There is a lot to love about the franchise model. Where else can someone quickly become an independent small business owner while tapping into big business resources? For the franchisor, the benefits are equally impressive. Business owners who want to expand their operations, but lack the capital to make it happen, can open up to operational partners who then pay into the company. Those new franchise owners help the business grow while living their own dreams of ownership.
But look more closely, and you'll begin to see that franchises face challenges that can impede workflow and threaten success. Franchise leaders consistently have to deal with the problems that a decentralized operation creates, as well as higher staff turnover rates, and often a nonexistent IT department.
There is, however, one solution that is paving the way to a more productive workflow and a better bottom line for franchises – moving to the cloud.
One of the most common complaints heard from franchisees is that franchisors respond too slowly to their needs. It’s clearly a benefit to franchisors to hear and help a franchisee succeed, but broken and noisy systems can unfortunately create a communication breakdown.
Being heard isn't just about picking up the phone and finding a responsive ear at the other end. It requires a well-coordinated set of tools and a system that functions well at all times.
So many franchises have to struggle with incompatible software and poorly designed applications. Relying on a patchwork point-of-sale system, for instance, impedes supply management and credit card processing, at the very least. The best way to ensure a clear pathway to communication is with standardized software and applications across all offices. If all authorized users can see the same data, then inefficiencies and communication difficulties that plague productivity can be minimized.
Imagine having better information to make decisions and not having to spend hours hunting for it. This is another way cloud computing improves workflow. Cloud-enabled franchises enjoy greater visibility into operations across their systems anytime, anywhere.
For example, you could set up incentives and marketing initiatives at the head office and track compliance and progress throughout. When servers, applications, and each user's desktop all work together, fulfilling privacy, tax, and safety requirements is more easily managed, as well. Better yet, being able to see all operations at a glance builds accountability. If a problem arises, having a centralized cloud solution lets you pinpoint and correct it immediately. That capability alone can save you a great deal of time and money.
Reduce the Impact of Turnover
How many employees have you seen come and go in the past year? It almost seems as though experiencing high staff turnover is a standard condition of running a business. But whatever the reason for it (and there are many), there is one truly effective way to smooth out the process.
The right cloud provider can help you set up a system whereby hires and terminations are automated and regulated. Repetitive tasks, like adding or removing employees, are optimized and quickly executed in the cloud so you don't waste time or money. Create a basic template that reflects the unique nature of your franchise, and use it automatically every single time. Once you pick a specific day and time that an employee is hired or terminated, a cloud administrator will ensure that access is opened or closed according to your instructions. Just like that, it's done.
“The computer is broken. I couldn't log in.”
Migrating your business processes to the cloud means you may never hear that refrain again. The truth is that coming face-to-face with a computer or an application that fails can be daunting for most of us. And what about all that important data that's stored in there? Will you ever recover it if that machine crashes?
Operating your business is your expertise, not troubleshooting the computer or the network. So, don't do it. Running your systems in the cloud means that you always have an expert IT team ready to keep the whole system updated and secured. Even licensing and patching software is seamless in the cloud. That allows you to focus on what you’re really good at: growing your business.
If one of your locations were to experience a disaster of one sort or another today, would you be able to resume normal operations across your outlets right away? Quick disaster recovery is not an improbable dream. If all your systems and files are stored and accessed via the cloud, you could set each affected franchise location on the road to recovery within minutes on any device and from anywhere in the world.
Storms, fires, floods and earthquakes may do damage to your facility, but they don’t have to automatically mean you are out of business. How's that for superior workflow?
With the right partner, migrating all operations and staff processes to the cloud can be quick and painless. Call one of our Cloud Productivity Experts to get started today.