By Margie Zable Fisher
Congratulations! Your brand is growing — you’re adding franchisees and units, and maybe you’ve received some investment funding.
As you grow, you may be looking for opportunities to scale, or increase revenue at a higher rate than costs. Franchise tech tools can help you do that.
They also can support some of your growing brand’s operational challenges — such as standardizing the customer experience in every location and understanding system-wide financial and sales data.
Franchise technology tools also can help you gain new franchisees. In a FranConnect study, 50% of franchisees said technology tools were important in determining the value franchisors provide. The study also confirmed technology’s significance for franchisors.
Franchises are recognizing there may be limits to their expansion unless they keep pace with technology needs.—FranConnect
That said, franchisees don’t want to spend a lot of time and energy learning a variety of different technology tools. And franchisors don’t want to spend much time conducting that training, either.
The best-case scenario is to find a few effective franchise tech tools that are easy to implement.
Finally, it’s smart to include your franchisees in your franchise technology investment decisions. Their input and buy-in will determine how successful you are in deploying any new franchise technology.
When you’re ready to get started, consider these three types of valuable franchise technology tools.
1. Project Management
While every franchise brand provides franchisees an operations manual, some franchisors have taken operational procedures a step further.
Brett Payne, founder and CEO of Contender eSports social gaming venues, is a strong believer in supplementing operations manuals with additional detailed documentation on how to run a Contender eSports franchise.
Those additional procedures are embedded within the franchise’s cloud-based project management system, which he and every franchisee use.
“For example, we have general guidelines on how to run birthday parties in our operations manual, but in our project management tool, we can list every activity associated with running a birthday party,” he says.
“That might include the phone number you can call Domino’s to order a pizza, how many pizzas you order, this is where the table goes, did you put the tablecloth on, and the other 10,000 things you need to do,” he explains.
One of the project management tool’s most important benefits, Payne says, is the ability to track franchisee compliance. It helps him see if they check “completed” for each activity.
2. Digital Payments
The pandemic increased the activity of all things digital, including payments. In fact, 60% of consumers use more contactless payment options since 2020, according to Thryv’s 2022 Consumer Payments Survey.
Digital payments include:
- Digital wallets — PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, Venmo and Zelle are a few examples. Each digital wallet stores credit card and bank account information, as well as wallet balances, to facilitate payment.
- Contactless payments — Inserting a credit card into a machine? That’s so 2019. Instead, many buyers prefer to pay by placing their card or phone (with a digital wallet or QR code) near a point-of-sale terminal.
- Installment payments — Buyers can pay over time, often with no or little interest, using “Buy Now Pay Later” platforms.
Whether your franchisees accept payments in person or online, they need to accept as many digital payment types as possible. Provide them the technology to do that through a payments processor like ThryvPay.®
3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Last but not least, a CRM system can serve as the technology foundation for most franchise operations. You can connect a CRM to your project management software as well as digital payment portals.
A CRM’s comprehensive prospect and customer database can work in concert with other tools as well — such as appointment scheduling, estimating and invoicing, automated marketing email and text messages, online review requests and management and in-person or digital payment processing.
Creating a franchise technology hub brings out the best in a CRM. By connecting various franchise tech tools to the CRM, you can see each location’s real-time activities and performance aligned with its customer base.
This information helps you, as franchisor, determine which location is struggling or doing well. Armed with that knowledge, you can then share best practices system-wide.
Integrate Your Franchise Tech Tools
Put together, these three tools provide consistent, repeatable processes and systems for franchisees to use and follow. They also provide you easy access to every location’s critical financial and sales data.
If building your own franchise platform sounds like too much work, consider Hub by Thryv.
Designed specifically for franchisors, franchisees and multi-location businesses, Hub by Thryv consolidates every piece of technology needed to run a franchise. With only one login, you can find all the information necessary to scale and grow your franchise.