Owning a franchise business can be a challenge, but during 2020, businesses of all kinds were really put to the test. Despite these challenges, and in the midst of businesses shutting their doors all around, many of Dryer Vent Wizard’s franchise owners had their best year to date. Not only is this remarkable feat a testament to the dedication and hard work of our franchise owners, but it is also thanks to action taken by our home office.

As a result of these challenges, we learned a lot this year. Here are three of the most valuable lessons 2020 taught us:

#1- How to come together as a team & be a part of the solution

During 2020, we learned a lot about what it takes to get through very difficult times. But by coming together as a team and focusing on contributing to solutions, our franchise owners not only survived, but continued to thrive. One reason for this is because Dryer Vent Wizard helped its franchise business owners secure funding and Paycheck Protection loans. These funds helped our franchise owners keep their employees safe, insured, and employed all year. The Franchisor also provided daily and weekly updates about the COVID-19 pandemic, sending specific communications to each franchise owner with important updates. Likewise, our business coaches helped guide franchise owners to available resources, while our franchise owner online forum provided a way for each owner to stay in close contact with other owners, often communicating in real time, and allowing them to lean in to each other for support and advice. At Dryer Vent Wizard, our franchise owners are always given the help and support they need to overcome challenges.

#2- The importance of home-based businesses

Another lesson learned during 2020 was the importance of mobility in a business model. In the face of tough economic and public health issues, many businesses were suddenly scrambling to manage a newly remote work force. But for businesses like ours, already designed to be home-based and mobile, these shifts were unnecessary. The business model at Dryer Vent Wizard made it much easier to contain new public safety hazards brought on by the COVID-19 virus and to adhere to new safety standards. As a result, our franchise business owners were able to quickly adapt to new guidelines and continue to safely service our customers. What is more, there was no need for us to go mobile: we’ve been mobile from the day we started operating in 2006. Running a mobile business reduces overhead costs and improves responsiveness, helping our franchise owners adapt to changing circumstances with relative ease. With lower funding needs and high adaptability, many of our franchise owners were able to stay busy when so many other businesses couldn’t.

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#3- How to be flexible and pivot when needed

It’s safe to say that small businesses were faced with a critical decision during 2020: pivot or fail. In a very real sense, the small businesses that managed to pivot and to be flexible when needed were the ones that fared the best, making pivoting a newly essential business strategy. During 2020, many Dryer Vent Wizard franchise owners managed to maintain a steady flow of business by adopting this strategy. One advantage of owning a Dryer Vent Wizard franchise is the services we provide. But this alone isn’t enough to keep a business growing. Rather, our franchise owners had the full backing of the Franchisor brand, with clear and consistent guidance on new safety procedures. As a result, things like touch-free payments, face and foot coverings, and other personal protective equipment are now a franchise-wide standard. Our franchise owners were able to quickly pivot and provide essential, safe services for customers, something that continues to be in demand across the country. Our franchise owners were also uniquely positioned to respond to other changes, switching to recleans and exterior multi-unit building services when needed to maintain their business growth. For residential customers, franchisees began to offer exterior-only vent cleanings and contact-free payment, significantly reducing the need to enter homes or compromise our customers’ health and safety. In this way, we kept our customers’ dryers going strong and safe from fire hazards throughout an already stressful time.

In very real ways, the resourcefulness of our franchise business owners and strong organizational supports has kept our franchise owners growing strong through one of the most challenging years on record. But without a doubt, the lessons learned from 2020 will continue to help current and future Dryer Vent Wizard franchise owners grow a successful business throughout the coming year – and beyond.

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