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As States Begin to Re-Open, Don’t Forget the Importance of Internal Communications

Re-opening — the word all business owners want to hear right now. As states and local governments begin to unveil plans for restarting our local economies, it’s time for businesses to do the same. Now is the time to solidify your brand’s plans so you are ready to re-open in a safe, organized, and efficient way. Organization and efficiency should work from the inside out, so internal communication should be your first priority. Clear, internal communication to your franchisees, vendor partners, and employees will be the first key to success.

As many of you are likely already talking about this internally, beginning to communicate with your franchisees sooner rather than later will be critical, especially as some governors are starting to allow businesses to open as early as this week – whether as a franchisor you agree to or not. At what speed your brand plans to adhere to the state’s guidance will be central to these internal communications.

For many, timing is critical to survival, and getting it right can be the difference between a competitive advantage or a continued decline in sales. The re-opening of the country will not be uniform, making it all the more important to have multiple plans in place for different markets and industry segments. Here’s one resource that highlights the latest on re-openings in each state: https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/15/us/states-reopen-coronavirus-trnd/index.html.

As you begin to finalize your internal and external plans, communication to your franchisees should include some of the following information:

  • What does a phased opening look like (staffing, training, capacity, hours of operation, new sanitary measures, etc.)?
  • Which operational changes will be short-term and which will be long-term?
  • What marketing plans will be needed to support re-opening?
  • How will franchisees who are not allowed to open prepare for re-opening and support franchisees who are opening?
  • How will corporate be communicating these changes to team members, customers, vendors, etc.?

Recovery will be location-specific and franchisors need to understand recovery-relevant information at unit-specific levels and then translate them to actionable and successful results. FRANdata is one company that has developed a new model that forecasts what the next 30-60 days looks like on a rolling weekly basis for each franchised unit in a system by analyzing a combination of information sources. This recovery solution will help franchisors make informed recommendations to each franchisee about the timing of hiring, inventory management, and local marketing messages. For more information on this new solution, visit http://www.frandata.com/franchise-brand-recovery/.

We value you as a partner and want to help in any way possible. During these beginning stages of re-opening, we invite you to utilize your team here at Fish to help craft communications for your internal audiences. Your account lead will be reaching out to you in the next few days, if they haven’t already, to set up some time to discuss your current re-opening plans, your system’s forecast, and the variety of ways Fish can help during this time.