If you’re franchising a business, you’re going to want to keep your eyes and ears everywhere. In today’s world, there’s only one way to do that – through technology. Technology is a sometimes intangible wonder that often appears scary at first but, within a short span of time, leaves us wondering, ‘How did we ever get by without it’?
Consider the antiquated point of sale systems. Thanks to technology, cloud-based apps make register work a breeze. It also makes marketing more interactive (cheers to you, Instagram) and employee management smooth-sailing.
In just a few words, we’re going to show you how technology frees up your time and increases your bottom line. If you live in a land of smoother operations, automated reports, and free advertising, then you’re in the right corner of the world. Allow us to take you on a tour of your new domain.
Point-of-Sale Systems People Can Actually Use
It doesn’t happen often at huge franchises like McDonald’s or Subway, but have you ever watched an employee struggle to complete a simple transaction while the customer shuffles their feet and sighs? It’s a painful thing to watch and something that can easily be rectified through technology.
Nowadays, there are so many point-of-sale (POS) systems that actually function through an app. They’re incredibly easy to use. Some transactions are a matter of clicking on an icon and hitting total. Then, customers can sign on the screen of an iPad or tablet, choose if they want to be e-mailed a receipt, and call it a day.
But, cloud-based apps offer a lot of benefits to franchise owners, too. It’s easy to pull data all throughout the day and create simplified reports. Also, the whole system doesn’t need to be replaced if it ever becomes outdated. Rather, a simple update to the app will keep systems running smoothly. Without question, technology has made POS systems incredibly intuitive.
Timesaving Apps Make Your Customers Smile
How many times have you walked into a restaurant, only to be given a pager and asked to wait 30-45 minutes? These are disappointing moments when all you want is to end your day with your favourite dish from a local hotspot.
So, when a company in America created an app called NoWait, restaurants and patrons started to see eye to eye. With NoWait, people can put their names on a waiting list right from their phones. Now, while friends wrap things up in St. Kilda West, people can put their name on the list for their beloved restaurant over in Spotswood and never have to wait.
If all goes well, restaurants who consider apps like this can see a bump in sales because patrons are being sat at a quicker pace. What kind of apps would benefit your business? Are there any time-saving apps that can make your customers get what they want faster and easier?
Timesaving Apps Make Your Employees Happy, Too
While you’re drawing in customers, why not reduce turnover rate and keep your employees happy, too? There are plenty of apps out there that make keeping track of clients’ hours a breeze. Also, if accounting is going to be a bit of a trial for your franchise, then there’s an app for that, too.
Cloud-based apps allow employees to view payroll, make changes to their tax forms, submit expenses, and more. Streamlined, time-saving apps mean your employees won’t have to be hounded to get the job done and they may even – dare we say – enjoy the process!
Modern Integration Creates Fluidity
What’s the expression? Too many cooks in the kitchen? In your franchise business, have you tried to digitise certain processes and, in the end, created too many portals to log into? Maybe you have a program for billing and a program for your support desk? But, then you might also have a program for payroll and a program for marketing.
Now, perhaps, you’re faced with too many proverbial cooks in the kitchen. This is where something like an application program interface (API) comes into play. These technological advances integrate all our loose ends into one, seamless program. Customers can be tracked from their point of entry and employees can easily communicate with one another throughout the entire process.
Training Becomes a Breeze
Gone are the days of reserving conference rooms and ordering Subway sandwiches for each and every bit of employee training. Trainers don’t need to be brought in and people don’t need to gather around a conference table to watch a video screen.
Now, software applications can be built that deliver training modules straight to employees’ laptops or smartphones. They can learn the information they need to learn, pass quizzes on pertinent materials, and then demonstrate their increased capabilities on the job. Best of all, training materials can easily be updated as processes change, and it won’t cost more than a little bit of your time.
Inventory Management Can’t Go Wrong
With automated technology, inventory management… shouldn’t go wrong. Technology allows a small business franchise to see which products are moving in and which products are moving out without lifting a finger.
Best of all, with the right software, you’re going to enjoy key metrics that you didn’t have to dig around for. Automated inventory management allows you to see which products sold the most, cost the most, need to be reordered, and more.
Every new update can also be shared in the cloud for anyone who needs to know. Of course, you can also count on computer-generated, easy-to-read reports for you to peruse over your evening cup of tea.
There’s No Way Around Social Media
It’s a simple truth that can’t be denied; social media runs the world. Owning a franchise means dedicated time spent on social media marketing. Do you remember when Spotify started their #Wrapped hashtag?
It’s a social media spree that couldn’t exist without easy data collection (thank you, automated technology). At the end of each year, users are invited to see how much time they spent listening to music, who their most-listened-to artists were, etc.
Then, guess what appears? A little icon that encourages users to automatically share this information on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This satiates two things: our compulsive need to share random facts on social media and a company’s desire for free advertising.
When running a franchise, you have to own a certain portion of the online world. One post or Tweet can go viral for the most unexpected reasons. Some celebrity can get ahold of your Tweet and re-Tweet it and, now, you have some free press on your hands.
The Secret’s in the SEO
If we’re discussing social media marketing, then we need to pivot to its umbrella, search engine optimisation (SEO). SEO refers to a company’s ability to be organically found through an online search.
So, if you’re about to franchise a cupcake company and somebody types in ‘best cupcakes in Melbourne’, you want your company to appear at the top of the search results. The way to do this is through SEO.
It combines a careful combination of things like appropriate keywords on your website, a smart link-building strategy on your website, the use of video and imagery with alt-tags, and more.
Content marketing is also a major component of SEO. If you attach a blog to your business’ site and post a well-researched article on, say, the benefits of whole wheat flour, then you may attract a lot more visitors to your site and hopefully collect a few new leads.
Franchising a Business in a Digital Age
Franchising a business in a digital age looks very different than yesteryear, but it works very well. Technology allows franchise owners to improve operations and market their business in a way that couldn’t be done even five years ago.
Digital automation frees owners, employees, and customers up to do more with their time. Social media marketing means you may skyrocket to instant fandom with one click. Smarter POS systems and fluid SEO campaigns are all part of the process, too.
Here at The Growth Project, we’re dedicated to helping business owners build their brand through the most powerful tool in the world – technology. Together, we can expand your eCommerce and retail presence all while cutting costs and saving time.
If you’re ready to figure out how to make the most of what you have, then let’s book a time to chat. We’ll be happy to coach you along your pathway to success, no matter what your empire looks like today.