Suzanne Robb, COO of Alloy Personal Training Franchise, shares how a franchise operations system and the operations manual will help franchisees start a business easily and become successful faster. In this post, we’ll discuss the purpose of franchise operations systems, and why they’re so important to franchisors and franchisees alike. 

“Follow the System!” is a mantra you will hear often in the franchise world and it’s for a good reason. Franchises are successful precisely because they offer a tried and true system to follow. Franchise operations systems are effectively an instruction manual for helping new franchise owners run their businesses as effectively (and successfully) as possible. 

What is the Franchise Operations System?

While the exact structure varies from location to location, a franchise operations system is essentially a roadmap that helps new franchise owners plan their growth. 

For example, a franchise operations system may spell out steps a franchise owner should take during the pre-opening phase, the launch phase, and the post-opening period. It may define certain elements a franchise owner should track to understand their profits, such as operations, customer service, training programs, management, and more.

In general, franchise operating systems also focus on two-way communication, ensuring lots of transparency and support between the franchise owner and the franchisor. While the franchise operations system lays out the trajectory of a franchise’s growth, similar documents – like franchise agreements – govern the relationship between the franchisee and the franchisor. 

5 Reasons Why The Franchise Operations System Manual is So Important

Franchise operations systems are much more than just a legal document: it’s also one of your most powerful assets as a franchise owner. Here are five reasons “following the system” is so important:

1. Details Franchisee Induction And Training

You’ve decided to open a new franchise. Great! Now, what’s next? The franchise operations manual will tell you next steps. In most companies, the operations manual is the foundation for all initial franchisee induction and training. It will cover everything from launching your first location, hiring your first employees, pre-opening sales, financial systems, daily operations and pretty much exactly what you need to do at each phase. It just simply makes your life easier. Failure to follow the operations manual won’t just make your life harder – it could also toss you out of compliance with your franchise agreement. 

2. Outlines Important Franchise Business Systems And Procedures

When you first start your business, you may find yourself referring to the operations manual daily. Since it contains the outlines of expected practices and operations, it’ll be an important touchpoint for you as you become comfortable with the system of your chosen franchise. Just to give you an idea of what the manual contains, most will lay out the following systems and procedures:

  • Administration
  • Customer service
  • Products and services
  • Marketing
  • Human resources
  • OH&S 
  • Finance
  • Merchandising
  • Pricing
  • Security
  • IT
  • Reporting and KPIs
  • Cleaning and maintenance
  • And more

Additionally, the manual will lay out any business specifics related to running a franchise in your particular field. This is especially important for people running a fitness or food retail business, for example. 

3. Helps You Stay On-Brand

Part of the reason people love doing business with franchises is that they’re predictable. When you walk into an Alloy Personal Training Center, you always get the same experience – no matter where in the country you may be. 

The program offerings are similar, the decorations and gym layouts are similar, and customers know they can expect out-of-this-world customer service. That’s the power of a franchise. It’s also the power of a good operations manual.

Franchisors create operations manuals in part because the documents spell out what’s expected from franchisees, and what business owners need to do to maintain the name-brand recognition of the chain. When you follow the guidelines in the operations manual, you’ll succeed in creating a welcoming, professional location that customers can recognize and trust. 

4. Successful Operations Effect Your Bottom Line

Some operations manuals spell out which point-of-sale (POS) systems, customer relationship management(CRM, or payment processing platforms franchisees can use. In addition to helping you stay in compliance and run a streamlined company, this is also a critical consideration for anyone who wants to keep up with customer billing, as well as get paid reliably and on-time. 

In addition to payment processing software, your operations manual may dictate other franchise business systems, like marketing platforms, credit card processing machines, payroll providers, and more. Following the Operations Manual means you will have a reliable, tried and tested system that is already proven successful. Also, the equipment, financial, and other benefits can result in savings from economies of scale by having the franchise group purchasing power behind you.  

5. Systems Ensure A Reliable Customer Experience

We already talked about this a bit as it relates to the uniformity of your location, but there’s more to it. Franchise operations manuals ensure quality control across all franchise locations. Even though each franchisee is an independent contractor, it helps franchise owners the ability to access standardized employee training, financial systems, sales processes, and marketing practices without learning from scratch. 

When a franchisee adheres closely to the operations manual, great things happen – both for the business and its customers. The business owner benefits from a company that starts up quickly and runs like a well-oiled machine, while customers benefit from a location that delivers the standard of customer service they expect.

Alloy Provides the Best Support in the Industry

While franchise operations manuals are important, they’re not all created equal. Some are skeletal, sketching out only what a franchisee needs to know to get a company off the ground. Others, like ours, are comprehensive and compassionate – providing end-to-end support to help franchisees build successful, sustainable, scalable businesses. 

In addition to assisting with site selection and helping you build out your new space, we also provide a business manual that offers access to key national supplier relationships, guidance on setting up accounting software, point-of-sale software, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software setup assistance, and instructions for measuring successful business analytics with KPI’s and other sales and marketing metrics. KPI’s are key performance indicators, which are quantifiable measures of performance over time. KPIs provide a guideline for what a business should shoot for, milestones to gauge progress, and insights that help people across the organization make better decisions.

When it comes to opening a franchise, we believe you’ll fare better if you have quality support from the outset. That’s why we’re here – to help you thrive and to ensure customers around the country can access the quality and expertise they expect from the Alloy name. To learn more about the Alloy opportunity, check out our FAQ page. You can also contact us to request a free information kit

Article by:  Suzanne Robb

Ready to learn more about our franchise or available business opportunities? Request your free information packet today. 

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