Is Your Franchise Tech-Forward (Enough)?

March 30, 2022 | 1,330 views

Is Your Franchise Tech-Forward (Enough)?
Is Your Franchise Tech-Forward (Enough)?

Many of our customers are franchisees. With that comes a slew of pre-programmed benefits from the franchisor:  brand recognition, training, regional and national marketing among them. Yet, we see our franchise owners competing just like any other small business—they seek advantages and ways to secure larger market share in their areas while efficiently delivering a branded product or service.

As a SaaS company executive, I see the initiative and tough choices that small businesses of all types make. It is helpful to have the franchisor’s technology solutions, of course, but there are additional tech-forward options to propel franchisees toward success.

From building your customer base to streamlining administrative tasks, technology improves your ability to prosper and stay ahead of the competition. Is your franchise tech-forward enough to thrive in your market?

Touch Your Customers

You make an impression every time a customer sees or hears from you. The franchise model creates a brand and expectation that you deliver, but by using technology, you can increase the number of “touches” or impressions that your customers receive. The more times they connect with your franchise, the more loyal they become. For a franchise, impressions come from national marketing, logos, and ads, but you can build social media campaigns with simple and free online tools. Touch your customers often through email and community connections. The familiarity keeps your name in the forefront, so they think of you first when they need your product or service.

Simplify Your Days

Like most business owners, it’s best to spend your time working on your operation. Any new technology that improves how your time is used means more efficiency and high productivity. Software options include Trello for group project management and QuickBooks for accounting, among others. Also, there are free options for employee scheduling software, inventory management, and internal communications. Depending upon your franchisor’s requirements and your specific needs, simple programs will save time and simplify your administrative tasks.

Stay Ahead

Franchises have a dedicated area identified by the franchisor where they will place no other franchise sites. However, there is still competition from other small businesses. What makes yours different? Maybe you’ve been there longer or have a following from a well-known franchise brand. However, if your competitor offers tech-forward options to customers like a customized app, online ordering or other conveniences, your franchise will quickly find itself falling behind. It is always harder to catch up than it is to stay ahead. So, understand your fellow entrepreneurs in your region. Understand what they do to build and keep customers and do it better. We all seek the easy path—be sure your customers find your offering easier than your competitor’s option.

Technology can catapult you further ahead in your business plan when implemented strategically. Include continuous improvement upgrades in your budget. Technology evolves, and you’ll want to stay in front of new opportunities. Being tech-savvy is good; being tech-forward means planning for being the best franchise in your area by using every tool available to stay ahead. Your internal operation will run more smoothly, and your loyal customer base will prove the value of technology in your business. 

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. For many years, Atlas Business Solutions has been named one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies.

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