You’ve had continued success with your business, and you’re looking to take the next step: Franchising. While it is an extension of your original company, managing a franchise is a whole other ball game. Everything you thought you knew before, multiply it – more stores, more product, more employees, more customers, more moving parts.
But don’t let this deter you from expanding your business and venturing down the path of franchising. When done right, it can be a highly profitable experience. The best to ever do it, chain restaurants, department stores, drug stores, and more, have all had certain key elements in place that made them successful.
Franchise Management Tips for Long-Term Growth
#1. Create an Atmosphere for Success
As you’ve learned from your first business, you’re only as good as the people you hire. When expanding your business to new communities, it is vital that you find the right people to be the face of your company.
To attract quality franchise owners (franchisees), create an environment where they can also grow and succeed alongside your business. Equip them with the tools they need to do their best work, and tools they can also use to be better employees.
To do this, many franchisors implement an internal system that can be used to oversee and manage certain functions of the business in order to maintain a high quality brand. Providing franchisees with systems and solutions that are easy to implement and provide critical information to run the business is vital for success. It helps you as a franchisor streamline and implement a cohesive brand experience, provide marketing materials for franchisees, and monitor operations to ensure things are running properly.
It would be impossible to manage franchises by yourself, and an franchisee portal empowers your team to take on aspects of management and oversight. Portal technology, usually part of a franchise management CRM, can:
- Give franchisees a place to communicate and share ideas/knowledge
- Give access to certain analytics and data
- Let franchisees see, submit, and resolve any issues or internal tickets
#2. Offer a Streamlined Experience
This may seem like Franchising 101, but consumers expect a streamlined service from location to location across a franchise. Unified commerce means increased revenue, satisfied customers, and brand loyalty. In our digital world, this also goes for your ecommerce line of business as well. Every space looks the same, the product is the same, and the experience needs to be the same.
Many franchisors are turning to ecommerce templates for their franchisees to keep operations uncomplicated. This also helps franchisors achieve the brand standardization and image they are looking for, and gives the franchisee and clear roadmap to work from.
To make streamlining easier to accomplish, you will need an omnichannel management system that lets you oversee and manage every customer-facing area of your business. A franchise management CRM will give you full insight across every store, online, and even on social media channels. This data will prove to be an invaluable asset.
#3. Use Your Data
You’re sitting on a gold mine of incredibly valuable data —USE IT! You probably knew this, but there is no greater asset to your business than your data and what you do with it. The trouble franchisors sometimes run into, however, is gathering all the data from their many franchisees. A robust data analytics system can help you accept and aggregate data from many disparate systems and make sense of all the information.
Data analytics for your franchise can help you keep tabs on essentially every area of your business – sales, pricing, marketing campaigns, inventory — you name it, you can glean useful information from this data in your data dashboard. Other vital takeaways you will get from a franchise management data system include:
- Understand the makeup of your customer base, including who they are, where they live, and their history.
- Implement a model of customer churn using machine learning techniques to predict the causal conditions.
- Simulate different marketing campaigns using the customer churn model and provide dollar figures that quantify the opportunity cost of those campaigns.
- Prescribe specific campaigns to target different demographic groups in order to minimize churn probabilities.
#4. Invest in a Franchise Management CRM
A franchise management CRM provides a foundation to standardized data across your organization. Having full visibility and empowering your franchisees with full visibility under the same platform will make franchise monitoring and reporting easier and more accurate than ever before.
Franchise management CRMs manage both front-end and back-end operations and management, giving you all the tools and information you need to make the right decisions for your long-term growth and success. Franchise management CRM functionality should include:
- Franchise onboarding and contract management
- Franchise store visits and tracking
- Tracking of software and technologies used by stores
- Market planning and promotion management
- New product launch management
- COOP market fund management and programs
- Store reporting by product categories
- Store metrics compared to region and other stores
- Site Closure Request Review/Approval Process
Franchise management is not only possible, it can be made easier with a franchise management CRM like Dynamics 365 from Hitachi Solutions. It will empower you to manage your franchise stores more efficiently, help increase sales, adapt to changing needs, and provide outstanding customer service with the latest technology, tools, and innovation.
If you’re ready to start your digital transformation, contact us to see how Dynamics 365 can help you start the process of franchise management.