There’s no better time to reevaluate your business than at the start of a new year. 2020 has been a turbulent 12 months, so it makes all the more sense to consider smart decisions now to make your franchise operations more efficient in 2021.
Franchisors have the power to significantly alter the profitability of their franchise units and the satisfaction levels of their franchisees. There may be ways you can give your franchise a reboot and help everyone in the business work more productively next year.
We’ve gathered a selection of franchisor tips to streamline franchise operations and grow your business across a range of departments.
How to streamline franchise operations with simple New Year’s resolutions
Recruitment and onboarding
- Attract more investors by making information readily available - Prospective franchisees complete a lot of research when they’re interested in putting their money into a business. They’ll want to develop an in-depth understanding of the franchise’s operations, history and culture, as well as their potential earnings as a franchisee. You can make things easier by creating comprehensive information packs and posting them on your website and social media profiles.
- Review your selection process - If you’ve got more than a few franchisees, you may have noticed some performing better than others. One way to increase your network’s productivity going forward is to implement tighter controls during your recruitment phase. Review the process so you can make sure only the most suitable investors are approved.
- Allow for multi-unit franchisees - You can streamline franchise operations across the network by appointing single investors to manage their own team of franchisees in a given region. Taking advantage of the multi-unit franchise model will help you maximise the franchise’s efficiency.
- Encourage communication - Bringing your network together has two key benefits. It creates a sociable atmosphere, so prospective investors can meet and learn from the most successful business owners, and allows franchisees to share insights and improve performance across the board.
- Review contracts with suppliers - Your suppliers probably won’t take kindly to demands for lower rates, but if you’ve used their products for a long time, there may be room for negotiation. You may also be able to come up with ways to maximise the efficiency of your processes; for example, you could collaborate to develop new products or inventory management procedures.
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- Do more market research - You should be conducting market research on a regular basis, so it makes sense to return to the task when considering New Year’s resolutions. Is your product or service still relevant? If not, adapt.
- Learn more from franchisees - Unfortunately, many franchisors are removed from the processes of running their franchise units on a day-to-day basis. You may know how franchisees’ businesses are performing and how much money they’re generating, but finding out more will give you the tools to improve the franchise as a whole. Visit units to experience daily successes and complications, and see how customers view the business. Send out franchisee surveys and aim to discover their ambitions for the future. Then, you can understand the challenges facing your investors and start to eliminate them.
- Monitor performance and reward achievements - You’ll be in the best possible position to make meaningful changes to your franchise if you have a thorough understanding of how individual units are performing. Implement suitable monitoring processes, depending on the factors you’d like to improve, and announce monthly, quarterly or yearly winners across your investor network to recognise hard work. A little bit of friendly competition should boost efficiency on its own.
- Prioritise important tasks - Franchisees and employees can spend hours every week completing simple administrative tasks while delaying work to drive business growth. You can avoid this by outsourcing basic tasks to specialist agencies or automating them with clever software.
Your team should never have to sacrifice client interactions and relationship building because of tedious administrative duties such as with the time-consuming information verification processes.
— Mike Rozman, BoeFly
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- Enhance your marketing material - There are many benefits to providing quality marketing materials to your franchisees. You’ll save them time when it comes to producing advertising campaigns and allow investors to direct their focus onto other important tasks. Plus, you’ll reduce the chances of a franchisee damaging your brand with low-quality promotional material.
- Investigate new marketing tools - New technologies make it increasingly easy for businesses to boost their efficiency when running marketing campaigns. Make sure you’re aware of any new opportunities and explore the data surrounding software packages to check you’re making a sensible investment.
Digital solutions can help business owners boost efficiency in almost every department, from recruitment and training to invoicing, marketing and development. You name it, there’s a software package for it. Read our article on the top cloud-based tech solutions for franchises or take a look at some of the key improvements you can make:
- Sell online - If you don’t already have an e-commerce store, consider launching one. If 2020 has taught businesses anything, it’s the importance of being able to sell their products or services over the internet.
- Organise meetings virtually - Investigate software to help you send calendar invitations and schedule meetings in a few clicks. Some tools give attendees access to your diary and select a time convenient to you, which avoids the back-and-forth of an email conversation. On the day itself, use video technology and spend the time you would’ve spent travelling on growing your business.
- Set up an online document-signing tool - Being a franchisor involves a lot of paperwork. Luckily, there’s a way you can avoid the rigmarole of posting and scanning documents. Tools like Adobe Sign and DocuSign give users the opportunity to view, sign and send sheets online.
- Combine departments with technology - These days, software can help you manage multiple areas of your business in one programme. Investigate the packages with the potential to make the biggest impact on your franchise and check reviews before you invest.
Hopefully these franchisor tips have given you some fresh ideas for streamlining your franchise operations. For more business guides, see our selection of articles for franchisors, specifically designed to help owners maximise their success.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©