Building a successful Master Franchisee business

August 23, 2018

The life of a Master Franchisee is a challenging one.

For franchise businesses with multiple brands in their portfolio, success isn’t only measured by how well your stores are operating. Success is also driven by the relationship with your Master Franchise Partner, and how well you're meeting the terms of your Master Franchise Agreement.

You need to be an extension of the brand

As the Master Franchisee, you’ve worked extensively with your brand partner, and have intimate knowledge of their business model and operations. It’s now your responsibility to push this knowledge down to your stores.

However, as your operations and franchise systems grow, it becomes increasingly challenging to deploy resource into local markets for on-site training and ongoing support.

So, how can you achieve this effectively?

Efficient management of your portfolio is underpinned by two elements:

1. Ensuring you have a process that not only delivers your partner’s brand knowledge and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) down to your store staff, but also proof that guidelines and requirements are being met, so driving the business plan forward and optimizing store sales.

2. Establishing a solid working process between your head office team, your store teams, and your franchisor’s head office team. This is a division of labour, with a mix of responsibilities covering visual merchandising, marketing, operations, stock management, security and many other operational items.

Brands are looking to work with franchise partners that they can trust to grow their business

Unfortunately, for Master Franchisees that are growing quickly, investment in technology to support this can often lag behind. Instead, it’s not uncommon to find franchise partners running disconnected systems from their partners. This fractures the effectiveness and speed of best practice, costing time and money in the running of your stores and their revenue effectiveness.

This can be a costly mistake, and not a scalable approach to keeping your portfolio in-check. Content shared through attachments or shared drives, for example, can often be missed, leaving store teams using outdated or incorrect assets. While tasks shared through email can be missed altogether, and offer no way for your head office team to track receipt or task status, and compliance against Standard Operating Procedures.

Even many of the popular, generic task management tools can be challenged by your complex store hierarchies, and franchise models. Furthermore, even if you invest in a dedicated retail task management tool, using a different one to your brand partners will still create delay and double-entry overhead as a minimum.

The tools every Master Franchisee needs

These challenges are the reason that you need tools built specifically for your industry; designed to help your teams get more done, deliver greater visibility over activity, and ultimately drive store performance.

Concrete has been working with retail brands, and Master Franchisees, for over ten years and is the leader in communication and task management tools for the retail sector.

Here’s what we’ve learned, and how we can help to build more successful Master Franchisee operations.

1. Advertising and promotions:

For many global brands, local marketing can be fraught with risk, as local markets and tastes can influence requirements that perhaps do not adhere to brand guidelines.

It is therefore critical that there is a good “review and approval” process in place to ensure that both timeliness and brand integrity are respected. This is to protect brand standards and market performance, and to give both master franchisee and brand partner a solid and transparent working process to keep teams aligned.

When your portfolio comprises multiple stores and even sub-franchisees, it’s vital that the brand isn’t damaged in any way through the use of outdated, or incorrect content. Look to invest in a system such as Concrete Publish that allows you to build a cloud-based content portal, and single-source of truth. Local stores and teams across your franchise network are then able to access this portal remotely for marketing support, and to access the materials they need to implement the marketing plan effectively – whether that be in-store promotions, or local advertising.

If your promotions are time-sensitive, Concrete Tasks overcomes the challenge of trying to coordinate activity through email or generic task management solutions, meaning everyone knows what needs to be done, and by when, and showing users what changes need to be made to marketing materials through an intuitive “mark-up” tool, before they are released.

Stores can be bombarded with emails, and store managers can spend up to 50% of their time in the back-office rather than on the shop-floor.

2. Training & development:

If your stores suffer from a high degree of staff churn (something that the market is generally very susceptible to), you need to find a more scalable way to deploy the training assets used to onboard new store associates. This might include operational manuals, brand awareness guides and product knowledge.

When training assets are sent, and held as attachments in store email accounts, they can easily be forgotten about or lost. Likewise, paper-based training manuals quickly become outdated. This will delay the time it takes for a new store associate to begin selling effectively and providing great customer service.

Concrete Tasks allows you to set-up templated training tasks. These can then be pushed down to your stores to be actioned, while also giving your head office teams full visibility over completion.

Training assets can also be stored in Concrete Publish, affording your head office team a centralized location to curate training and development materials, and ensuring local teams always know where to go to get the latest, and most up-to-date materials.

3. Visual Merchandising:

Like advertising and marketing standards, it’s important that visual merchandising guidelines are implemented correctly by your stores. Unfortunately, email makes it hard to monitor activity. It can also be cumbersome to respond to local questions about real-estate, store layouts, or adaptations that need to be made.

Use Concrete Tasks to better manage and coordinate Visual Merchandising activity. The task dashboard makes it easy for planning teams to manage reminders, monitor feedback, and track task completion. If task assignees require additional support, they can open a chat with stakeholders or post photos back to help them resolve a problem. All activity is kept within a single application, providing a clear audit trail, and improving task completion rates.

4. Retail Operations:

From company announcements and new directives, to sharing Standard Operating Procedures and providing ongoing support; staying connected to your in-store teams is an important part of maintaining a high performing operation that executes quickly and effectively.

Stores can be bombarded with emails (store managers can spend up to 50% of their time in the back-office rather than on the shop-floor), which causes confusion, lacks accountability and can make it hard for local teams to prioritize. Regional managers can be equally pressured and can struggle to keep track of head office directives that their local stores need to implement.

Concrete Tasks provides head office and regional teams with hierarchical task assignment, enabling them to quickly create tasks, define categories, and send to selected stores or groups. For tasks issued by the head office team, regional managers can add additional content or notes tailored to their area.  

Build trust with your Brand Partners

Brands are looking to work with franchise partners that they can trust to grow their business in a new, and often unknown territory. That's why when working with brand partners, it’s important to demonstrate that their brand is in safe hands and that you have the tools in place to manage operations as efficiently as possible.

Concrete can help with this. Book a demo with one of our experts below, and we can show you how!

Don't forget, Concrete already works with many of the world's best-known retail brands. Your brand partners may already be using Concrete!

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