The benefits and challenges of new tech for franchise businesses

In the world of franchising, just like every other business sector, new technology is making its impact

The benefits and challenges of new tech for franchise businesses

In the world of franchising, just like every other business sector, new technology is making its impact

We’re all learning new ways of working these days, as technology becomes even more ingrained into every aspect of our business lives.

In a franchise, throughout operations, marketing and payroll, tech is making business easier to manage and more efficient, while providing better and more immediate insight into which aspects of your model are working, and which aren’t.

So any franchise operation, big or small, should be looking at optimising their use of technology to help take their business forward. Even for a relatively small business like The HR Dept, we’ve found the rewards to be highly beneficial.

Yet in contrast to the norm, where smaller businesses are the ones where innovation and dynamism is found, it is in big business where the cutting edge is found. Smaller businesses understandably struggle to find the time and resources necessary to implement new technology.

However, it is critical for smaller businesses to jump on board with technology now. Businesses are redefining how they operate in the digital world – especially since the pandemic – and anyone wanting to keep their head above water would be advised to invest in the buoyancy that new tech can provide.

So how can technology help a franchise business?

Of course we all have elements of our business which are utterly dependent on technology – try running your company without the internet, or your IT equipment. 

But savvy business owners will have progressed well past the basics, using things like Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM) to keep track of their brand interactions and help plug leaks in the sales funnel. 

They’ll be using digital marketing to drive sales, promote their products and services, and ensure they carry on winning repeat business.

And particularly for food or retail franchisees, they’ll be using Point of Sale (POS) systems to enhance profitability, reduce wastage and manage their stocks.

Using technology for better employment

As a human resources franchise, The HR Dept is particularly focused on encouraging the use of technology in managing the processes in what we call the Employee Lifecycle – the different stages of an employee’s journey with a company which consist of recruitment, onboarding, retention and offboarding. Technology can be a great help in reducing time and resources here.

Automated HR systems and processes can help oversee employee benefits, performance appraisals, training, recruitment and retention.

HR systems can interface with current payroll systems so that processes such as leave can all be handled in the system, whilst you can view the progress at the touch of your fingertips.

Coordinating all these different types of duties can be time and resource-consuming, so it makes sense to take advantage of integrated HR technology solutions that combine difference databases and streamline work processes.

After all, HR is rarely a speciality of the business owner, so technology can be key to your future success.

The importance of due diligence

As we know, technology is becoming rapidly more ingrained within all our businesses, so it’s important to get the selection of your systems right first time. My tips for choosing the right system would be as follows.

Firstly, make sure your selection is based on the business need, not on cost. Second, dedicate time to reviewing processes and making changes if necessary. Third, spend time reviewing your customer or employee data, paying attention to how you will input information in the new system. Fourth, make sure your employees or franchisees are given time to train on the new system. And finally, ensure there is system support available for when you need it.

Of course, choosing and implementing technology is only one part of the process. Overseeing its use, learning from it to drive business improvements, that’s something else entirely.

Sue Tumelty
Sue Tumelty