For franchisors, two of our biggest challenges are
- How can we help our franchisees to build their businesses without spending all our time on the road?
- How can we identify and fix franchisee performance issues before they become real problems?
The solution is known as the Cloud, but incredibly, not all franchise systems are taking advantage of what we’ve called “a marriage made in heaven”.
In the US, the biggest growth in technology in terms of revenue is from Cloud services. You’re probably using the Cloud every day. Think internet banking, Google Docs, LinkedIn, Alibaba, Trade Me and Xero.
For the past seven years, we’ve been using the Cloud to manage franchises more effectively than we’ve ever been able to before. The biggest benefit has been that we don’t have to physically look over the shoulders of our franchisees to see how their businesses are going, we can do it from the comfort of our office.
This has nothing to do with “checking up” on them to “keep them honest”. It’s about working with them to train and support them and to help them manage their businesses in real-time for greater performance and better results.
Isn’t that what franchising is about?
The Cloud provides franchisees with a wealth of other advantages, including the cost saving of not having to invest in expensive software, streamlining their business processes to save time and unnecessary effort, allowing them to collaborate with suppliers, strategic partners and other franchisees, and enabling them to be more competitive by getting closer to and interacting with their customers.
"There are heaps of examples of plumbers and electricians that are more efficient because they're using tools on the cloud to make their life more efficient," industry consultant and investor Ben Kepes said in a New Zealand Herald article.
"Retailers as well – they're in the horrible position of being threatened by big box people but using the cloud, they can get to know their customers and interact with their customers directly, which allows them to be more competitive."
Much more than just accounting packages
When many people think of the Cloud, they think of Xero, but today there are Cloud applications for operations, marketing, sales and customer relationship management as well as financial management. In fact, we’ve developed and successfully worked with Cloud systems which integrate all of these functions, creating an end-to-end solution to everything a franchise business needs.
According to Ben Kepes, the big picture is how the Cloud can enable New Zealand to compete globally.
"We're a tiny country at the end of the world but by using the Cloud we can overcome a lot of the tyranny of distance and compete on a global stage."
Given that the same challenge is faced by franchisors, we would welcome the opportunity to talk with you about the Cloud solutions that would overcome the tyranny of distance for you and boost your network’s performance. We’re not technical experts so we won’t – can’t – try to bamboozle you with geek speak. Our strength is being able to understand the special needs of franchise systems and bring them together with the ideal Cloud solution to meet those needs.
Contact us now for a free initial consultation.
Article by Robin La Pere, No Ordinary Business and Franchise Consultants
Contact me at email@example.com.
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