Franchise management should come down to the basics: maintaining a clean, safe and orderly environment for your customers.
Are you familiar with the term “baseline”? A baseline may be a single project or a set of projects that can be used as a base of comparison, and it’s a term that’s commonly used when talking about configuration management.
However, baseline audits are also used in IT service management, as well as health and safety programs. They can also be used in retail. Managers can compare the results of future audits to the baseline audit on record to measure improvements or declines in performance.
Conducting a Baseline Audit
Here are three questions with answers your company should know:
- To what basic standards do you hold your operations?
- What are the optimal conditions in your store or customer service area that will maximize your revenue potential?
- How do you achieve and maintain these conditions throughout your entire operation?
In franchise management, this last question may be the most difficult if you operate many locations across a large footprint. This is why knowing the results of a baseline audit – the point of reference – is key to franchise management.
Getting Back to the Basics
Previously, we’ve discussed the importance of regularly inspecting your franchise and conducting a standard retail audit. The five-step approach we outlined can apply not only to retail, but also to other service industry outlets.
Conducting a baseline audit follows the same steps, just with an emphasis on three additional elements:
1. Safety requirements
Staff safety training should be top among your franchise management priorities. It’s especially important if you are operating a kitchen, pool or another space where chemicals, heat and/or electricity are present.
2. General cleanliness
Cleanliness and sanitation should always come first and usually coincide with aesthetic appearance.
3. Staff guidelines to ensure staff can maintain Nos. 1 and 2.
A baseline audit will ensure that employees are up to date on the latest safety and environmental standards, as well as any rules and regulations mandated by the state or federal government.
Use a Flexible Platform
Franchise management can be tedious when you have to follow a long paper trail in order to identify and fix a problem.
Lock in without feeling “locked in.”
Use a mobile solution that’s fully customizable and brings problems, like retail exceptions, to the forefront. The right platform will allow you to experiment while being consistent in data collection.
Keep your employees “in the know.”
Your organization will improve communication when executives and managers work together on the same platform. Better communication leads to more actionable plans that will have a positive impact on your bottom line.