By Charles Dean Smith, Jr., CPA

As franchises continue to face new challenges and opportunities in today’s marketplace, navigating complexity can be streamlined and simplified with the use of strategic management tools.

Strategic management tools provide a systematic solution for analyzing, planning, and executing initiatives to ensure the franchise remains agile and prepared to respond to changing circumstances.

Every day, new types of strategic management tools are emerging. Weeding through them all to find the right one for your unique situation can feel overwhelming, but don’t give up.

The benefits of finding the right tools enable franchise owners to:

  • Make well-informed decisions
  • Streamline operations
  • Drive sustainable growth
  • Create breathing room for teams to innovate and grow

In this article, we’ll outline types of strategic management tools for franchises and dive further into the various benefits.

Types of Strategic Management Tools for Franchises

For franchise owners, market trends, consumer preferences, and constant tech advancements create a competitive landscape.

Below are four types of tools:

  • You can’t manage what you don’t measure. One of the most important ways to ensure the success of your business is to establish key performance indicators (KPIs). A scorecard enables a franchise owner to align strategic objectives with these KPIs. Scorecards are a powerful tool that a franchise can use to map out a plan for achieving financial success, enhancing customer satisfaction, optimizing internal operations, and embracing continuous improvement and innovation.
  • SWOT Analysis. By identifying internal and external strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) that impact the performance of your franchise, owners can gain a comprehensive view of the current state and the desired state. The SWOT analysis is like a compass that guides you forward. From there, you draw upon additional sources like market research, customer feedback, industry reports to craft a plan to turn that desired state into reality.
  • AI-powered analytic tools. AI-powered tools can analyze massive amounts of data to generate actionable insights and provide your franchise with a competitive edge. By using predictive analytics, a franchise can model data to anticipate market trends and optimize pricing strategies.
  • Cloud-based tools. Franchise owners can now harness real-time data and insights from anywhere to enable seamless communication and coordination among several franchise units.

Where to Begin? Two Easy-to-Use Management Tools for Franchises

The goal is for your franchise to optimize current operations and future-proof your business to ensure long-term success. Not all franchise owners, however, are in a position to begin generating scorecards or adopting cloud-based tools.

So where should those franchise owners begin looking for the low-hanging fruit?

A good place to start is ensuring you can make timely data-informed decisions. Two tools that will get you there are:

#1: Accurate Financial Statements

Never underestimate the power of this management tool: timely and accurate financial statements.

When financial data is generated just once a year or many months after year-end, it’s too late to make important decisions that move the needle for financial returns.

Timely financial statements are a powerful tool. Developing accurate financial statements and tax returns generates a robust return on investment for your business.

The ability to make timely operating decisions can:

  • Add tremendous insight to decision making
  • Save your teams a significant amount of time
  • Redeploy resources to more important and strategic initiatives
  • Generate additional revenue

#2: Social Media

 Investing in social media can produce significant returns.

 Especially for new franchise owners, social media can be a powerful marketing tool. Don’t be scared to take that first step. Test a few Instagram posts. Even consider promoting them with a small slice of your budget.

Getting noticed might just provide a bigger bump for your franchise than you think.

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With many years of experience serving franchises in various industries, our dedicated franchise team offers comprehensive accounting, management, and business advisory services that can change the trajectory for your business.

Contact us today.