FRANCHISES: THE ROAD IS CALLING
Three Ways Mobile Technology Can Take Your Franchise from Store to Sidewalk
Major brands such as java purveyor Starbucks and clothing designer Cynthia Rowley have taken their goods from four walls to four wheels. Even TGI Friday’s has taken its casual dining experience to the streets.
Their customers can’t get enough of it.
The food truck movement in particular has caught on. The $650 million industry is anticipated to grow to $2.7 billion within the next five years, according to the National League of Cities.
Part of the reason for its success — and the success of mobile franchises in general — is the convenience mobility provides to customers and business owners. Mobility enables businesses to expand their presence throughout communities, allowing them to be everywhere their customers are. Operating a business on wheels can also keep overhead low and profits high.
Advancements in cloud-based software in particular provide business owners with the same capabilities they would have if operating from a traditional brick and mortar. Sometimes, even more.
Interested in exploring mobility?
There are a few powerful ways technology can help take your franchise from store to sidewalk.
1 Roll Out Offerings in New Markets
A mobile franchise opens up your customer base and allows you to explore new offerings. With mobile applications that serve as total solutions, entrepreneurs can easily track sales, inventory, employee hours and more from the cloud — using one device.
While typically found in shopping malls throughout the country, for example, Great American Cookies franchisees have implemented a mobile POS platform to provide their famous all-fresh, neverfrozen cookies via offsite catering. Adding mobility to your business means you’re no longer tied down to a counter. You can now cost-effectively manage dayto- day operations while venturing out to different locations … and garnering new customers.
For small businesses looking to grow into franchises, this is especially important. With mobile technology, entrepreneurs such as Barbara Densley and Sloane Solanto are able to raise awareness about their Virginia-based artisan market, The Creative Wedge, and reach patrons by taking their store on the road to street festivals and farmer’s markets.
2 Brake for Alternative Payments
A commonality between Great American Cookies Company and The Creative Wedge is their reliance on mobile POS technology to operate inside their stores and beyond. Adopting a mobile POS platform allows franchises the opportunity to do the most essential thing for their business—ring up sales.
For many establishments, especially retailers or quick-service restaurateurs, moving from an older POS solution to a mobile POS is the first step toward modernization and creating a more seamless experience for customers. Actually, it’s the best option for serving customers who use payment alternatives to cash or plastic.
The rise of Apple Pay last year made mobile pay options mainstream. Forrester expects U.S.-based mobile payments to in volume in 2019. What better way to handle the demand for mobile payments at your franchise than a mobile POS solution designed to integrate with major players like Apple Pay, PayPal and BitPay?
3 Market Your Business Wherever You Go
Mobile technology allows franchises tremendous flexibility from a sales perspective and allows for easy implementation and maintenance of email marketing, loyalty, rewards and social media campaigns. A total solution with mobile operability can empower you to post your pop up shops’ whereabouts on Twitter, send text alerts to frequent shoppers, and issue an email “thank you” following a purchase.
Consumers are more time-starved than ever. Mobile businesses satisfy their need for quick and personalized transactions. As mobile businesses increase in popularity, franchisors and franchisees who are considering making the move from store to sidewalk need technology that’s just as mobile as they aspire to be.
Chris Poelma is GM and president of NCR Small Business and NCR Silver.