This is a FranchWire guest post from Joel Libava, The Franchise King. He provides tips and advice to individuals interested in franchise ownership with his guaranteed franchise ownership advisory services and to the masses via his award-winning franchise blog.
All franchisees do.
It’s part of what you’ve paid for.
Your Franchise Business Investment
You’ve paid your up-front franchise fee.
You’re paying ongoing royalties.
You may have leased some equipment.
You’ve paid for your local and state business licenses.
You’ve worked with an attorney and an accountant. (Right?)
You probably have a small business loan to repay.
The bottom line is that you have some money on the line.
You have certain…
You probably have the normal expectations of a franchise business owner.
You’d like to have:
- A reasonably fast ROI
- Great marketing programs
- Competitive advantages
- Franchisor support
- Expansion opportunities
Hopefully, you’re getting those things.
But, there’s something else that you need to have…and it’s crucial.
Great technology-having it at your fingertips, can be a real game-changer.
It can give you a serious competitive advantage…especially against the independent businesses in your area.
A franchise business by its very nature offers a competitive advantage. But, any added bonuses, like choosing a franchise concept that just so happens to have some incredible technology for you to use in your day-to-day business can be priceless. (Even though you’re paying for it.)
But, so what? We all have to pay to play.
Here are three examples of the types of technology currently being used in franchising.
All franchisees need to build a database. Customer/client names, email and home/business addresses, phone numbers, etc. need to be easily inputted for later use.
And, if used correctly, a powerful CRM system can help your business grow.
My friend, Ramon Ray, says it best. “CRM systems help you better serve your customers and better nurture your prospects.” He calls it “Dating your leads and marrying your customers.”
CRM systems help you stay on top of everybody your business comes in contact with.
Your customers/clients are busy. There are a lot of distractions these days. They can easily forget about you. Don’t let them! Help them buy your products or services when the timing is right by using a CRM system to stay on top of them.
What CRM system do you use?
If your business requires employees, you’re going to need some help with payroll.
That’s because managing payroll can take time…and you’re probably a bit short on that. Today’s payroll systems are designed to save you a lot of time and a lot of headaches.
One great thing about having a software-based payroll system is that they’re designed to help you stay up to date on all of the constantly changing rules, regulations, and tax laws that apply to employees…your employees. The majority of your time should be spent growing your business-not in the back office trying to keep up with things that the right technology can assist you with.
Do you use payroll software?
A good number of franchisors have an internal computer network that is used to share information, operational systems, and/or computing services within the franchise network.
This private intranet can serve as the go-to place for franchisees in need of information. Operations manuals, training manuals, and marketing materials can be made available for viewing and sometimes can even be downloaded onto the franchisee’s own business computer.
According to FranConnect, here are some of the advantages of intranet technology:
- Strengthen relationships with franchisees through continuous communications
- Reduce costs associated with multiple channels of correspondence (phone, mail, printing, etc) by unifying all messages into one application
- Increase revenues by sharing ideas, strategies, and procedures through polls, discussion boards, and messaging
- Keep franchisees informed with the latest updates, industry news, and electronic newsletters
If you’re a franchise owner, make sure that you’re utilizing all the technology that your franchisor offers.
After all, you’re already paying for it.