Why Regularly Inspecting Your Franchise is Important

By Brian Harris

franchise-inspection
Photo by Sarah Nichols, via Flickr

Q: Why are regular inspections of your franchised locations important?

A: It’s how a brand maintains consistency.

Simply put, consistency is crucial to franchised operations. After all, being a recognizable brand is only part of your goal as a retailer. The other part is building respect and gaining trust — the hallmarks of customer loyalty.

Of course, physical appearance is key to consistency. When you conduct an inspection, typical questions may include:

  • Is the store clean and organized according to your planogram?
  • Are products in stock and promotions accurately placed?
  • Are employees abiding by dress rules and maintaining a neat appearance?
  • Does the location have curb appeal?

These are all things visitors expect when they shop at your store. A return customer may be visiting one of your stores 50 miles or 500 miles from home. This customer will expect the same quality shopping experience, and you must meet his/her expectations.

However, consistency is more than meeting customer expectations. It’s also about attracting new franchisees to your business.

7-Eleven, the largest retailer in the convenience store industry, addresses this topic on its franchising blog: “We also provide our advice and expertise on how to create the 7-Eleven brand experience for our franchisees. With our guidance, franchise owners are more likely to find success as we help maximize the store’s profitability.”

Brand guidelines help businesses strengthen their individual identity and make a lasting impression, according to 7-Eleven.

5 Questions to Consider When Growing or Establishing a Franchise

  1. Are your brand guidelines clear?
  2. While inspecting a location, can you easily conduct a retail sales audit?
  3. Do you have a way to measure planogram compliance and analyze data collected from your stores?
  4. Can your managers report exceptions in real time?
  5. Most importantly, will you know when there’s a problem at one of your franchised locations before you receive a weekly sales report?

Make sure your inspections include data collection and a means of analyzing this information in real time. Encourage employee participation and create actionable plans based on results.

Maximize your process, and you’ll see the difference in your bottom line.

Sample Retail Inspection Form

Restaurant Audit Form Example

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