It's not easy to be the new person in anything, and...
Franchises in Canada, like many other business types, have two options when it comes to tech strategy: think ahead or fall behind. As you consider potential brands for your new business, you need to look at how they are handling their technology and what their plans are for the future. You need a brand that is thinking about today and tomorrow when it comes to tech; otherwise, you will become the company of yesterday for customers.
To see how tech-forward a brand is, take a close look at what they are doing now in the key areas below.
Each time a customer sees or hears from you, an impression is made. The franchisor model creates the brand and expectation you will deliver, but with tech, you can increase the number of impressions, or "touches," customers receive. The more times a customer connects with your franchise, the more loyal they will be.
Impressions in a franchise often come from ads, logos and national marketing, but social media outreach on a local level is pretty important these days. Are other franchisees with the same brand on social media? What do their pages look like, and how well they are managed? When you take a look at local franchise social media pages, you can get an idea of what type of resources and guidance the franchisor is providing in this area.
Streamlining operational tools
The more time you have to focus on building your business, the better. However, any tech that can help automate some tasks and boost your time scheduling means you can be more productive and efficient when building your business.
What type of operational tech tools does your brand offer franchisees now, and what is in the pipeline for the future? A brand that is dedicated to tech improvements should have tools for franchisees to use, and they should also be working on improving and expanding those tools.
Plans for the future
What makes your franchise different for customers when it comes to tech compared to the competition? Here, you need to review the websites, apps and other online services offered by the competition of the brand you are interested in. If, for example, you notice your brand doesn't offer online ordering but some competitors do, that likely means your brand is not staying ahead of the pack. It is much easier to lead than to catch up once you are behind, so you want to find a franchisor that is continually looking forward when it comes to technology.
Ultimately, you should look for a franchise that is using every tool possible to stay ahead. With tech evolving as quickly as it does, having a tech-forward franchisor behind you is going to be a significant advantage in your location's future.