Exploring Swim School Franchise Ownership Amid the COVID-19 Crisis
June 23, 2020
For nearly 40 years, British Swim School has been a franchise dedicated to preventing child drownings by teaching the basics of water safety and survival. According to the CDC, drowning remains the leading cause of death among children ages 1 – 4 and the second leading cause of unintentional death among children ages 1 – 14 in the U.S. However, taking part in formal swimming lessons can dramatically reduce drowning rates, which spike in the warm summer months. Water safety is more important now than even with the abrupt cancellation of learn-to-swim programs placing even more children at risk this summer!
Knowing the importance of what we do, we’ve developed the BSS Cares Campaign in consultation with industry experts, recommendations put forth by the CDC and state and local leaders. The safety measures developed within the BSS Cares Campaign have allowed us to begin reopening in a prudent manner while responding appropriately to the threats posed by COVID-19. The reopening protocols outlined in the BSS Cares Campaign enable our franchise owners to resume their mission-driven business in the earliest possible phase of reopening.
Development of the BSS Cares Campaign
In response to COVID19, we have developed comprehensive plans and protocols to reduce transmission risk while performing the vital task of survival swimming lessons. This allows our franchise owners, their staff and customers to return to the pool in a safe and responsible manner.
Our approach is based on five pillars: cleanliness, personal responsibility, a spirit of cooperation, technology and physical distancing. Among many other safety measures, our commitment to our customers includes:
- Additional cleaning procedures in collaboration with pool partners
- Daily health check-ins with all staff, swimmers and families
- Asking children to arrive with their swimsuits on to reduce touchpoints
- Touch-free check in process with the Deck Ambassador
- Staggering class times to allow for additional cleaning and sanitization
- Limiting the equipment used in our instruction
Together, in partnership with our franchise owners, pool partners and families, we can provide a clean environment with the necessary safety precautions for families to feel comfortable returning to swim classes! You can learn more about our reopening health and safety measures on our corporate website.
Reopening of Purpose-Driven Aquatics Facilities
Many states have already begun to recognize the importance of survival swimming lessons and are reopening aquatics facilities for purpose-driven activities. As a result, a number of our franchise owners have been able to successfully reopen with positive feedback from customers! Once it’s deemed safe to reopen, many families have been eager to return to swim lessons in order to avoid losing the swim skills their children had started to develop in prior lessons. In fact, many families have expressed an interest in a “jump start” program where their children can attend classes more frequently for a limited time in order to regain and build upon their existing skills ahead of summertime!
In the current landscape of COVID-19, we understand that state and local regulations may not allow swim schools to reopen all aquatics facilities right away due to capacity limits. Our pool partnership model has provided the flexibility our franchise owners need to begin reopening as early as possible in at least some of their locations! With the ability to partner with as many pool facilities as they want, our franchise owners have been able to welcome customers back to select locations before other swim school concepts.
Not only has this attracted existing customers that are ready to resume classes, but also new customers from other nearby swim schools that must remain temporarily closed! And as an added bonus, many of our pool partners (hotels, gyms, etc.) are providing greater flexibility with pool hours since their facilities have an even greater amount of unused pool time. This allows our franchise owners to offer additional classes during this period of high demand for swimming lessons!
While we certainly understand the mandates to temporarily close non-essential businesses in order to protect the health and safety of the general public, our corporate support team is working closely with each and every franchise owner to help them reopen as quickly and safety as possible. Time is of the essence to ensure safety in and around the water!