“Sometimes you have an idea that is obvious and just feels right.
In some ways, in my role as Head of Franchise for HSBC, I could say, I have had a good lockdown. Yes, the team and I have really felt the responsibility of working for a financial institution at a time when our support (in words and actions) have a direct effect on our clients and those around us. But we have not had to deal with furloughing, and working from home with no face to face interactions, we are putting ourselves at minimum physical risk.
This is not the case in so many franchise businesses, at all levels, whether franchisor, franchisee or those who are employed by either. From this, the idea of Community Heroes was born. How can we recognise the resilience and bravery of so many who represent our industry. There you have it, three positive R words, Recognise, Resilience and Represent.
We have the awards on the 30th November, what a wonderful occasion to celebrate those who deserve it most !!
As far as I am concerned the more nominated the better!”
“Franchising has shown true resilience throughout 2020, and we know there will be more to come. I would like to encourage you all to join us in celebrating the true passion, dedication and humility that has been evidenced. Let’s recognise the franchise industry for the place it truly is and embrace the collective recognition of our amazing franchising colleagues.”
Anyone can be nominated from franchisor staff to franchisee owner, to the cleaner in a franchised store
When COVID-19 hit, Charlotte Young, Razzamataz’s Creative Director and Franchise Support Mentor very quickly adapted to take on many new roles to support franchisees. Working both night and day, hosting live events and Zoom training sessions, Charlotte had to learn new skills almost overnight. Charlotte was also instrumental in creating a new online operations manual as well as a reopening manual, much of which came from her researching different countries’ policies. As well as continuing her regular one to one support calls, she has also supported five new franchisees into the Razzamataz network, all during the pandemic.
Franchisees testimonials about Charlotte
“Many people say that people have gone over and above when describing how much someone had done for them, but with Charlotte it is more than that. Razzamataz is in her blood, she understands how it works, how much the children benefit, how much effort goes in at head office and the struggles of a Principal. She has a passion that is infectious and is always ready to help, offer comforting words and check out the best practice so that everyone has the tools we need. All this while having a young family too makes Charlotte a complete superwoman,” Michaela Crompton, Principal, Razzamataz Bristol.
“As a new franchisee, I find Charlotte to be absolutely inspirational. Throughout training she shared her amazingly extensive knowledge, and during training and since she has been so incredibly supportive. I know that I can go to Charlotte with any question or problem and, despite her immense workload, she will always find the time to help. She is so smiley and approachable; I could not wish for a better mentor. I don’t know how Charlotte manages to do everything she does – she truly is a Superwoman,” Helen Mayes, Principal Razzamataz Wakefield.
From the very beginning of COVID-19 lockdown, Kevin demonstrated exceptional leadership and support to his clients and community. His unfaltering belief that businesses could not only survive, but that they would thrive during lockdown was a beacon of light during a highly uncertain time.
Kevin immediately looked for ways to support as many businesses as he could and ensure that coaching was accessible to everyone. He offered payment breaks and reduced rates to current clients and set up free weekly coaching webinars for any business owner or employee to attend.
He increased his ‘gifted coaching’ from 5 hours to 15 hours per week (and frequently gifted more than this). He hosted free workshops and speaking events where he coached on the importance of a positive mindset, resilience, time management, sales, marketing, strategy planning and more. In total, Kevin gifted 181 free coaching sessions to 753 people during lockdown (March–June 2020).
He worked long days and gave up his holiday time to ensure that he could help as many businesses as possible. The results spoke for themselves – one client created a new product offering in March which generated unexpectant income during lockdown, another client had their highest ever online sales in April and another client pivoted their events business to online sales and virtual events to ensure they thrived.
Kevin made it his mission to ensure every business owner he reached saw the opportunities available to them and in doing so he had a tremendous impact on our local community.
Paul and his team at ActionCOACH Bolton have worked tirelessly to help as many business owners as possible to survive and thrive during the pandemic. He has gifted all his spare coaching slots and provided free webinars and workshops to over 450 individual business owners to date and continues to do so. He opened up his private Zoom sessions to all local business owners, provided expert advice and guests, formed a WhatsApp group and loaded his website with free resources and opportunities for learning.
His primary goal is to help as many business owners and their teams as possible and his core value is abundance.
