As per the Franchise Business Economic Outlook report of the International Franchise Association (or IFA), growth rate of new franchise business in 2013 will outpace the expected growth in most private sectors. Concomitantly, the Annual Business Leader Survey by IFA confirms that while entrepreneurs consider the franchise business to be a sound investment option, franchise development along with restricted access to capital continue to be major concerns. This situation poses both an opportunity and a challenge for franchise consultants – how do they maximize client business, albeit with constrained budgets?
Delivering accurate information – key to franchise management: Franchise businesses are fraught with challenges of supply management, ensuring brand compliance and standardized staff expertise. An operations manual at each franchise location while suitable for running relatively small businesses, inevitably becomes an inept approach to managing a growing franchise or retail chain. Alternatively, arranging franchise information in unique folders on a Microsoft SharePoint site may seem like a good idea. However the SharePoint system has not been designed keeping in view the demands of the retail chain or franchise business and requires significant customization, thereby making it an expensive (and not entirely an efficient) option for franchise enterprises.
Franchise Software and what’s in it for the Franchise Consultant: Franchise software is a cloud based franchise management system that enables companies to communicate with their franchisees on a real-time basis while also facilitating operational and sales control. Choosing the right franchise software can help deliver a plethora of benefits for franchise businesses, which includes:
- A digital operations manual with easy to use information search options
- Sharing of relevant updates with employees as per their role in the organization
- Real-time information to franchisees on latest marketing campaigns
- A marketing collateral design module to ensure brand integrity
- Integration with existing ERP systems
- Tracking sales performance of each location
- Ability to customize to the organization’s CRM requirements; for example sending SMS texts as part of client loyalty promotions
All that is needed to implement the franchise software is a high powered intranet, a standard internet browser and a lead time of 2-4 weeks. The running cost per location is not more than that of a monthly cell phone plan. Little wonder then that leading franchise companies like Wayne’s Coffee, O’Learys and ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL have embraced franchise software CCM (by Chainformation) developed specifically for the retail chain / franchise businesses.
Needless to say for franchise consultants offering franchise software as part of their service portfolio has become a prerequisite for staying on top of their game. In fact, Chainformation, a pioneer in cloud based franchise software systems routinely partners with franchise and management consultants looking to implement or offer franchise software services for their clients.
If you are a franchise consultant looking to beat the competition, hopefully you now know what needs to be done for delivering timely, relevant and critical know-how in the stores of your clients!