Long before the Coronavirus pandemic, some training courses have always been offered as distance learning opportunities. However, in the franchise world, and in particular for ServiceMaster Restore Franchise, we have always held training centrally, at our Franchise Support Centre in Leicester.

Several new territories

Whilst some business operations had no choice but to temporarily pause, our franchise recruitment function continued with many prospective business owners re-evaluating their options due to the current uncertainty. As such, we agreed several new territories across our brands and as a consequence, would need to arrange training academies ahead of their planned opening dates.

Fully virtual

Due to social distancing and limited numbers of staff within the office, we decided to make all training academies fully virtual for the foreseeable. This bold move was an easy decision for us to ensure the maximum safety of both our prospective business owners and our employees at ServiceMaster House.

Latest technology

Fortunately, our IT department made the transition to virtual easy through the use of the very latest in technology and specialist IT systems. Much of the academy is now held through Microsoft Teams calls, using its functionality in screen sharing to keep the sessions interactive and avoid video call fatigue.

Interactive sessions

Prospective franchisees can expect the same level of insight in to their new business, if not more through informative and interactive sessions from all of the key members of the team.

Comfort & Safety

All staff members who would typically be involved in an academy, continued to be involved, but from the comfort and safety of their home office. We even succeeded in holding a graduation with many staff members from around the business to welcome the new business owner in to their retrospective network.

We are looking forward to holding many more virtual training academies throughout the rest of the year in our commitment to swapping physical handshakes for virtual ones.

We are undoubtedly in unchartered territory at present due to the Covid-19 pandemic and as such, here’s a few things what we have learnt throughout the pandemic so far;

Working from home is encouraged where possible, so remote working has been extremely useful.

Maintaining a clean environment and taking personal hygiene seriously are essential to reducing the spread of the virus, as such cleaning routines have been heightened.

Online sales have rocketed which has seen services and products that can be bought online have weathered well.

Flexibility is a must in navigating childcare, working and home life due to school and nursery closures and the need to work.

We’re stronger together in beating the virus.

The above learnings truly do reflect in to our franchise opportunity and have reminded us why a franchise is a great platform to go in to business.

A ServiceMaster Restore franchise, allows for the business admin to be operated from a home. This has been particularly helpful for our business owners in staying home to stay safe through the use of remote IT systems. Working from a home office also allows for greater flexibility, which has been a must for our business owners who have found themselves performing the duties of a teacher one moment, and running a business the next.

Cleaning and sanitisation are ‘buzz words’ at present and both have been throughout the pandemic. Because of our experience as a franchisor in this sector, we’ve not only been able to support our franchises in the cleaning sector, but our other franchise brands too with information on sanitisation, PPE and general best practise for hygiene.

ServiceMaster Restore benefit from a state-of-the-art website and two of our other brands within ServiceMaster utilise e-commerce software to sell cleaning services online. Having a strong online presence has helped to ensure that consumers find all of the information that they require and can buy online in without leaving the comfort of their own home to do so.

Finally, one of the reasons that many individuals join a franchise is because you are in business for yourself, but not by yourself. This mantra flows through everything that we do and in particular has been comforting to our business owners who have needed extra support throughout the pandemic from not only us as the franchisor, but also from the network of other business owners.

ServiceMaster Brands Stronger Together.

It is no surprise that many individuals are turning to home-based business opportunities because of the Coronavirus pandemic, but also to avoid the strains of the daily commute to work and the inflexibility of being tied to the office.

There are many benefits from operating your business from your home initially, such as;

Reduced overheads

Take the strain off of your initial set up costs by working from home and not paying to rent or buy office space.

Increased flexibility

Working from home makes allowances for those times when you might need to be around to take a parcel, let an engineer in or get a few jobs done around the home whilst you work.

No commute

The commute is said to be one of the most stressful parts of the working day. When you work from home, you don’t have this, so you can either choose to spend the time you would have been commuting, doing something for yourself, or by putting that extra time in to building a great business.

You also save on the travelling costs whether it’s by car or a form of public transport.

Location independence

By working from home, you aren’t confined to working in a certain location. Working remotely takes away your location so that you can work anywhere to get the job done. Great if you are thinking about running your business from a second home, here or abroad.

Covid-19

The year 2020, could also be named the year of home working, where individuals are encouraged to work from home where possible to maintain a social distance from others. For those businesses who have a work from home set up already – this hasn’t presented any problems. It’s great news that many of our business owners have been able to do this from day 1.

Challenges

As much as there are benefits to working from home, the drawbacks can include being lonely, not having access to some resources and feeling less motivated to work due to home distractions. These all can be overcome by utilising video conferencing technology to keep in touch with team members for company and motivation, as well as having the occasional trip out of the home office to utilise resources.

Many of our ServiceMaster Restore franchise businesses choose to operate their business from their home rather than an office. For further information, speak to a member of our franchise sales team on 0116 275 9005 or email franchisesales@servicemaster.co.ukfor further information