Unlike other start-up businesses that can survive on a shoestring budget, franchises require huge upfront investment. In exchange, the franchisor normally offers comprehensive support, business processes and systems to increase the chances of success.
However, like any other start-up, the biggest challenge for any franchisor is providing the right IT systems in order for the franchise operation to be efficient. Being a successful franchisor requires a wide range of skillsets to ensure franchisees can carry out the same successful formula.
Making the shift from business owner to franchisor is often a critical step for the success of the franchise business. The franchisor needs to shift from being actively involved in the business to a more advisory role, more of a leader who strategises and monitors.
According to Alto Africa CEO Justin Trent, from a franchisor perspective having the right systems and processes in place will help add value to the franchise and also make it easier to attract buyers.
"Small business franchisees have enough to get their head around without having to worry about setting up IT systems and therefore the franchisor can easily add value through providing turnkey solutions that would normally be complicated for a franchisee to setup," he explains.
Franchise owners normally require a very basic level of technology including connectivity, a telephone system, email, file sharing, security and backups. More importantly, they require reliable IT support.
Trent points to Cloudbox as the perfect solution for franchises. "It offers affordable installation, maintenance and support costs payable at a fixed rate per month, giving franchise owners the freedom to focus on their business instead of worrying about IT issues."
"The solution incorporates email, email backups, file sharing, computer backups, antivirus and communication into one simple package to take the complexity out of IT. More importantly, Alto Africa offers unlimited support packages that are truly uncapped and includes onsite support and change requests," he says.
By having a turnkey operation that also includes the ongoing systems in place has massive benefits for both parties. Cloudbox helps streamline operations for the franchisor as having franchisees with disparate systems leads to complexity and inefficiency.
Franchisors can now have regular reports and information from the franchisee and also ensure the franchisee is making use of the latest documentation, price lists etc. Furthermore, they can ensure that the franchisee's email and data is automatically and securely backed up and that the system can scale rapidly without a need for increased resources.
"When people buy into a franchise the more the franchisor can give them as part of the deal the more attractive it is to the franchisee. The franchisor has comfort in knowing that the franchisee is going to have robust business systems in place," he concludes.
More about Alto Africa (www.altoafrica.com)
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