When it comes to franchise management software, there are a lot of different options on the market. You can choose from off-the-shelf software that is designed for specific industries or you can build your own custom franchise management software. As a business owner, you may feel overwhelmed about what technology is a waste of resources and what technology can make a true and lasting impact on your company.
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Having a robust franchise management software is often required in order to scale your growing franchise business to the next level. But it can be hard to determine if and when to build your own custom franchise software, or if you should continue using an out-of-the-box solution.
In this blog post, we will discuss 8 reasons why you should build your own custom franchise management software.
What Is Franchise Management Software?
Before we dive into the reasons to build your own custom franchise management software, let’s first take a look at what franchise management software actually is. Franchise management software is a type of business software that helps businesses manage and automate their franchise operations. This type of software can include modules for managing franchisees, marketing, accounting, HR, reporting, time entry management, and more.
As your franchise brand scales, you’ll continue to have more and more information and team members to sort through and manage. In order to maintain steady growth, it’s imperative that you leverage technology to help you determine areas of improvement across locations. Having a custom software management tool that does everything you need is a great option.
Why Not An Off-the-Shelf Franchise Management Software?
If your business is just starting out and you have very few franchise locations, an out-of-the-box software solution might be a great option at first. There are great software solutions specifically for franchises that are very much “plug and play.” In other words, onboarding your business into these software platforms usually take little time and tech knowledge, which is great. Additionally, they are usually very affordable if you only have a few locations.
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The Negatives of Using Off-The-Shelf Franchise Management Software:
As your franchise business grows, the off-the-shelf software might not be able to keep up with your needs. You may find that you need more customization or specific features that the software doesn’t offer. The other downside of using an off-the-shelf franchise management software is that it’s likely been built with a one-size-fits-all approach.
A cookie cutter software solution might not be able to give you the flexibility that you need in order to manage your franchise brand effectively. The greatest downside to out-of-the-box software is that it may not be completely tailored to your specific business needs. You may need to do some customizations or work with a partner to get the most out of the software. Additionally, the cost of out-of-the-box software can be expensive, especially if you need to add on customizations or modules.
The Negatives of Out-Of-The-Box Software Solutions:
- Limited customization
- Higher cost for customizations and modules
- Limited packages available for purchase (so you end up paying for a lot of features you may not even use)
- Pay structure is often expensive and based on the number of locations and users in the system
- Migrating to a different or new system can be extremely challenging, depending on the system
Benefits of Building Custom Franchise Software For Your Business
Now that we’ve looked at some of the negatives of using out-of-the-box franchise software, let’s take a look at some of the benefits of building your own custom franchise management software.
1. Tailor-Made to Your Needs
When you build your own franchise software, you have the ability to tailor the software exactly to your franchise business’ needs. You can work with a development team to include all of the features and modules that you need in order to manage your franchise locations effectively.
Additionally, if you need to make changes or add new features down the line, it’s much easier to do so with a custom franchise software solution. With an off-the-shelf franchise software, you’re often stuck with the features that come packaged with the software.
2. You Own It
Another great benefit of building your own franchise software is that you own the code. When you work with a development team to build your franchise management software, you own the final product. This means that you don’t have to worry about licensing fees or working with a third-party vendor.
Additionally, having a fully custom franchise management software that is built specifically with your business needs in mind, it adds to your company’s valuation in general. You can also license out your software to similar franchises if desired, adding an additional revenue stream to your company.
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3. Simplifies Franchise Operations
A well-built franchise management software can help simplify your franchise operations significantly. By having all of your data in one place and being able to manage everything from a central location, you can save a lot of time and energy.
Additionally, a good franchise management software will automate a lot of the tasks that are required to run a franchise business, including running location-by-location reports, managing invoices and contracts, and reviewing location-specific employee information.
4. Increases Security of the Software
When you build your own franchise software, you have the ability to ensure that the security of the software and data is of utmost importance. You can work with a development team who has experience in building secure franchise management software that meets all compliance requirements.
This means that you can rest assured knowing that your franchise business’ data is safe and inaccessible to unauthorized personnel. Off-the-shelf franchise software solutions often do have security in place, however, they are in control of all of your company’s data. With an off-the-shelf software, you are literally at the mercy of another company, with no transparency on the future of the company, their security measures, and whether or not they are selling your private information to other companies.
5. Next Level Field Service Management
If your franchise business offers any type of field service, having a custom franchise management software can help you take your field service to the next level.
A good franchise management software will allow you to track your field technicians in real-time, dispatch them to new locations based on their skillset and availability, and review customer feedback and surveys. This type of data is extremely valuable as it can help you improve the quality of your franchise’s services.
Additionally, you can build an accompanying mobile application that is directly linked to the web application software. The mobile application can allow employees in the field to manage orders, events, programs, transaction, and more both online and offline!
6. Customized Reporting Features
When you build your own franchise management software, you have the ability to design and develop customized reports that meet your specific needs. This means that you can track data such as sales, profits, employee productivity, customer satisfaction levels, and more.
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Having this level of detailed information at your fingertips can help you make better strategic decisions for the future growth of your franchise business. Off-the-shelf franchise software solutions often come with pre-made reports or limited reporting capabilities, and often includes a bunch of “bloat features” that you have to pay for, but don’t necessarily use.
A custom franchise management software solution gives you unparalleled flexibility in terms of what data you want to track. A good franchise management software will allow you to see data for all of your locations in one place so that you can quickly and easily identify any issues that may arise.
7. You Can Integrate Anything with Custom Franchise Software
Another big plus for custom software is that integrations are typically much easier to set up than they are with out-of-the-box solutions. This is because custom software is built specifically for your business and therefore integrates well with other systems that your company may use. Additionally, custom software is often built using open standards, making it easy for other systems to communicate with it.
When you build your own franchise management software, you have the ability to integrate any system with it that you want. This means that if you currently use or want to start using a specific CRM, accounting software, or HR system, you can do so without any issue.
Off-the-shelf franchise software solutions often come with limited integration capabilities and/or require that you purchase additional modules in order to get the full functionality of the software. With a custom franchise management software solution, all of your systems will be integrated into one cohesive platform, making data entry and retrieval much simpler and faster.
8. Custom Franchise Management Software Lowers Ongoing Costs
Finally, one of the biggest advantages of custom franchise management software is that it lowers your ongoing costs. When you purchase an off-the-shelf franchise solution, you often have to pay for licensing fees, maintenance fees, and upgrades.
With a custom franchise management software solution, you will only have to pay for the cost of development, hosting, and maintenance (as needed). Additionally, because the software is built specifically for your business, it will be much easier to maintain and update as your franchise grows.
Custom software is often more affordable in the long run than out-of-the-box solutions. This is because you only pay for the features that you need, and there are no additional costs associated with using the software (such as per-user fees, location fees, or feature activation fees).
Building a custom franchise management software solution may seem like a daunting task, but there are many benefits to doing so. When you build your own franchise management software, you have the ability to customize the software to meet your specific needs, integrate any system that you want, and lower your ongoing costs. With so many advantages, it’s no wonder that more and more franchise businesses are choosing to build their own custom franchise management software solutions.
What do you think? Is building a custom franchise management software solution right for your business? Reach out to us to learn how we can help!