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In a way, it seems almost too good to be true. Yet the average company that owns franchises has multiple opportunities each year to increase the amount of technology that their franchisees leverage in order to bring customers in.

Finding the right blend of technology for your customer base and ensuring that it can be used correctly are two areas that can help positively impact products in most companies. Here are some ways that use either approach to take advantage of the shifting relationship between technology and franchise operations:

Killer Application:The Shifting Relationship of Technology and Franchise Operations

One fast food chain in the U.S. decided to use a PayPal application that was developed as a sample application for restaurants to use. They equipped their franchisees with the latest cell phone technology at the cash register, so that they could take advantage of customers that wanted to pay by phone. The largest problem that they have is that with the turnover they experience in staffing, they can't keep people trained on the system at the cash register who understand how to use it. So the in-house developers are working on creating an interface that is easy to use for employees as well.

The upshot is that customers like the application, and they can use it to easily pay their bill and use coupons specific to that restaurant, saving the franchise time and money. It is helpful to remember that the estimated market for mobile payments is close to $600 billion a year.

Cleaning Remains A Hot Market:

It's hard to imagine someone going out and making the cleaning market sexy, yet that is just what one company did by aggregating cleaners online in an Uber-like service. The key for them was to be able to get the most talented people to come and work with them. So they developed a very sophisticated process that ensures that their employees are going to be precisely what homeowners need. They then built that into an online service that is easy to use and includes handyman options like cabinet painters as well. Because the service is available to everyone, businesses that have franchises can order cleaning through this application as a vendor, giving them more flexibility than they might have from other services. With an estimated $15 billion dollars at stake per year in the cleaning market, you can be certain that there will be a demand to clean your locations.

At the same time, each independent contractor that puts bids into the service is in effect a franchisee of the company, giving them power, credibility, and the opportunity to gain as many cleaning contracts as they can online. One of the key dynamics for companies that decide to create virtual franchisees using online technology is that they should try and find a good balance between efficiency and wages. You won't attract the most talented workers if you focus on paying the lowest wages to your workers. At many cleaning companies that are online, customers will state what they want done and then they will get bids that contain hourly labor costs, giving them an opportunity to control what they pay. Generally speaking, however, most contractors tend to note the prevailing wage and use something close to that to bid with. If there is going to be fierce competition, it will probably be over which upholstery cleaner to use.

Moving Your Applications Into The Cloud:

Most companies that have made the changeover to using their applications in the cloud have experienced a great deal of employee satisfaction, because they are no longer tied to the same desk or chair in order to get work done. And whereas security can become more of a question because you have devices and computers everywhere, your back-end security becomes much greater, because you are likely hosting your applications at a data center that has much higher security standards in place than you could ever provide clients with yourself.

So if you are looking at buying a franchise or starting to franchise to others, you should be pleased at the number of opportunities that you have to leverage technology in ways that can cut costs and increase revenue.

 Lee Flynn is from the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake City, UT. After Lee spent years preparing himself, his home and his family, he decided he had to do more. In his free time, Lee helps educate those who want to do the same. Through small local workshops and articles, Lee trains and teaches others on home preparation, food storage techniques, wilderness survival and self reliance. After obtaining a bachelors degree from the University of Utah, Lee moved to the Salt Lake Valley where he now lives with his wife and daughter.

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