In January 2020, Matthew Schor was an Allstate Agent limited to selling only one brand’s insurance products. He wanted access to more so he could help his customers get the right coverage at the right price. Schor heard about Brightway Insurance, researched the company and decided to attend a Day of Discovery (DOD) on March 20.
By that date, because of COVID-19, Brightway’s employees were working remotely. As a result, the company found itself delivering a virtual DOD, a change from an in-person meeting previously held at its Jacksonville, Florida, headquarters.
VP of Sales, Chip Hyers, said, “Our in-person DOD was an 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. event, which worked great. But, when you’re doing it virtually it’s hard to hold someone’s attention and keep them engaged for that long. Immediately following our first virtual DOD, we shortened our virtual DOD. Now we do it in about four hours.”
Hyers shared that the Franchise Sales team continues to refine the virtual delivery, ensuring the most positive outcomes.
The virtual delivery works. Schor signed his Franchise Agreement shortly after DOD and immediately began training.
Previously, new franchise owners attended two in-person training events at Brightway’s Home Office, and it took three to six months to open a store. But, during stay-at-home orders, Brightway moved all training online.
“We took seven to 10 days of in-person training and turned it into virtual sessions led by instructors with webcams, screenshares and online modules that feature video, audio and text,” said Agency Onboarding and Support Manager, Nick Spendley.
“Changing up training tactics is key to information retention,” Senior Training Specialist, Rose Luna added.
In addition to saving franchisees money by eliminating the previously required travel to Jacksonville, Brightway also relaxed opening requirements allowing new franchisees to open their business from home during the pandemicmaking it possible for Schor and others to open in less than two months. Schor opened his location May 11, in East Rockaway, New York.
“The onboarding process is very smooth and pretty easy because they do it all for you,” added Schor, who said he felt 100% prepared to open his franchise on Day 1 and remains happy with his decision to open a Brightway franchise.
As a result of the pandemic, Brightway also allowed franchisees to get their start from their home since looking at retail storefronts couldn’t be done. And, the company introduced a new, lower-cost franchise model in which new Agency Owners can join the system for a $5,000 franchise fee, appealing to even more entrepreneurs.
The pandemic presented immediate challenges for everyone and forced companies like Brightway to enter a virtual space at a greater level. By leveraging technology and adjusting quickly, the company learned from the experience and continues to grow and evolve.
People interested in learning more about become a Brightway franchisee should visit BrightwayDifference.com.
For more information and franchise opportunities for International Franchise Association (IFA) franchisor member Brightway Insurance, click here.