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Concept of social developmentOver the years I’ve worked with a number of franchise businesses to implement systems and processes, at both master franchisor and franchisee levels.

Although the general rules are the same when looking at software and systems for every company, things become more complex for a franchise business model. And having a business software system in place that allows an expanding franchise network to achieve higher levels of operational performance is essential from the outset.

From data security and access to sensitive information, ownership, branding and reporting, there are many things to consider when choosing a franchise software system for each unique business.

The following questions are important considerations I discuss with my clients to identify a scalable solution that will allow them to grow, manage and improve their franchise throughout all stages of the business life-cycle.

Choose a scalable software solution to grow with your franchise

1. Will your franchise have different sized branches? If so, does the system allow for these?

2. Will your software or system requirements force any additional costs upon franchises when starting up? If so, this could create a barrier to your sales.

Select a software solution that provides suitable franchise security of IP

1. As the master franchisor, do you have security over the information entered and stored into the franchise software?

2. Do you have control over removal of information by individual franchisees from the system?

3. Is each individual franchisee’s data safe from others being able to view or edit sensitive content?

Find a solution that allows addition and removal of franchises

1. When a franchise comes on board, how will the training for their new system be undertaken?

2. Is there a time lag in implementing new software for a new franchise? If so, is this acknowledged in the franchise contract and sales pitch?

3. If a franchise owner decides to leave, does the master franchisor have the ability to retain access to this data and remove access from the previous franchise holder?

4. If a franchise owner decides to leave, does their contract allow them to take information with them? If so, if this physically possible within the system, and is it uncomplicated?

Manage ownership of data

1. According to your franchise contract, who owns the data stored within your software system?

2. Do you have contract codes allowing the master franchisor to access data belonging to the individual franchise owner?

Identify your software branding

1. Will you engage a developer to build software customised specifically for your franchise, or will you install an existing retail product?

2. If you choose to install a retail product, is their current branding suitable for your business?

If you decide to tailor software for your franchise, you will need to allow budget and development time to either white label the product, or replace with your own branding.

Establish reporting functionalities and franchise holder access

1.What data and reports can the individual franchisor run in their own system?

2. Are there any security issues with this data if it is stored outside of the system? For example, would this allow the individual franchisor to remove information and take it away for use against your contract?

3. As the master franchisor, do you have the ability to build functionality to report across all franchises for the purposes of benchmarking and business analysis?

4. Are you willing to provide access to individual franchises to allow them to compare performance against other franchises, whether identified or private?

McDonalds is a particularly good example of this, providing screens in store to allow each restaurant to see how much other branches in the local area have sold that day.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when selecting software for your franchise. Contact me at Dan@wearewaypoint.com and we’ll talk through your requirements and objectives before identifying the right software option for your business.

Dan Fairbairn

Dan is passionate about technology as an enabler, with years of experience training, evaluating and implementing technology into small businesses. Outside of work he loves live music, craft beer and over-analysing sport...!

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