The management of a large franchise would literally be impossible in the absence of unparalleled franchise software. In recent times, the majority of franchise software solutions are cloud-based. They enable users to handle massive franchise business networks. Franchise software is chock-a-block with tools supporting multiple franchise owners across multiple locations. It facilitates streamlined analysis of a large database. It gives leeway to franchisors in selecting the type of data they’d like to send to or receive from franchisees.
Let’s assume you’re running a fairly successful franchise business. The products and/or services you offer are highly sought after and well appreciated. Doesn’t that sound great? Now, you must be having plans to expand your business too, let’s say, by making the most of the franchise development feature of the franchise software. Also, let’s even imagine that you’re receiving leads from several interested candidates that wish to collaborate with you by becoming franchisees and selling your brand. Super! Every single detail looks sunny and full of hope, right?
Well, as a matter of fact, maybe not. Although, everything related to franchise development goes in the right direction for you, managing a steadily growing business can stir up lots of challenges. How do you cope with them? How do you make sure your franchise business is expanding and capable of being maintained at a certain rate or level? What plans do you like to unleash to ensure the maximum number of people are familiar with your brand and are constantly showing a willingness to know more about your business? What’s more, you’re supposed to find out ways to keep both franchisors and franchisees up to date. So, the need to implement key features of franchise software to keep your business thriving arises. Here are five of them you may consider putting into practice.
- Franchise development feature
To make sure your franchise development efforts succeed, this feature needs to be incorporated into franchise software. Franchise development does you a good turn by maximizing the time you spend contacting prospects and discussing business ideas and minimizing the time devoted to performing everyday repetitive low-value administrative jobs. The feature comes to your aid by tracking communication, sending out franchise disclosure documents, scheduling events and tasks, logging calls, and keeping tabs on the sources of leads used by franchise candidates to get in touch with you. Plus, the feature helps manage and foster long-lasting customer relationships and search for leads from franchise consultants or brokers. This is the hallmark of a typical franchise development feature designed particularly to meet unique development needs.
- Franchise performance feature
Its basic aim is to bring about simplification in managing to process royalty fees among other transaction payments. It helps you in the effortless management of franchise areas and territories. It helps provide real-time reports for analyzing franchise growth and many of its key financial aspects. Moreover, keeping a track of royalty streams arriving from regions falling under different area representatives or regional developers is important as royalty structure varies from one region to the other.
- Lead management feature
Monitoring leads and ensuring they quickly and easily turn into sales are imperative. These leads/prospects originate from people that really want to avail of products and/or services rendered by franchisees. Lead management feature is essentially a customer relationship management tool that has its home on both sides – franchise development and consumers. The lead management feature helps capture vital leads-related minutiae, smooth transmission of the details into the system, and maintain a tracker containing information about referral sources.
- Marketing feature
Top-notch franchise software is endowed with a robust marketing feature that takes an email campaign developer into account. It can be custom-tailored to create email marketing campaigns suitable for individual needs. The marketing feature puts forward a collateral manager, for example, a virtual library so that everyone is on the same page as far as brand designs and messaging are concerned. It exhibits ample flexibility to make certain marketing efforts can be successfully put into action via sundry communication channels such as text messages or emails depending on customers and their preferences.
The marketing feature allows franchisees to initiate and implement marketing initiatives within their limited, individual scope. This results in making every business owner more independent and flexible. The schematics of these short-term, restricted marketing campaigns can be passed on to the head office as well as all other franchise owners via franchise software. Post-approval, everyone can adopt the campaign model and monitor its performance. Any shortcomings can be identified and corrected through customizations thereby bringing about the needed improvement in real time.
- Employee management feature
This feature primarily specializes in establishing streamlined communication with all of your employees. It helps facilitate providing schedules to carry out events and tasks besides ensuring conflicts with regard to scheduling are eliminated. It helps send notifications to you concerning any overlap in shifts, overtime, etc. Additionally, it helps accommodate data related to employees in a centralized, comprehensive reserve so that all pieces of information are readily available. The feature works equally well for both franchisors and franchisees.
- Customer management feature
Franchise software with customer management features helps achieve smooth conversion of leads into paying customers, make communication with both existing and prospective customers simpler, and generates invoices and statements in an intuitive fashion.
- Franchise management feature
A great franchise management feature is integral to any high-yielding franchise software and by virtue of it you’re able to keep track of both active and inactive franchisees. With the feature in tow, you can effortlessly carry out the management of the awarded territories, produce summary reports containing key performance metrics, and recall anniversary dates.
- Franchise support feature
It helps automate frequently occurring tasks, for instance, the assignment of trouble tickets and their closure, round-the-clock helpdesk support with absolute security, and a library of FAQs related to queries for recurring tasks. These are just a few of the main franchise support capabilities any good franchise software can offer.
- Intranet feature
This feature facilitates seamless integration of third-party applications to ensure unbroken automated workflows, digital libraries replete with information about franchises, and private libraries to cater to use by individual employees or franchisees. Therefore, the feature is intrinsic to any powerful franchise software solution.
Among other noteworthy features, the following are included.
- Inventory and supply chain optimization feature
Franchise software provides visibility of inventory levels at the corporate rank. The feature allows you to put in purchase orders depending on minimum or maximum inventory levels and set up a direct connection with the chain of suppliers. The feature owns an automatically functioning stock replenishment tool that finds its extensive use in the franchise chain across the board. The tool provides a vast reserve of historical data besides offering dynamic seasonal trends. It’s readily accessible to individual franchisees. To cut a long story short, this means that franchisors have full awareness of all ongoing activities and franchisees are fully cognizant of the supply they have in hand. So, everyone knows the number of products they have so that future shortages or oversupplies if any can be averted.
- Sales augmentation feature
By and large, customers return to a franchise outlet taking the following considerations into account.
- The standard of offered customer service
- The nature of the relationship that the franchisee grows and nurtures with the customer
With an increase in certain outlet-specific sales, there’s a corresponding increase in the revenue so generated. And, this happens for all involved parties. Powerful tools for promoting sales and gaining customer loyalty are offered by franchise software for the purpose of driving more clients to the outlets. Thus, even though the final interaction, a customer experience, is the ultimate responsibility of the franchisee, good franchise software aids in boosting outlet-specific sales.
- Inspection feature
Franchise software is regarded as the point of convergence between franchisors and franchisees. Via software, they carry out meetings and interactive sessions. Any inspection bereft of conflicts can be executed by keeping track in real-time. Nowadays, nearly every franchise software is cloud-based which is indicative of the fact that it can be accessed via mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets. The business performance can be gauged by taking a look at outlet-specific sales, supply chains, etc., and comparing them. Thus, franchise software enables you to pinpoint concern areas following which sales and management objectives can be decided to sort out issues. Also, ready access to historical information allows you early identify problems. This refers to the fact that real in-person inspections happen more quickly. Also, the inspections aren’t needed regularly. These ensure franchisees are gifted with more freedom and less headache.