Some posts from people we have helped during the pandemic
Paul’s delivery is smooth, respectful and disciplined… I have seen numerous speakers, coaches and mentors over the years some forcefully dictating “its my way or the highway” Paul is subtle and dynamic. The thing that impressed me the most about Paul, when the CV-19 lockdown came he opened up his private zoom meetings to his entire network, organised experts to speak on a daily basis, invited questions from attendees, did the research and delivered the answers, results or feedback the following day. This went on for over 8 weeks, I presume it was exhausting, this was all free… I know some of the attendees were really struggling some financially, some with mental health others in general panic, Paul kept their spirits up ran the meetings and supported his audience. If I was ever looking for a coach or mentor, Paul would be top of my list, Nice one Paul what a Legend.
Joe Duncan – Professional Power Flushing Service
Jon Asquith of ActionCOACH Sheffield has helped (and continues to do so), over 100 businesses owners for free during lockdown.
Jon provided 10 hours per week for free to offer pro bono strategy sessions to help the local business community change business models, marketing messages and sales process in order to keep trading. In total Jon helped 170 local companies keep on trading.
“Alan is a business coach with a large number of contacts in the business community and also a large amount of knowledge to share with an open coaching style that encourages people to open up to him. Since lockdown began, Alan has been holding a zoom session for an hour at 8 a.m. EVERY SINGLE WEEKDAY, without missing one day. On these zoom sessions, people from the business community in Scotland participate to share knowledge, train each other, help each other, support and comfort each other. He has engaged speakers such as Andy Bounds, Michael Heppell and Miles Duncan to provide training on specific topics.
He has also shown up on Linkedin every single day, with posts intended to educate, show appreciation and share information about businesses who have something interesting to say. The very fact that he has shown up every day to provide this type of “just being there for whatever people need” approach says to me that he is truly a local hero.”
As social distancing began, the Domestic Angels Covid-19 attrition rate gathered pace as customers gradually decided to cease having anyone visit in their homes. This devasted each of the franchisee’s businesses, it’s not possible to convert home help, housework or even spring cleaning into an on-line service. The team were asked about implementing a token client retention fee to be held as a future credit on service resumption as per other service providers. The reaction, no, definitely not, we are all in this together. This team has integrity.
Amongst the client base are a number of vulnerable people who wouldn’t see anyone or have any support under the lockdown provision, dementia doesn’t cope with a stranger volunteering. Again, the team were consulted, their decision was to retain a skeleton staff to continue service to the vulnerable even if this meant trading at a severe loss rather than close. Continuity was also offered to our NHS keyworker clients who were then in with a better chance of health and sanity with homes looked after. This team has moral backbone.
As they watched their businesses take the Covid-19 impact, their own incomes suffer, they kept touch with customers especially those alone. They took care of the many staff who were furloughed and those who stepped forward to take care of our vulnerables. They achieved all of this whilst home-schooling, pivoting their businesses for resumption, engaging in marketing activity and growing as business leaders in their communities. This team is simply heroic.
Jeremy Graham-Clare ActionCOACH St. Albans has been helping over 250 local businesses survive and thrive during the Covid19 pandemic. In the words of one client whose business has enjoyed tremendous financial success (half a million pounds profit, working only 2 days a week. In the last 3 weeks the company has made more profit than in the last 4 years)
“We met Jeremy just before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and were very impressed with his business insight and knowledge. As a result of the pandemic our business had to close its doors and we were not sure if we would ever re-open. Jeremy immediately offered to advise and support us via weekly Zoom meetings. Jeremy helped turn this into a positive learning experience for us and he allayed any fears we had of re-opening again.
Before we met Jeremy our business was successful but not profitable. Having worked with Jeremy through Covid-19 we have been able to turn the business around which is amazing.
We were really struggling to carry on with the business before we met Jeremy. We have learned so much in the past three months which has permanently changed the way in which we will do things going forward.
I wish we had met Jeremy 4 years ago before we started the business. I would urge anyone struggling or starting out to work with Jeremy – it is an excellent investment and probably the best business decision we have ever made.”
