When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Creative Colors International Inc. pivoted to online introductions as a new way to meet and interact with prospective franchisees.
Like many other franchisors, the mobile leader in leather and vinyl restoration shifted to virtual Discovery Days to meet with franchise prospects and introduce them to the company during this unique time. The outbreak of the pandemic this spring inhibited travel, and businesses throughout the country turned to telework to continue operations. Most of CCI’s corporate staff initially worked from remote locations to continue to support franchisees. Providing a new solution for prospective franchisees became a top priority.
“Helping potential partners learn about our corporate culture and meet our staff is an integral part of our discovery process,” said Mark J. Bollman, President of Creative Colors International. “When the pandemic prevented us from meeting prospective franchisees in person, we quickly developed a virtual process that enabled us to continue to grow our system.”
Benefits of Discovery Days
Discovery Days are an important step in the decision-making process for franchisees. Spending a few days at the corporate office allows the franchisor to share its corporate culture and values. Potential franchisees get to meet the team of people who provide support to new business owners. Franchisees typically have the chance to engage with franchisees to learn best practices and gain insights, as well as make a site visit to see the business in action. Most prospective entrepreneurs come to Discovery Days armed with a business plan and strategy for success, which franchisors will have the opportunity to vet and offer feedback. Discovery Days are also a time when franchisors can determine whether the pair will make a good team and allow all parties to make an informed decision on their future.
CCI’s virtual Discovery Days begin with a 10-minute video tour of the corporate office led by Bollman. The virtual tour gives franchise prospects the opportunity to meet the entire team, from the office manager to the chief executive. It also provides a behind-the-scenes look at conference rooms, a technician training area, a supply warehouse and company service vans. After the introductory video, CCI hosts a live webinar presentation of marketing collateral and key discussion points with franchise executives.
Prepare for Discovery Days
Even though Discovery Days don’t require a plane ride or hotel stay, it’s important to properly prepare for the event before clicking the meeting link. If you are considering purchasing a franchise, here are some of the steps you should take before your Discovery Days experience begins.
- Get a list of questions ready. Getting all of your questions answered will provide assurance and allow you to make a decision confidently. Keep a notepad handy in the weeks leading up to your virtual Discovery Day to jot down questions as they arise. Important questions to consider are the company’s long-term plans, franchisee retention rates and marketing plan. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions.
- Prepare a business plan. One of the benefits of virtual Discovery Days is the intimate setting, QSR Magazine Entrepreneurs now have the advantage of discussing their business plan with top managers at Discovery Days.
- Bring a guest. Opening up a business is a family affair. Do not hesitate to have your spouse or future employees attend the Discovery Days experience with you. Encourage them to add to your list of questions.
- Tour the software. Every CCI franchisee uses the company’s software tools as part of their daily business. CCI is proud of its online support system and business management tools. Make sure to spend some time experimenting with the software to ensure it’s hassle-free and efficient.
Best Practices for Franchisors
The franchise community and CCI are cautiously optimistic about the launch of virtual Discovery Days, according to a report in Franchising.com, an online resource. Initial reports indicate franchisors are realizing the virtual option is practical, cost-effective and appreciated by future franchisees. Prospects are engaged and ask more questions in the virtual environment. They are also grateful companies are willing to protect the safety of both corporate staff and franchisees during this difficult time.
Yet, virtual Discovery Days require extensive planning to be successful. CCI uses the latest technology to provide a birds-eye view of the inner operations of the corporate office. It also makes sure to combine pre-recorded videos with live, interactive meetings to keep prospects engaged.
Own the Ultimate Leather Repair Franchise
Opening a business is never a simple endeavor, but it offers great rewards. CCI franchisees operate a mobile, home-based business with unlimited earnings potential. Successful CCI franchisees are strong leaders; energetic business owners who understand the importance of following the CCI system. CCI is searching for franchisees who are energetic, enthusiastic and appreciate the company’s family-friendly culture. The company prides itself on encouraging franchisee participation and input through a variety of forums. The company’s Franchise Advisory Council represents franchisees by region, and meets twice annually to evaluate, recommend and potentially implement initiatives in a variety of areas, including technical/production, products, marketing, management, safety, customer service and franchise support.
To learn more about CCI, visit our website: creativecolorsintl.com/franchise-opportunities/