Why the Digital Age is Attracting More Businesses to Franchise for Rapid Expansion
No modern business franchise can escape the effects of the digital age. And why should you, when it presents such tremendous opportunities for your industry? More than ever before, technology has invaded and enhanced how we do business. In fact, the digital age is attracting more business to look at franchising as a means for rapid expansion.
The main contributing factor for this is the new generation of adults who are looking to begin careers and start businesses. Love them or hate them, the “Millennial” generation (those born at or near the millennium) are coming age, and they are a massive force that is driving change in our society, including business.
The Impact of a New Generation
As part of the overall American population, Millennials outnumber Baby Boomers, and are becoming a potent economic force as they begin careers and start families. This is a generation that grew up in the dawning of the digital age and fully embraced the Internet, smartphones, tablets, apps, and sophisticated gaming systems.
At over 83 million, Millennials possess a predisposition for being entrepreneurial and wanting the freedom of self-employment. And, having grown up in a digital age, their dependence on technology breeds the characteristic of impatience. Whatever they want, they want it done faster, better, cheaper, and with less effort. More than any group, Millennials seek to leverage their efforts—both as consumers and workers—to get the most bang for their buck.
What does this mean for franchising? Millennials see franchising as a business model in which they can get in and grow to success relatively quickly, especially by leveraging technological advances that speed work, payments, marketing, and other franchise operations.
The franchise model can benefit greatly from recent technological advancements, especially since most franchise businesses are in the retail industry. Innovations, such as customer-loyalty programs and cloud-based tools, make it easier to streamline operations, increasing the efficiency of business processes. And, new forms of marketing are shaping how we view and accept brands.
Remember when franchisors directed most of their marketing dollars into television, radio, print, and billboard media? No longer—in 2016 and 2017, social marketing took the franchising industry by storm. And as micro influencers continue to have an influential voice among consumers, their importance will keep growing.
Micro influencers are personalities who have massive followings on social media. These could be beauty vloggers, content producers, industry thought leaders, and even gamers. More and more, franchises are looking to collaborate with these micro-influencers to boost sales and build their online presence, and bolster brand awareness. It is the new wave of marketing in the digital age.
The Impact of New Technologies
As franchisors embrace new technologies, they will see greater returns for less effort as well as larger customer engagement levels. Just think of the impact that the Internet and cloud computing can have on the modern franchise.
Instant Access to Information
No matter is you are thinking about buying a franchise or looking for tips on how to run your franchise, the Internet puts a wealth of valuable and pertinent information at your fingertips. Through Internet connectivity, franchise businesses can better serve their franchisees with quality training and best practices. Enabling collaboration and providing real time data can also enhance the ability of franchisors to identify and address problems quickly and accurately.
Serving and Communicating with Customers
Technology makes it easier and more cost-effective than ever to communicate with franchise customers. By listening and responding to customers’ needs, businesses have a better chance at success. Plus, franchise businesses that embrace the communication technologies where most consumers spend their time will reap a windfall of rewards.
- Social Media
These communication and POS resources can be particularly beneficial to the franchise business model as it lets each franchise customize their messaging while still retaining a unified brand voice and presence.
Digital signage and menu boards can also improve communications with both onsite customers and passersby. Digital messaging can quickly and easily be changed to communicate happy hour specials, daily promotions, and other timely information.
POS & Other Technology
Apart from providing a quicker and cashless option for transactions, POS systems can also be combined with other technologies like integrated accounting and automated marketing. This allows franchisors to evaluate purchasing trends and patterns in order to determine what time the store is performing well and what time it isn’t.
Insights like these help a franchisor develop more effective marketing strategies to increase its sales. For example, if a food outlet is typically dead from 2-4 PM, a franchise owner can decide to push sales specials during that time.
There is no better time for businesses to begin franchising, with all the great new tools at their disposal. Franchise Guardian can provide you with everything you need to expand your business through franchising and craft a blueprint for continued future success. For more information, contact us online.