On 18th March 2020 our Swimtime Swim Teachers, ceased delivering lessons as the country went into lockdown. A challenge Swimtime faced was how to continuing to keep in contact with them and keep their skills honed, as most operated in their local area with their main point of contact being the local Swimtime Franchisee, who was no longer able to operate. Joan went above and beyond, engaging with our Swimtime Teachers by offering a series of CPD’s covering an array of topics, all designed to enhance their learning and build upon their knowledge and expertise. During the first 4 months Joan was responsible for teaching over 860 individuals via online video sessions. A very time-consuming task, that took some serious organisation and communication. The positive feedback received has been immense! We have managed to keep our teacher network together, added to their personal professional development and brought them closer as a group. Joan has gone on to set up a private Facebook Group where our Teacher Community can access events, continue to be supported as well as support one another. That is why Joan is our Swimtime Lockdown Hero!
Social Value is also of huge importance to Kare Plus and to provide care and support services within communities, nationally, we are extremely proud of.
The core principles of a Kare Plus are perfectly aligned to this and they ensure that equality, environmental stability, and the wellbeing of individuals are enhanced in line with all core actions that we undertake.
When Adriana Cocut. Kare Plus Newark went on a customer assessment, she soon identified a problem relating to the accommodation where the customer was living, the issue was because the accommodation was far from suitable for the customer’s needs. She took it upon herself, knowing this was largely impacting the customers wellbeing and overall health, to support them to source new accommodation. She fully assessed the risk and then supported the customer to identify viable options.
Acting as an advocate Adriana has now supported this client to source accommodation that fits their requirements and promotes their wellbeing.
The customer was more than happy to relay he feedback on the support he received stating I would like to say thank you to you and your team of carers who listened to me. Thanks to Kare Plus Newark and other professionals I will move to a new house’.
This is just a typical example of the caring nature of our network whilst operating under a national brand, quality care and going the extra mile is still at the forefront of our community values.
Farzana Rahman is the franchise owner of Kare Plus Derby Homecare and received a call from a customer in need of quality personal care.
Before the care was given Farzana carried out an initial customer assessment to ensure she received all the care needed.
Farzana quickly realised that her new customer did not have a toothbrush and toothpaste, wasn’t bathing properly, had no shower gel, wasn’t eating a health balanced diet and wouldn’t dress herself in clean clothes. All things that were not addressed by the previous care company.
After seeing the lack of care given Farzana spoke with the organisation Making Space. A dementia organisation who quickly informed her that her customer diagnosis was incorrect, and she was actually living with dementia, not mental health. Farzana called social services and managed to get an emergency meeting which she attended with the customer’s sister and was able to get her customer on the correct care packaged she needed.
Without the amazing dedication from Farzana the customer would have continued to receive the wrong type of care, resulting in her not having the best quality of life in her own home as possible. “Myself and my carers now ensure that the customer is bathed properly, has a healthy and balanced diet, has proper oral hygiene, lives in a clean space and has a much better quality of life than before. It is so rewarding to know that we are able to make sure she has a better quality of life and are making a positive difference in the local community.
Care is not about cutting corners. That extra time with a customer enables them to take their time. Care shouldn’t be rushed; it is personal and important to ensure the customer is comfortable and happy after the end of their time with my carers.”
We are nominated Manjit Kaur as a bfa HSBC Community Hero due to the support she provided to her local NHS keyworkers throughout the pandemic. Manjit and her family, who also support the Heritage Healthcare Solihull business, cooked and served meals to staff members of their local hospitals and care homes as well as to their staff members who support clients at home.
The family dished up over 500 meals in one weekend, delivering a meal of chickpea curry and rice to Birmingham Heartlands Hospital. The following weekend, they served 300 meals to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham to help keep the strength of the frontline workers supporting patients affected by COVID-19. The family also provided bottles of water to keep staff hydrated during an exhaustive work day.
Owning and running a home care service, Manjit knows the importance of the carers in the community. She took the opportunity to show her appreciation and say thank you for the keyworkers who have become key to fighting the virus. The amazing work Manjit and her family did during the UK lockdown even saw them featured on ‘BBC Midlands Today’ who shared their story to the wider Midlands community.
From Dundee to the tip of Scotland, Munawar’s franchise territory is huge. However, cards are so important for people to share special moments in their lives, that even in Lockdown Munawar was determined to help Scots stay connected.
He phoned every one of the 200 stores he supplies, to discuss how he could keep them stocked. With non-essential travel banned, he asked managers to send WhatsApp photos of their displays so he could see which cards needed replenishing, then posted exactly the stock they required.
