When COVID-19 started to infiltrate the U.S, we were faced with the same questions so many businesses were forced to address: How do we keep our team and our customers safe? And how do we continue operating to meet demand? The answer that was never in our playbook was to change our whole business model. And we had to do it quickly.
We scrambled to launch a reservation-only system in order to limit foot traffic and ensure safeguards at our estate sales. We had no more than 10 shoppers at a time inside and this was well before the six-foot social distancing guidelines went public.
It went against all of the norms which dictated that the more customers a business could drum up, the better that business would perform. In fact, we took great pride in our huge crowds as the hallmark of a great franchise. Nevertheless, this was something we had to adopt in order to operate safely, and we were stunned to see it make our business and our bottom line even better.
Our customers enjoyed a more personal shopping experience and less time waiting to enter an estate sale. In return, our owners saw average sales increase too.
The lesson we took away that can benefit all businesses is this: Your single, most important goal should be to ensure a safe customer experience with your business.
Your single, most important goal should be to ensure a safe customer experience with your business.
We will continue to utilize the technology and sales benefits that these operational changes can foster across our growing network. And as the country reopens, many franchisees will offer the reservation system to keep people from congregating, to discourage crowds, and to make the customer experience more comfortable while making the business more profitable.
We will also continue to conduct portions of our new franchisee training virtually while teaching the fun stuff — how to identify treasures and value furniture pieces — in-person with additional safeguards.
As we head into the second half of 2020, we are encouraged with the momentum we are seeing. In this economically turbulent time, franchisees are seeing the appeal of owning a Blue Moon Estate Sales franchise with our low start-up costs and the ability to have your business up and running within a month. We recently trained our largest franchisee class in company history, hosted our largest revenue generating estate sale in Raleigh, NC last month and outlined aggressive plans to expand to more states across the U.S.
David Blue is the VP and co-founder of Blue Moon Estate Sales. For more information on Blue Moon Estate Sales, visit bluemoonestatesales.com. For franchise opportunities with International Franchise Association (IFA) franchisor member Blue Moon Estate Sales, click here.