By Nabiha Balala from Naranga
Your brand is growing and so are your franchise locations. That’s great news.
At the same time, your operations are getting a little disjointed and disorganized. That’s not so great, especially when franchises thrive on quality and consistency.
But more locations and operations often cause growing pains. The question is, how are you managing them? With Excel spreadsheets and other homegrown solutions? Here are five signs that you’re getting large enough to consider moving to a central platform that gives you a 360-degree view of your business.
- Improved Visibility
Gaining visibility with your customer base is one of the most exciting developments for a new business. All those stressful moments and late nights suddenly feel worthwhile because you are finally receiving the acknowledgement you sought. This is a truly rewarding time for a business – in more ways than one – but it’s easy to get caught up in the immediate demands and opportunities that come with greater recognition. This is a crucial time to create an automated lead management process, so your sales team can concentrate purely on selling and you and others can focus on overall operations.
- Rapid Growth
An improvement in visibility usually means business growth is right around the corner. Before you know it, you can go from just a couple of locations to 25 in different cities. Make sure you’re growing the smart way. It’s vital that you can communicate with all of your locations and all of them can communicate with you. Communications includes reporting and analysis, development, help desk operations, compliance and more.
- Brand Inconsistency
Your brand is all about how your customers experience your business, and that experience needs to be the same across all locations. Controlling and eliminating variation among the products you offer is a fundamental key to success. Sometimes, owners get so caught up with growth that they unknowingly take away focus from providing a consistent product. A bowl of pasta carbonara consumed in New York City should look and taste the same as a bowl of pasta carbonara consumed in St. Louis. Lack of uniformity often goes hand-in-hand with our next point: poor quality.
- Poor Quality
Like many things in life, it’s all about quality over quantity. Before you go off into the big world of franchising, you need to make sure your offerings are truly great. For example, if you’re using raspberries as a topping, it is essential that those raspberries are as fresh as can be – never expired, never bruised. You can easily identify whether or not this is the case when you have the proper processes and technology in place. Tracking and auditing freshness and reliability of products is another fundamental task that can’t be ignored in any industry.
- Inadequate Training Processes
Inadequate employee training is the death of long-term success. Your employees represent you and your brand to the public, and a process to educate them to successfully deliver your products and services is indispensable to continued growth. Consistency in training and delivery is what creates a brand unique from all other competitors. An online training platform eases this process substantially.
Successfully managing a multi-unit franchise is a challenge, and growth, as welcome as it is, can make it even more so. Paying attention to signs that mean you’re ready to move into the big leagues of operations management can help.