Busylizzy Named as Finalist in Two Categories of Virtual Franchise Association Awards 2021

Busylizzy Reaches Top 8 for Best Adaptation to Change and Best Technology and Innovation

Exciting news! Busylizzy has been named as a finalist in not one but TWO categories of the Virtual Franchise Association Awards 2021. Recognised for our work this year in response to the Covid-19 crisis, we have reached the top eight in the categories of “Best Adaptation to Change” and “Best Technology Innovation” for the creation and delivery of our online service, Busylizzy Live.

Until March this year we operated a purely physical, face to face service but when the first lockdown hit we had a choice – close our businesses and hope to be able to re-open when it was all over, or create an entirely new online offering. We felt it was incredibly important, not just for the future of our individual businesses, but also for the sanity of all the mums and mums-to-be that we served to give them the opportunity to connect, workout and entertain little ones when there was nowhere else to go.

We reacted quickly to develop and deliver Busylizzy Live. Within the space of just one week, we rallied our instructor base to create a timetable of 20+ weekly classes, as well as confirming a range of experts in the pregnancy, parent and baby space to deliver regular guest talks and workshops on everything from baby weaning and sleep problems to giving birth in a pandemic, and more. We also recruited a permanent platform manager, Rebecca Gray, from our bank of local club owners to manage the service and ensure other club owners were not having to manage content creation whilst also looking after their own business needs – not to mention looking after their own families at home during this crazy time!

Providing access to pregnancy, postnatal, baby and toddler class content both live and on demand, we like to think that the new service provided not only a lifeline for parents and parents-to-be stuck at home, but also a continued revenue stream and business model for our network of local clubs unable to deliver a normal, face to face service.

Since launch, Busylizzy Live has grown to more than 2,000 members and reached further afield than we could ever have imagined. Memberships have come not just from existing club locations but from remote locations such as the Isle of Skye and internationally, including Dubai!

While local classes were able to resume over the summer, the online service has become a permanent feature of the Busylizzy offering, enabling those without a local club nearby or anyone who felt nervous about returning to group settings to continue classes. And that meant that when the second lockdown was announced we were already set up to be able to continue to deliver a proven service to our membership base. Mums and mums-to-be could continue to exercise, and anyone with a baby or toddler had access to a wealth of fun, developmental classes to enjoy at home. Phew!

Launched in 2020 by the Quality Franchise Association (QFA), the Virtual Franchise Association Awards are designed to celebrate innovation, achievement and excellence in franchising. Overall winners will be announced in January 2021. Keep everything crossed for us!