Franchise revenue and growth are thriving, despite grim predictions that the epidemic would put an end to business expansion. According to Statista, the United States alone has over 760,000 unique franchise locations, generating more than $780 billion in economic production and employing more than 8 million people.
The most prominent section of these franchises is quick-service restaurants, which produce $250 billion in revenue and include names such as McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, and Wendy’s. Another extremely popular area is business services, which generates more than $100 billion in revenue.
As a franchisee, you naturally want to ensure that growth continues so that your firm emerges stronger than ever after weathering the current economic climate. This article examines five of the greatest software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions for franchise owners looking to expand, succeed, and even exit.
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5 best SaaS solutions for business owners
SaaS solutions are a critical component of any franchisee’s toolbox and technology stack. Managing a franchise requires varied degrees of support and software — which is frequently provided by the brand owner — in order to maintain consistency in marketing, messaging, and promotions.
As a franchisor, you have the benefits of brand recognition along with the freedom of a small business. However, it has the same issues as small firms, including identifying the most cost-effective SaaS solutions for running a franchise while assuring profitability and continued development.
Let’s examine five critical SaaS areas in further detail — such as back-office, social media, and listings administration.
Back-office management is critical to franchise management. Typically, owners employ a team of managers to handle daily operations. Managers are responsible for day-to-day operations such as personnel management, supply chain coordination, purchasing, stocking, and, of course, customer service.
On an operational level, an owner requires both a high-level view and granular data-driven insights to guarantee that everything works smoothly and that growth continues on pace. Back-office software encompasses all aspects of business, from human resources to payroll, customer relationship management (CRM), supply chain management, finance, accounting, and compliance. Numerous back office management software options, such as Microsoft’s ERP software, Dynamics 365, FinancialForce, and TEAM Software, exist to facilitate this process.
Social media management
Social media is critical for revenue generation, online bookings, and customer service management. Franchise owners, particularly those in consumer-centric (B2C) firms, require the best system or suite of systems to maximize organic and online marketing.
As is well known, there are a plethora of software solutions available, including HootSuite, Buffer, and Sprout Social. While these may be beneficial for some franchisees, they may not be suited for all franchise operations, particularly those with several locations.
Email marketing is critical to franchise owners’ marketing and sales funnels. Unless the brand handles the customer database centrally, franchisees often maintain ownership of their customer databases. By collecting data from customers with their consent, you can build a valuable customer database.
Once you’ve established a database, email marketing tools such as MailChimp, Constant Contact, and HubSpot, among others, enable you to launch email campaigns. Ignoring this marketing channel is detrimental to your organization, which is why selecting the best fit solution should be a priority.
Listings management is a software segment that enables franchisees to reap the benefits of positive in-store experiences through internet marketing. Customers that have a positive experience submit positive evaluations. Even unfavorable evaluations can contribute to a pleasant client experience if they are handled appropriately. By demonstrating to customers that a business would go above and beyond to resolve customer service issues and learn from mistakes, new prospective customers gain an understanding of a franchise’s commitment to customer satisfaction.
Numerous listing management software options — such as Yext, Uberall, Semrush, Reputation, and Thryv — make managing online reputations easier for franchise owners.
Similarly to back-office management, head-office management software solutions ensure the smooth operation of operational procedures. These solutions are especially advantageous for franchisees with dozens or hundreds of locations and a team of managers supervising each geographic area.
Being a franchisee is not simple. However, it is rewarding and may be extremely profitable if you choose the appropriate brand, the ideal location(s), and leverage the most effective SaaS solutions available.