The secret to any franchise business is ensuring your franchisees receive the best possible information, the best support, and the chance to implement best practice. In the past this involved an exhaustive and expensive process of constant training and travel. Now, though, collaborative software can help your franchisees access the information they need at any time.
Franchise-based businesses are one of the best, risk-free ways to expand and they can be a spectacular way to generate ongoing revenue. But it is critical to ensure consistent standards across a franchise chain and provide constant support to even the furthest flung branch. When a franchisee feels cut off, rot can swiftly set in and in the modern day of the internet, a bad branch can drag the whole company’s reputation through the mud.
Collaboration software doesn’t just put the franchisees in touch with HQ, it puts them in touch with each other and can help you as a company refine your working practices. If all of your franchisees can have an input into your working practices through the medium of a messageboard or internal messaging system, revolutionary business practices will emerge from the unlikeliest places.
Improvement Drives Business
Your franchisees are the ones that put your ideas into practice every single day and they will find different ways of approaching even the most mundane tasks. Streamlining and improving every single process is central to driving the business forward and providing a forum where your disparate franchisees can discuss the day-to-day affairs – which allows them to raise issues as they arise in a frictionless and effective manner – can pay dividends for every one of your business partners.
New franchisees will inevitably make mistakes, too – mistakes that more experienced members have made time and again. A place where they can ask questions on subjects as diverse as staffing, lead generation, and service can make a major difference to their confidence and, ultimately, their success.
In the old days there were retreats, business networking events and specific get-togethers where your franchisees would discuss the day-to-day running of their business and take advantage of these rare opportunities to interact with each other. A simple collaboration software package can turn communication between the franchisees and HQ into an integral part of the business.
A few simple clicks can spark a question and answer session that changes the way you do business and a constant feedback loop will help you improve in every area.
Communication will improve, too, as sending out endless email bulletins simply isn’t the best way to do business any more. Emails are an inevitable part of life, but they can get missed or simply ignored by people buried under the weight of a full mailbox. So your mission critical messages can be contained within the collaboration software and email can be excluded completely.
Your business partners can discuss CRM systems, social media, time tracking, and other business matters that can only help the company in the long run. So simply providing an organised central hub will drive your business forward in so many different ways that the initial cost of implementation will pale into insignificance when you stack up the business benefits.
The scope of benefits
Of course, the system can go well beyond a simple communications hub. Your franchisees can order stock, in-house training, and even promotional material from one centralised hub, which will go a long way towards ensuring you keep consistent standards across the group. It will also lower your costs as you order in bulk and your franchisees won’t go to unauthorised suppliers.
Many businesses end up creating their own flyers and cards because they do not know that the central franchise has all of these things at its disposal. Collaboration software is just one way of keeping all these things in check and making sure your company presents a united front, from Edinburgh to Essex.
Media databases can also be placed online, so your local franchisees can draw from a pre-approved selection of images, videos and more to promote the company the right way.
You can also use collaboration software to ensure that your various franchisees are aware of the rules and regulations of your specific industry, to make sure they have staff certificates in place where necessary and to drill home the importance of consistent standards. It is better to maintain open communication and convince each individual business to follow the company ethos than to have to visit failing branches and bring them up to code once the rot has set in.
So the advantages of a central software package linking an entire franchise are clear. It is a statement of intent for clear communication, the best possible service, and advice on tap. This alone could be enough to convince a would-be business partner to invest their money and it will give everyone in the business a boost.