Now that you’ve acquired more locations, your focus has to change. You’re a multi-unit franchisee who is going to face challenges that will be multiplied, especially in the technology realm.
“Franchisees who understand the importance of tight systems, great people management process and sharp financial controls are the one who are winning,” says Steve LeFever, founder and CEO at Profit Mastery.
“This is why good multi-unit operators are growing faster than ever before.”
Not only are you expected to provide a consistent experience at all your locations, you also have to spend more time building your brand instead of troubleshooting, like a manager would. You also need to be able to see and monitor all operations across all locations.
Here’s how to take on the challenge of running multiple units at once:
1. Focus on a consistent experience
Multiple locations means multiple managers and sometimes varying service providers. It’s challenging to ensure that each location receives and gives consistent service as each store requires multiple tech providers, whose services vary in ability, quality and price.
When your Internet, telephone and Cloud services, cybersecurity and Wi-Fi are all delivered by a single provider, it’s easier for everyone within your business network to track and communicate any changes or IT challenges they may be experiencing.
2. Set up the right IT infrastructure
Communication is crucial to collaboration with your location managers, staff, and customers. Neglecting this aspect in a business with multiple locations means only you will know what‘s going on where you are, and nowhere else.
Ensure individual managers can seamlessly share information such as changes in supply and demand daily, says Stuart Blumenthal, VP of SaaS, Hosting, and Business Intelligence at MicroAccounting.
“Collaboration provides a means for intra-operational support. It also allows you to make smarter decisions that support the greater whole.”
3. Operational visability
You want the ability to see and monitor operations across all locations, whenever and from where ever you are situated. This can reduce the number of in-person site visits you have to undertake, and ensure you’re on top of every location’s situation at any given time.
“Look for software that allows you to track activity at the store or location level and roll up,” advises Blumenthal.
“Dimensional accounting, for example, is an industry favourite for organisations with multiple entities.”
Insisting on this degree of visibility means you’ll be able to track and view financials for each location and your entire business at once. This information will come in handy when you need to compile a trends analysis or construct new ways of doing things to increase the success of your franchises.