Streamline Your Franchise’s Operations With Customized Software

May 2013

with unique needs, especially when it comes to coordinating operations and communication with franchisees and clients. A home care company and a yogurt shop brand may share a common core identity as a franchise opportunity, but when it comes to what each need in terms of day-to-day support, the difference is like comparing apples to oranges in many ways.

It should come as no surprise that when considering software applications, every franchise demands a different solution to achieve optimal results. Every franchisor wants and needs software platforms that streamline operations and helps the company conduct business as efficiently as possible, managing the needs of franchisees, clients and everyone in between. Customizing software to meet the needs of your unique franchise can help with billing and managing staff, clients and inventory. It can also help with project managing franchisee training and support programs.

Software applications could serve as a recruiting tool when showcasing all the benefits that come with investing in your franchise. What better way to sell a franchise than by showing a prospective franchisee that your company understands the importance of leveraging technology to increase business efficiency and has identified and implemented a strong system for doing that?

However, there are many software platforms available, countless bits of information and reviews to comb through and decisions to be made. Keeping that in mind, crafting a well-designed strategy for developing the right kind of customized software can help your business and your franchisees’ businesses in four important ways:

  • Improving the precision of accounting while decreasing the time spent on payroll and other tasks;
  • Allowing for more accurate tracking of employee time spent and performance;
  • Providing a platform for greater communication with customers; and
  • Serving as a focal selling point for your franchise opportunity in conversation with prospective franchisees.

Operational Advantages of a Customized Software Solution 

Not all software packages are created equally, and even the best sometimes need tweaking so they make sense for you. However, finding the right technical tools can help your franchise function like a well-oiled machine.

For starters, as a franchise is just getting its toes wet, it’s crucial to have strong software that can assist in unit accounting because a focus on operations is of ultimate importance at the outset. Finding software packages to help in this arena and then scaling them to fit the demands of your franchise can help decrease the time it takes to complete payroll and billing. Plus, there is the added benefit of a computer crunching the numbers as opposed to a human. Begin with accounting software that is manageable for your franchise and invest in pricier packages as necessary.

Another benefit of customized software is that it can function as a second-check boss. Let’s say your franchise involves employees working in the field every day. It may not always be easy to track the progress they’re making or whether or not they are doing what they are paid to do, such as showing up on time and spending the right amount of time with clients.

The good news is technology can help you measure employee productivity. Cloud-based software is a huge plus in that it can help franchisors better identify what everyone in the system is doing. Software can allow you to track employee productivity, even when you’re not around. This is not a “Big Brother” type of management; rather, it’s just a smart way for a franchisor or franchise executive to know that the company’s money is being well spent on all levels at all times.

Customer Impact and Franchise Sales Advantages
How can customize software move clients to buy your service or product and attract more franchisees to invest in your business? It helps your franchise run smoothly, as previously noted. And a franchising operating at a premium level with a strong business model to begin with has a much better chance at selling more inventory or services.

If you’re company is doing all it can to be as efficient as possible in-house, that will show in how the franchise does business and how much business it does. The franchisee can be out doing what matters most, growing the business instead of being buried in minutia.

Customers have a knack for noticing signs of sloppiness in your franchise. But one running on all cylinders will cause   them to pause, take note and increase the chance they will want what you are offering.

Efficient franchises with an overall commitment to quality, which includes a definitive commitment to strong software solutions, will also attract savvy franchise investors. The people you want purchasing your franchise are those who demand proven, thorough business models. They are also the kinds of people who want to invest in something that will help them run their business, not add more headaches.

Customized software solutions can create more of a turnkey operation and take some of the pressure off new franchisees. Marketing programs with templates built into the software package can be a great example of this at work.

All parties involved with making critical decisions in franchise companies should think deeply about how software functions in their company and why they should consider it to be a central tool for success. For those who wish to do further research into new software solutions, it’s important to keep several things in mind:

  • Know your own business and its needs. Understand the flow of data and how information travels from one end of the company to the rest of the system. This will better help you evaluate the kind of software package you will need.
  • Look around and target technology that only fits the needs of your franchise. Is there software that provides most of what you need? If so, you will still want to customize it to meet your needs, but it will involve tweaking only one product.
  • If one piece of customized software will not do everything you need, assemble a suite that succinctly matches the needs and aim of your franchise.
  • While outside people and organizations can help you access this, you know your franchise better than anyone else. Ultimately, you will be the one working with this software daily so do your due diligence.
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