Creative Colors International Inc. is taking steps to ensure a bright future for its franchisees as they learn how to adapt to sales declines in the wake of the pandemic.
Since the first case of COVID-19 was discovered in the United States in mid-January, the country has watched the death toll climb and the economy take a nosedive. As of May 12, the Centers for Disease Control reported more than 1.34 million cases in the United States, with nearly 81,000 deaths. The U.S. economy lost more than 20.5 million jobs in April, and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Stay-at-home orders shuttered schools, closed stores and required businesses to get creative to generate sales. Restaurants started offering curbside pick-up and free delivery. Clothing stores turned to online sales and hair salons offered at-home kits for dyeing hair. Stay-at-home orders are temporarily impacting the bottom line of many CCI franchisees. Supporting its dedicated franchisees during this unprecedented time is one of CCI’s top priorities.
“We are all living through a time of great uncertainty, where we do not know exactly what will come in the next hour, day, week or months ahead. During these times, it is as important as ever to lean on each other,” said Mark J. Bollman, President of CCI. “As many states begin to ease their stay-at-home restrictions, our franchisees are seeing a light at the end of the tunnel and are prepared to help Americans adjust to the new normal.”
New Sanitizing & Cleaning Raises Bar
CCI, the leader in mobile leather and vinyl repair, sped up development on a new Sanitizer & Disinfectant designed to kill viruses, bacteria, mold and mildew, as the impact of COVID-19 on businesses became clear. The hospital-grade sanitizer is a disinfecting agent that also contains stabilized chlorine dioxide that is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency as safe and dependable. Franchisees who are able to continue operating are using the new sanitizer and disinfectant to clean cars at dealerships, sanitize police cars and ensure customers another layer of protection when providing regular services.
“The new Sanitizer & Disinfectant has been well received by our franchisees who are still able to operate. It has been accepted as an additional service to their clients who are currently open, such as car dealers, rental car customers and medical facilities,” Bollman said.
To raise awareness of its new product, CCI produced marketing materials to help franchisees get the message out about the new product. CCI’s certified technicians are trained to restore or replace damaged vinyl, leather, fabric and plastic goods in offices, homes or vehicles. “Everyone will more than likely stay vigilant in keeping their possessions clean and sanitized. If we can help be a part of this new culture change, it will be beneficial for everyone,” Bollman said.
Financial Incentives Help Franchisees Stay Afloat
CCI took financial steps to make sure its franchisees stayed the course. The company made the decision that no minimums would be due on royalties for March and April in order to help its franchisees combat slow sales. CCI also extended credit net terms on products purchased from its Mokena, Illinois, headquarters. Franchisees who lease their mobile service vans are also getting a break. CCI negotiated with its vendor to defer and push payments in April.
Corporate Headquarters & Affiliate Open to Offer Help, Share Advice
While CCI’s corporate headquarters remains open, it took steps to ensure staff could work remotely with call forwarding if they prefer. To keep workers who continue to report to the office safe, the company sanitizes and disinfects the entire headquarters daily. Keeping its corporate office online helps ensure franchisees easily get the support and assistance they need without disruption.
CCI shared what it is doing with its company-owned and affiliate-owned mobile units to help provide franchisees with guidance. J&J Creative Colors Inc. allowed its employees to stay home if they were concerned about safety. The company offered to pay employees accrued vacation time and is considering advances on their pay. J&J planned to furlough commission-based employees as sales slow, enabling them to collect unemployment benefits to generate income for themselves. J&J is also using a GroupMe communication app for employees to share their day-to-day experiences and provide best practice solutions. “Sharing information is great for your team, offers encouragement and allows you to stay in touch,” Bollman added.
CCI’s goal is to instill a family atmosphere in each franchise. The company makes it a priority to support its work-family during tough economic times. To learn more about how CCI supports its franchisees with superior training and high-quality products, visit www.creativecolorsintl.com/franchise-opportunities.