When it comes to managing multi-unit franchises, there is no such thing as a dull day. Whether you have 2 locations or 200, there will always be operational issues that make managing a challenge. For that reason, it’s important to use tools and technology to make managing your franchise as streamlined as possible. Here are 5 tips to help you manage your multi-unit franchise:
1. Host Online Meetings.
Hosting weekly or monthly online meetings is a great way to keep franchise teams connected and on the same page. Using online meeting tools such as GoToMeeting or JoinMe allow you to share your computer desktop with your remote locations for Power Point presentations, sales contest results, strategy sessions, etc. Online meetings allow for rapid brainstorming sessions with your locations and can keep the lines of communication open while providing a regular interval for sharing ideas. You can get fancy with video conferencing upgrades, but using just voice and screen sharing will get the job done just fine.
2. Keep an Eye on Online Reviews.
With 84 percent of Americans saying online reviews influence their purchasing decisions, it really is necessary to stay on top of those pesky online reviews. But with multiple locations, it can be a real chore to keep track of all those review sites such as Yelp, Google, FourSquare, TripAdvisor, and more. There are a few tools specifically designed for online franchise review management such as ChatMeter and ReviewPush which alleviate much of the busy work. These services aggregate your franchise reviews centrally while alerting you to new posts and reviews. To improve your reviews online, be sure to reward your staff for positive reviews and create a policy where staff can “remind” happy customers to leave online comments.
3. Use Your Surveillance Footage.
Most franchise locations have surveillance systems in place, but management teams rarely, if ever, share recorded footage of real client/staff interactions with their teams. Most all surveillance systems have a way to easily save surveillance footage and snippets. Using recorded video clips are a great way to liven up team calls and conversations because you can present true business scenarios in an engaging “reality TV” way. Depending on privacy laws in your area, you may or may not be able to record audio. But, even if audio is not available, viewing real footage can be a great review of body language and sales presentation critique. One other suggestion is to show your #1 sales person in action so others can see what exemplary performance looks like. Most of your staff will find that sales success is often in basic execution and sticking to the script.
4. Stop Using Email/Excel for Franchise Management.
If your franchise is currently using email and Excel for operations management, then your team is most likely losing considerable time every day. Using email for operations management is extremely inefficient because it requires a constant digging through emails to track and follow issues. And Excel takes up time because it often requires a tedious consolidation effort to merge spreadsheets from across all locations. The solution is to move your conversations from email and Excel into an online franchise management system like ManagerComplete or FranConnect. Using a franchise management system allows you to post, track, and consolidate the same issues you would in email or Excel, but without all the hassle and inefficiencies. So, imagine if all those emails and spreadsheets went away. It’s possible, and some reports show a savings in time of 30% per day for management teams. Now just imagine if that 30% time you saved was used for actually running your franchise operations.
5. Internal Social Media
One new and novel way to boost team morale and cooperation is to use internal social media for your franchise. Internal social media works similar to Facebook but instead creates a private forum just for your company. This allows your team to communicate across locations and share ideas amongst themselves – all internal to your business. It’s a great way to keep everyone feeling like part of a larger team and included in the conversation. Most franchise management systems include internal social media or you can also use free services such as Chatter or Facebook for business.
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