to have brought the Fibrenew community closer together for the long haul.
From everyone here at Fibrenew, we wish you and yours well through this period. Take good care,
– Team Fibrenew
CHECK OUT SOME RECENT FIBRENEW EXCHANGE PODCASTS WHERE WE DISCUSS COVID-19 AND OUR OPERATIONS THROUGH THIS PERIOD: