Some teams just win.

From the New York Yankees to Alabama Football, certain organizations have victory in their DNA. Players may come and go, but a winning system and strong culture power consistent prosperity.

A strong franchise brand is akin to one of these elite athletic programs. Great franchises provide a proven blueprint for success plus a supportive network of coaches and teammates. But just like sports, winning ultimately comes down to execution.

Whether you’re a franchisor or franchisee, successful management of a multi-unit franchise depends on operational excellence. While you may be running a playbook that’s won some games, managing a multi-unit franchise carries no guarantee of success. According to Forbes, franchises and independent small businesses fail at about the same rate.

However, for leaders who can install robust systems, uphold high standards, and leverage efficiencies of scale, a multi-unit franchise model can be incredibly lucrative.

The Challenge of Managing a Multi-Unit Franchise

Franchise employees serving local community

You became a multi-unit franchise owner because you believe in the core business model with all your heart. The brand has loyal customers, and many of the inherent kinks have already been ironed out. You know how the sausage is made and the unit economics make good sense. You may even be invested in franchises across multiple brands or sectors.

With skin in the game, your returns depend on the ability to drive excellence across multiple locations — some of which may be many miles apart. Success requires dozens, hundreds or even thousands of employees working in harmony to execute a common playbook. All the while, you could have an eye towards additional growth.

The scale can be mind-boggling. The sheer amount of data even a single franchise location spits out can be overwhelming, and a multi-unit approach increases this information exponentially. Despite the proven playbook (or playbooks) at the heart of the operation, execution of a multi-unit model often suffers due to:

  • Lack of cohesive adherence to proven best practices
  • Delayed response to everyday issues that naturally emerge in fast-paced operating environments
  • Wide variability in performance and culture between locations
  • Lack of consistent oversight from ownership, in part due to the overwhelming number of locations under their purview
  • Data overload that takes weeks or months to parse through, dragging out the critical feedback loop between action and insight
  • Leadership spends their days extinguishing fires rather than shaping strategy and fostering key relationships

Franchises typically dont fail due to spectacular mismanagement. Rather, a gradual erosion in quality leads to their demise. Best practices get bastardized. Vertical alignment wanes. Employee turnover increases. Eventually, an opportunity that once seemed so promising looks like a disaster on the latest P&L.

This slow death is often the result of weak management systems. While the single-unit owner can be very hands-on in daily management of their location, the multi-unit owner doesn’t have this luxury when information is coming from various directions. They must remain agile, flexible and strategic-minded. When they do enter the fray, it must be in a targeted manner and done with the intent to create lasting change.

Otherwise, the multi-unit owner can quickly find themselves performing $15 or $25 per hour tasks to keep a business afloat when they should be focused on optimizing and growing an empire.

Beat Growing Pains with a Franchise Operational Success Platform

Franchise leaders reviewing KPI's on tablet

If your management toolbox consists of little more than ad hoc phone calls, pop-ins, and quarterly reports that feel outdated by the time they touch your fingertips, you’re already fighting an uphill battle.

Its time your systems catch up to your ambition.

Franchise businesses usually run on volume. Most can’t rely on a handful of high-ticket sales to help move the needle — profitability depends on delivering quality products or services to a large number of customers, again and again and again. This aggressive operating pace, especially at multi-unit scale, makes real-time visibility to frontline operations absolutely critical. For prolific multi-unit owners, this line-of-sight should extend to functions like marketing, HR, accounting, and other vital threads that connect the organization.

Imagine if you could gain up-to-the-minute insight into these critical activities at any time.

How would your growth trajectory change if, rather than acting on stale reports and pure intuition, you could access an ultimate KPI scorecard that updates in real time?

That’s the power of Franchise Scorecards.

Franchise Scorecards is a Franchise Operational Success Platform that serves as a central command center for decision-makers both at the franchisor and franchisee level. Built with a complete data warehouse and a powerful analytics engine, Franchise Scorecards syncs information from sources like POS, accounting, inventory, payroll, marketing, labor, customer service and Excel systems to help optimize your organization from bottom to top.

This umbrella application sits on top of all your existing software to capture real-time data on your most crucial KPIs. Franchise Scorecards is easily customizable to any data source and optimizable to your unique unit holdings. The result is a clean, easy-to-understand scorecard that organizes, stores and displays info from multiple sources so stakeholders track vital metrics both historically and in real time.

Franchise Scorecards empowers franchisors and franchisees to:

  • Identify and remove obstacles to operational excellence
  • Better attract, retain and advance high-performing employees
  • Pinpoint impactful areas for investment or additional coaching/training
  • Democratize data and drive organizational alignment on KPIs
  • Motivate teams by instilling a performance-based culture through the entire chain of command
  • Generate faster and cleaner financial reports, enhancing the trust of lenders and capital investors

One doesn’t find themselves leading multiple franchise locations by accident. It takes courage, skill and business savvy to assume such a position. Are you ready to shift from a defensive, survive-the-day approach to a true growth-oriented strategy? Franchise Scorecards helps emerging leaders like you tackle the complex challenges of multi-unit management and create an empire that’s built to last.