While brick-and-mortar stalwarts continue to be good franchise investments, many looking to get into the franchise game are gravitating toward more cost effective and flexible options – like mobile businesses.
Franchises on wheels – food trucks, caterers, home service contractors, pet groomers – are becoming more appealing to entrepreneurs because they are faster to launch and don’t require a six-figure real estate investment. Of the mobile franchises available for operators on Franchise Direct, many require less than half the cost of a traditional franchise. This means franchisors and franchisees often realize profits quicker. If you are considering starting a mobile franchise or franchising an existing mobile business, the technology that will power your business will play a major role in your success.
Acumen and determination drive successful business operations. However, technology and resources simplify and streamline key business functions. The technological barriers to entry have virtually disappeared – anyone with a tablet can sell goods and services. To thrive, mobile franchises need cloud-based technology that supports customer transactions and provides insight into employee time tracking, inventory tracking and sales reporting.
The trick is finding technology that comes ready with these capabilities, requiring minimal set-up and few outside integrations.
Today’s point-of-sale (POS) technology can handle these hurdles. Traditionally, business owners see POS as purely the cash register. However, newer POS software can run multiple essential business functions within one cloud-based platform. POS software can complete core transaction processes, while also managing employee schedules and helping franchise operators implement customer loyalty programs and social media campaigns.
Social media platforms, in particular, have become essential channels for consumers to find information on mobile businesses. A recent Time Warner Cable study indicated one in three people may not do business with a company lacking a social media presence. It’s important that mobile franchise operators understand their social media return on investment, and advanced POS software allows users to track the performance of their social media campaigns.
Mobile Pay for Mobile Businesses
Accepting mobile payments will also become increasingly critical to the successful operation of a mobile franchise. Business Insider Intelligence predicts that mobile payments volume will reach $503 billion by 2020 – a compound annual growth rate of 80 percent.
While mobile payments offer consumers a convenient transaction option, they also have perks for mobile franchise operators too. From a security standpoint, accepting mobile payments means operators can keep less cash on hand. Mobile payment acceptance has line-busting benefits too. It takes seconds for consumers to pay and no paper receipt required.
The Future of Mobile Franchising
The franchise industry is on track to grow by 1.6 percent or roughly 11,500 establishments this year, according to an International Franchise Association report. Mobile franchises contribute to this growth and will only continue to rise in popularity among entrepreneurs and convenience-minded consumers. If you’re looking to get a piece of the momentum, get the right technology in place and hit the road to profitability.
From mobile software founder to CTO of Microsoft’s Operator Channel, Chris Poelma has spent nearly three decades developing innovative, high-growth businesses in the technology industry. In April 2015, Chris joined NCR Corporation as President and General Manager of NCR Silver. He oversees a very talented and ambitious team to drive business model innovation for small business through its cloud-based POS platform, NCR Silver.