Running a franchise network, or any business spanning across various geographical locations can be a challenge these days. It is not only the franchisees or other types of partners, the logistics, personnel, and marketing aspects that are critical and require constant attention; the competition is also severe for any industry, and both new entrants to the market as well as established players have to constantly innovate to stay in the game. Let’s check some key apps that will make a franchise manager’s life much easier.
Which Are The Eight Key Apps For Your Franchise Business?
Point of Sale
Your Point of Sales software is probably the most important software in your business. It needs to have a fast and easy user interface to increase the productivity of your staff. In addition, it needs to give you the use of analytics to help you make the right decisions for your business.
Lightspeed is a cloud-based POS software that works on any device. It can even continue working when your internet connection is down. Furthermore, it has all the usual functionality of a POS system like handling cash, card, or mobile payments, invoicing, and tipping. It can also handle your entire catalog and work in multiple locations, making it ideal for a multi-location business like a franchise chain.
Even though building a franchise business ensures the physical presence of your brand in multiple locations, you need to have your goods accessible over the web as well.
Magento is one of the most popular eCommerce shopping carts available. It is offered both in a Community and an Enterprise edition. Also, you can extend its functionality with countless extensions that can handle everything from POS to accounting.
Another well-known eCommerce platform is Shopify. This platform offers retailers many services such as payments, marketing, shipping, and customer engagement tools. Shopify is one platform with all the eCommerce and point-of-sale features that every company asks for.
WooCommerce is another well-known eCommerce platform. This platform offers secure and flexible payments, management of orders and purchases, a support team, and some free and paid extensions to add essential features to your eCommerce site based on your company’s needs. You can find further details about the extensions in the WooCommerce Extensions Store.
Email marketing is a cheap, well-tested way to keep in touch with your customers. You can use mail campaigns to send out newsletters and offers or request feedback on previous transactions with your clients. So, which email marketing app should you use?
Have you heard about Mailchimp? This platform has everything you need to create successful email campaigns and increase your productivity. It handles automated emails that you set up according to your workflow. A wide set of tools such as send-time optimization, A/B content testing, spam filter test, and similar subscribers discovery ensure the maximum efficiency of every email you send. Your subscribers can be segmented into separate lists and you also have the ability to add multiple users with different permissions to match the needs of your franchise chains. Pricing is flexible; it is based on the volume of emails you send and the number of subscribers.
Keeping the accounting records in a franchise business where multiple locations, franchisees, and various fees are involved is a tricky task. You need to have accounting software that can easily handle these tasks.
Quickbooks Online is part of the cloud-based accounting apps for franchise businesses that can handle accurately all your accounting operations. Also, you can automate your payments and it can handle your payroll to help save you time. It also makes franchise-specific operations such as tracking purchase credits from your franchisee or paying royalty fees.
Online training and remote IT support
Expanding your franchise means that you will have to teach each one of your franchisees and their staff how to work according to your company’s workflow and operations. You might also need to provide support for your systems and troubleshoot IT issues.
Teamviewer is part of the top apps for a franchise business. That’s because it allows you to host screen-sharing meetings. This allows you to demonstrate how your franchisees should use your software. What is more important is that it allows you to remotely control other computers even if they run on different operating systems than yours. It even allows you to control mobile devices remotely from your laptop. This way, you will be able to install needed software or fix errors without hassle.
Microsoft Teams is a business communication platform. It is offering workspace chat and videoconferencing, file storage, and application integration. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Microsoft Teams is replacing other operated business messaging apps and platforms. Other platforms such as Zoom and Google Meet seemed to gain interest since the pandemic made the companies move to a virtual environment.
Keeping track of stock levels over different inventory locations and handling your ordering is a demanding task. Optimizing the inventory of your branches can increase your profit and improve the services you offer to your clients.
Megaventory is a cloud-based inventory management system that has been tailored for franchise chains. It offers a real-time view of your inventory, allows for efficient management of inventory, sales, purchases, and returns of physical products in a cost-effective way. Since it works on the cloud, it can accommodate the various locations relevant to a franchise business. and offer real time view of your inventory. For instance, stores and warehouses, but also virtual locations, such as shops and other channels. Megaventory has been designed so that different employees see different parts of the information depending on their permissions while managers can also have an overview. That’s all simple to set up and scale and it all can be accessed with the simple one accessing email online these days.
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These are but a few of the tools available. Of course for each application mentioned a number of alternatives exist both with richer as well as fewer features that can accommodate even the most demanding franchise business. Finding the best apps for your franchise business is a difficult task.
If all this seems overwhelming it’s not surprising – the number of options and parameters which need to be considered are staggering especially if you consider that these tools all need to be connected to each other at some level. In any case, it’s important to start modernizing at some point in the business chain and gradually improve the rest of it as well. And if all else fails there are consultants to speak to who are experts in addressing such issues.