The global pandemic of 2020 turned the business world upside down and forced many leaders in various industries to make impromptu pivots.
In the beginning, the situation seemed temporary. As long as everyone shut down for a few weeks and stayed in place, we could get the virus under control and go back to business as usual.
But that never happened.
Then, protocols such as social distancing at stores and curbside service at restaurants made their way into our routines. This was now the new normal, and companies that adapted to it had a better chance of survival.
As the year wore on, it became clearer the COVID-19 outbreak wasn’t going anywhere. A business being recognized as essential, while providing contactless interaction, seemed to be the key to staying afloat, even thriving.
In this blog, we’ll explain how the pandemic reaffirmed the value of running a recession-resilient business that offers contact-free service and how easy it was for Strickland Brothers Franchise Owners to continue to operate.
What Is a Recession-Resilient Business?
When the economy is in a downturn, a recession-resilient business is not affected. It continues to provide products or services that are in high demand. Even if money is tight, consumers won’t go without their essentials. Examples include food and beverages, baby products, healthcare, information technology, and repair services.
During the pandemic and subsequent recession, the need for delivery services surged because people were advised to stay home as much as possible. However, they still needed items like milk, diapers, and prescriptions. Online services saw an uptick as well because people were seeing their doctors through virtual visits instead of going to the office or exercising with a group via Zoom instead of hitting the gym.
While some recession-resilient businesses can send goods to your doorstep or offer consultations online, others have no choice but to function in person. You can’t have virtual repairs done on your dishwasher. There’s not a way for you to have a cavity filled online. And you can’t get an oil change delivered to your house.
What Makes Strickland Brothers Recession-Resilient?
As long as there are cars on the road, quick lube will be a service that’s always in demand. It’s an $8 billion industry with nearly 290 million registered vehicles across the U.S. Even in a down economy, people still need to drive to get places such as work and school. They must also keep up with regular auto maintenance. Otherwise, they’ll pay for costly repairs later.
When the pandemic hit, quick lubes were one of many businesses that were deemed essential. This allowed franchises like Strickland Brothers to stay open and keep providing necessary services for our customers. However, while others scrambled to adapt, we didn’t have to make any large adjustments to figure out how to operate. This gave us a big advantage over our competitors.
Our business model was designed for contactless interaction and social distancing. Customers stay in their vehicles while they’re getting service, and they have limited exposure to the technicians. As such, it didn’t take much for us to continue operations during the pandemic. We stocked our locations with face masks and hand sanitizer and advised our technicians to stay six feet apart.
Why Is Strickland Brothers’ Contactless Service Valuable?
While other businesses struggled with our new COVID-19 reality through the spring and summer, Strickland Brothers saw record sales in May, June, and July. Those successes were achieved not only because the demand for service continued, but also because our existing contactless system worked like a charm.
The idea of a drive-thru system was originally derived from our customer-first mentality, We didn’t want our technicians getting in and out of vehicles because we knew they would stay dirty all day. No one wants to hand over their keys to have their car serviced, then get back behind the wheel and sit in a grease spot.
Our contactless model is a win-win for customers and technicians. The customer has the convenience of staying in the car and possibly getting another errand done on their phone. The technician can stay in the bay and do their job without worrying about messing up someone’s interior. And everyone gets to stay six feet (or more) apart.
The Value of Running a Recession-Resilient, Contactless Business in a Pandemic
Now you know the value of owning a business that’s essential and contact-free during an economic crisis such as a pandemic.
When you own a quick lube franchise like Strickland Brothers, your services will always be in demand—whether the economy is good or bad. You can also offer a convenient service by allowing customers to stay in their cars and away from other people.
While the pandemic may have stunted other businesses’ growth in 2020, Strickland Brothers added franchises and continued down a path of success. If you’re thinking about starting a quick lube business and would like to learn more about our achievements this year, take a look at this blog.