Let’s face it: COVID-19 has disrupted practically everything about our lives, both personally and professionally. What has this meant for British Swim School? It’s meant that we’ve amplified our high-touch support model even further, working daily with our franchisees to support them through their temporary closures, help them navigate how to re-open safely, and provide financial support to ensure the long-term success of their businesses.
Hear from Brian Garrison, President of British Swim School, with an update on the nation’s premier swim school franchise re-opening and why British Swim School families trust our business to resume swim lessons in a safe and effective manner!
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, British Swim School owners were accustomed to collaborating closely with our corporate team, whether in the form of our twice-monthly systemwide webinars, via working groups that met on key topics or through the training and refresher courses offered across all facets of our business. Determined to use the period of temporary closures to more quickly grow each franchisees’ business post-shutdown, our team introduced a webinar series in late March with the goals of providing COVID-related information and recommendations, training our owners on additional programs to expand their reach in their communities and providing them with the resources needed to manage their staff businesses effectively during these unprecedented times.
“They made sure that we were being kept informed about the latest rules and regulations, helped us in obtaining PPP loans and brought in numerous experts to support us, from HR consultants to bankers and loan specialists.” – Robert Stapf, British Swim School of Hudson Waterfront
Throughout this challenging time, each British Swim School owner had the support of a dedicated business coach as well as the full corporate team, who were available around the clock to provide guidance and encouragement unique to each franchisee’s professional (and personal) needs. Our coaches and team of subject-matter experts guided each owner through a series of individual working sessions, including the creation of a modified 2020 budget, a communications plan to engage current customers and a tailored plan for adjusting the delivery of swim instruction, based on state and local guidelines and re-opening plans.
“They have been great during a time that has been difficult for us all, keeping us focused on the better days in front of us and how to make the most of our business!” – Roman Martens, British Swim School of NJ The Oranges
Under the forward-thinking leadership of British Swim School’s parent company, Buzz Franchise Brands, it was recognized early on that the more we could do to preserve the financial security of our franchise locations, the quicker they would be able to rebound once they had the green light from state and local authorities to re-open. This support included, but was not limited to:
Obviously this has had a significant impact on the financial picture for British Swim School corporate, but it’s one that we consider well worth the stability it has provided to our owners during this time. We’re able to do this because of the strong financial position of our parent company, Buzz Franchise Brands. We are committed to a franchisee-centric culture, with one of our core values being to “empower and serve.” We chose to do this because we recognize the critical importance of our franchisees’ long-term financial success – to us and to them. That’s one of the true benefits of the franchising model – through good times and bad, you’re not in it alone!
When the need for a temporary closure of our swim schools became evident, our team drafted materials to be used across all channels – email, social media, the BritishSwimSchool.com website and more – to communicate quickly and clearly with our customers.
With the goal of keeping our swim families engaged with British Swim School over the next several months, weekly “homework assignments” were developed in the form of a “Splash On!” newsletter, including skill practice by program level, online resources and fun activities for children to do from home.
As states edged closer to re-opening, our team rolled out the “British Swim School Cares Campaign,” developed in consultation with industry experts, CDC recommendations and the guidance of state and local authorities. This campaign included the various health and safety protocols our team instituted at each of our locations, providing franchisees with one voice to communicate cohesively with their customers. A multitude of supporting materials – videos, banners, social posts, blogs and much more – are available for each franchise owner to use and modify as needed per local requirements.
“The marketing team and franchise support staff provided endless assistance with EVERY aspect of pausing and restarting my business. Despite being a smaller independent company, I was able to effectively navigate these uncharted times and interact with my customers and business partners with knowledge and confidence.” – Stu Gelbord, British Swim School of Greater Philadelphia
While COVID-19 is an evolving situation across the United States and Canada, we have every confidence that our brand is emerging stronger than ever before. Why is that? Accidental drowning is a public health crisis in its own right, and parents recognize how important it is that their children learn to swim. This is especially critical in the current COVID-19 environment, as more families have been spending time at home and outside and swimming and pool exposure is high. The necessity for a focus on water safety has fueled our owners’ ability to rebound strongly in the past few months and will continue to do so as we move through this pandemic as a British Swim School community.
Still have questions? Contact a member of our team today and we’ll share more about the ongoing efforts to re-open our current franchisees and the work we’re doing to launch multiple new franchisees in 2020, what we anticipate for 2021 and why British Swim School ownership remains a fiscally responsible decision for entrepreneurs in today’s environment.