Reading Time: 2 minutesYou know the feeling when you have worked very hard to get to a certain point in your career or business or even personal goals and then something completely unforeseen happens throwing your hard work, plans and calculations completely out of the window?
We at MummyYoga were perfectly poised to start recruiting our initial franchisees after extensive work on the new and accredited teacher training programme, fine tuning our business model and processes to bring maximum value to our potential franchisees when lockdown hit us.
Our original first crucible saw its income plummet and the uncertainty in the studio-based services meant we had to go back to the drawing board with all our offerings. MummyYoga is a brand made by community spirited activities and services. We are recognised by our clients as evidence based, modern and inclusive yoga provider for mothers to be and new mothers within our community.
We quickly pivoted like many businesses, we made some brave decisions of which some worked, and others left us questioning our own sanity. Holding our chin up, we knew this was a long road and that the fear around community-based classes especially to groups such as pregnant and new mothers would mean we could see our potential growth plans on ice for a while.
However, instead of playing down our mistakes and worries, we talked about them, we communicated our lack of confidence in navigating the new unknown normal. We didn’t do this with any commercial aim in mind. We did this in keeping with our business ethos and mission. We were honest with our customers and we were brutally honest with potential franchisees.
To our utter amazement, our pool of potential franchisees and teachers responded with great enthusiasm. They celebrated our honesty and shared our doubts. We started to communicate at a level that was deeper than ever before. We slowly found common ground and companionship in understanding how our business works.
By giving insights into our thinking process on forward actions we gained genuine trust from potential franchise partners who saw us as an honest, hardworking and down to earth company they would love to go on an adventure with. What this crisis enabled us to do was to show first hand that, in the next crisis (which there invariably will be in business) we are the company who won’t back down, we are the company who won’t pull wool over our partners eyes and we are going to gather around the fire and find solutions that will be for the best for the whole network. MummyYoga in the truest sense showed its colours.
What was unbelievable to us was this simple honesty increased our engagement with our clients, potential franchise partners but above all we seemed to increase our enquiry list at a rate unseen before the lockdown. Where we assumed it would be a slow road back into business, we found ourselves working hard to keep up to demand, make way for the new and emerging business model and being very busy indeed.
We are pleased that we are in negotiations now with our most engaged and committed potential franchise partners and the lockdown situation did the vetting for us. People who really believe in our brand, services and expertise have really stood out and we have extended our hands in their direction potentially reducing the risk of signing on people who may not have been our perfect fit.
We never thought, we would say this about the coronavirus pandemic, but it has made us more transparent and we have been amazed at the response and enthusiasm we have garnered because of this transparency. Our brand value and image has grown exponentially and now we are off…
To any business out there who is thinking about engaging their clients or franchise partners during these difficult times, we highly recommend honesty as an approach. It’s the best business strategy and trumps any marketing plan.