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Batteries Plus Bulbs Daily Briefings Boost Morale


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A Batteries Plus Bulbs staffer offers curbside delivery.

Every afternoon starting two weeks ago, Batteries + Bulbs CEO Scott Williams convenes a "war room" update over Zoom for his 20-person management and field staff, all working from home. It's fast becoming destination viewing.

"When we get together on this war room, everybody looks forward to 3 o'clock," he said from his Wisconsin home office in an interview today. First a PowerPoint is shared, giving information on state-by-state lockdowns and COVID-19 cases by locality. 

Then daily sales figures, comps by state, top-moving items and similar stats across the franchise system are discussed, including what store owners can expect on the day before a lockdown, for example, and the days afterward.

Finally, "people share stories," like "we got a big hospital order in Michigan" for batteries, which helps to lift spirits. Thirty percent of Batteries + Bulbs sales are commercial, and the stores are categorized as essential businesses. Nearly all of its 720 stores are open.

"It's actually quite a bit of work," to pull together the info. "We have two or three folks who run our business intelligence and analytics," Williams said. 

He believes ramped-up communication is essential in these times. "One of the things that happens is it gives you a real opportunity to lead every day," he said about the crisis. 

"The other thing I've found is, during a pandemic, a day seems like a week and a week seems like a month. So, if you don't communicate daily with your team, and weekly with your franchise owners, it will feel like it's been forever." 

 

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 

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