The moment Lockdown eased, Munawar was out merchandising, fully kitted out with PPE and detailed procedures to protect himself and customers. Days were long and tiring – phoning stores before each visit, often merchandising displays very early in the morning or even out of hours to maintain hygiene practices and observe social distancing.
Going above and beyond to keep customers supplied has not gone unnoticed, so his relationship with store managers has never been stronger. With customers ‘buying local’ during lockdown, he’s even grown his sales compared to the same period last year.
“Munawar’s a fantastic advert for our brand,” said Card Connection Managing Director Michael Johnson, “He embodies the exemplary standards of service we believe in and that we see day in, day out, from our entire franchise network.”
Munawar’s finds it gratifying to be supplying such a positive product that works to counter a terrible virus that physically distances people, by bringing them closer together instead.
As almost all businesses know to endure the economic ravages brought on by COVID-19 has been a challenge of unprecedented proportions. Here at Water Babies we saw all of our 70+ franchises around the world completely cease trading and our 52,000 clients stop swimming.
Like many organisations we went into survival mode doing all the things that have become familiar to so many businesses, from cutting costs to worst of all furloughing circa 38 of our HO team of 50.
All bad enough in their own right, but then as many more know we had the utter shock of loosing our CEO, Steve to this wretched disease. Young, strong as an Ox, no underlying conditions, when he went into hospital on 1st April we all fully expected him to bounce out – after the longest month of our lives he passed away on 30th April.
Water Babies is an extremely tight knit family and Steve was our dad; there are simply no words to describe the utter emotional devastation of this event.
With this as our backdrop it would be justified to see our network and HO team fall apart but the very opposite happened.
It fell on the shoulders of the greatly reduced team of 12 at HO to not just keep going but to see and grasp the opportunities to ensure we came out of this stronger – Water Babies has never had a franchisee fail and this was the No.1 goal set by the team and with unimaginable effort, dedication, determination, and sheer will they are on course to meet this objective.
Helping 100% of the worldwide network secure Govt. loans, and grants, a full program of client engagement the pinnacle of which was two weeks of Water Babies live content – you’ve never seen anything until you have seen a WB lesson in the shower! – first 9 month and then 3 year business plans for all franchises worldwide, the complete re-writing of the entire WB teacher program to produce Covid appropriate lessons together with the associated training of circa 500 teachers around the world, compilation of new office and H&S protocols and again training all these out world wide, direct franchisee support from ‘daily’ update webinars, to working groups, to individual contact sessions, across international time zones stretching from Canada, to China to New Zealand…the list of implemented strategies and practical support is epically long and exhaustive; 12 hour plus days, seven day a week since March, this amazing team of 12 have been Herculean!
From when COVID-19 first hit the UK, Sean could see that it would have a dramatic effect on business. Sean began thinking of how he could help the businesses he worked with, along with offering free help to others. Sean began to put together webinars and the Better Business podcast, to help support SMEs with expert advice, free resources and of-the-time tips and tricks.
Through his local network of entrepreneurs, Sean enabled businesses to grow and learn from each other, and in some cases even partner up to ride out this tough time and come out the other side more resilient.
Sean gave up his free time and 10% of his working hours to create free content for local businesses to use. In a time when businesses needed his help the most, he offered his expertise for free, helping companies to ride out this crisis.
Testimonial from Matthew Amodio, Founder of Amobox
“We had a full order book and then the pandemic hit, that’s why I signed on to Sean’s Survive and Thrive program. Sean really helped with the planning and marketing of things, making sure the world knew when we were reopening. He gave us confidence to believe in the business and made me look at the things that I needed to. Ultimately, Sean has helped me calm down, and not get too worried and that has made a big difference with how the team feel and kept me on the straight and narrow!”
Ken was extremely quick to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and despite the uncertainties that lay ahead, he remained calm, assured and level-headed and this attitude filtered right through the network.
Like the true leader he is, he was very involved in implementing radical changes at ground level with franchisees. Through his leadership and support, he eliminated as many obstacles as possible for franchisees, to ensure they were focussed on supporting their Clients and CareGivers through this challenging time. This comprehensive support included:
By providing this level of support, franchisees have been able to focus their efforts on supporting their local communities through a period of most uncertainty.