Franchisees Need To Have Great Technology At Their Fingertips
by FranchiseKing, Guest Blogger
- Created: April 3, 2012, 8:20 am
- Updated: January 3, 2013, 3:49 pm
Technology has certainly made an impact on the way we do business these days. It’s practically impossible to run a small business without it.
In the world of franchising, technology is a very important part of the actual business model. A good franchisor with good technology makes it a lot easier to be a franchisee-an owner.
If you’re considering franchise ownership, make sure that you find out what’s being used by the franchise company that you’re thinking of joining. Make sure that the systems in place are designed to help you succeed as a franchisee.
Here are a few things to expect these days, technology-wise, from franchisors:
1. Payroll software. If you choose a franchise business opportunity that requires employees, you’re going to need some help with payroll. There are so many different things that one must know these days (with regard to regulations and taxes.) A solid payroll system is a must. Find out which one the franchisor is using, and ask the franchisees that you’re calling how easy, (or difficult) it is to implement and/or use.
2. Customer/client tracking system. All franchisees need to build a database. Names, email and home/business addresses, phone numbers, etc. need to be easily inputted for later use. Having a powerful CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system is a must-have these days. My suggestion for “later use” would be email marketing. It works.
3. Training. Not only should up-to-date technology be used during a franchisees initial training, it can also be used to help franchisees system-wide stay up on all the latest and greatest things that the franchisor is doing. New marketing initiatives, new product/service launches, and new procedures that need to be implemented are just a few of the things that can be communicated via webinars, conference calls, and virtual conferences.
4. Online knowledge platform. An information-packed private intranet can serve as the go-to place for any franchisee in the system, new and old. Operations manuals, technology how-to’s, and more can be added to a system like this, which can save a lot of time for both franchisees and franchisors. Franchisees won’t need to call or email franchise headquarters for every little issue they’re experiencing, which can free up the franchisors support staff for the big stuff.
5. Social media marketing. Some social media marketing activities can be automated, and doing so can be a huge time-saver. For example, headquarters can manage the corporate Facebook page, including sending out promotions, which can be automatically populated on Twitter and some of the other social networks. There are even ways for local franchisee Facebook pages to be managed by headquarters, which a huge time-saver for franchisees (assuming the franchisor has a social media marketing strategy.)
6. Websites. The franchisor may or may not have local websites set up for their franchisees. If they do, they need to be first-class and properly optimized for the search engines*. In other words, prospective local customers need to be able to easily find their local franchisees so business can happen.
7. Security. Make sure that the franchisor has top-notch security systems in place and that they have all their data backed up correctly. If you’re connected to them via the internet, find out how they protect that connection, so no one can hack into the system. Also, make sure that they are compliant with all the laws regarding electronic commerce *; your customers need to be protected when they do transactions with you.
The great thing about franchising is that you can find out just about everything before you actually become an owner. Make sure you do so, and you’ll be able to sleep at night.
* Non-US Government sites
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