The Unique Challenges of the Multi-Unit Franchisee
Having multiple units as a Canadian franchisee can be pretty appealing. Multi-unit owners often enjoy lower franchise and royalty fees, and they can also save by having fewer managers on staff to oversee the operations. Although it is economically efficient, the multi-unit ownership style does bring some challenges, but they have workable solutions thanks to today's technology.
Bridge communication gaps
For success as a franchisee with more than one unit, you will need efficient and unified communication lines from the top down. Without that, it will be difficult for your customer service staff to implement the messaging from the upper management in a way that's properly repeated from one location to the next. Digital technology can work wonders here. You can, for example, send messages and notifications to all employees with the touch of a button on mobile devices so your store managers don't have to waste their time repeating the same announcements over and over to the individual employees. Polls, surveys and assessments regarding employees can also be managed digitally, which makes it easier for you to collect more useful data and compare performance across all of your locations.
Consistency is king
Consistency across all of your units is important for success and employee satisfaction. Your performance data can help you identify which locations may have trouble spots and what those areas are. If, for example, you conduct a customer satisfaction poll and find that one store is rated lower than your other locations, you could create a customer training exercise for employees at that location to help improve employee performance and customer satisfaction at the same time.
You should also use technology in your training sessions for employees. When you use approaches like quizzes and videos, your employees will feel more actively engaged. This makes them more predisposed to accept new directions, even if they are veteran employees who are more likely to be resistant to change.
Take note of your staff
When you're an owner of more than one store, it can be easy to overlook the hard work of individual employees. Make sure your staff is visible to you, and don't forget to reward achievements. This helps employees feel more valued and fosters a better morale in your workplace.
Any time a customer visits a franchise location, they expect the positive and familiar experience they associate with that brand. As a multi-unit franchise, you need to be positioned to deliver the experience your customers are looking for.