Opening a new franchise outlet is a lot of work. In fact, we find that on average there are 118 key tasks that must be completed in order to open a new franchised outlet regardless of whether you’re opening a retail store, a cafe, restaurant or even a van or mobile operator. 118 tasks might not sound like a lot, but that’s per location. If your ambitions include adding multiple units to your system, your task list grows too in both size and complexity. So even modest plans to open 10 new franchisees a year creates well over 1,000 tasks.
Each task is absolutely critical to ensure your planned opening stays on track and creating a basic franchise opening checklist simply won’t do when you need comprehensive project management. Interdependencies between tasks are common and departments, including operations, property, legal and training, all need to be coordinated. Often your onboarding team will work across multiple outlet openings at the same time, so if you have a slippage on one store opening it can affect other store openings, too. And every franchisor knows that delayed openings are expensive – Lost earnings, rescheduled promotional activities, delaying employed staff etc., all cost serious dollars.
What makes a great new franchisee onboarding process and store opening experience? Planning, experience and the right tools. First you need to know intimately what’s involved in each of those 118 +/- tasks. Task names, descriptions, all related documents and files, plus of course who is responsible for completing the task. Then you need to ensure you understand the drop dead dates. A good onboarding team knows that every task should be measured in relation to the Open Date of the new franchisee to know how many days before the opening must each task be completed. As with all project management, communication is key. Team members need to communicate, need to keep notes, and collaborate with one another as they knock through those tasks. Keep track of any issues, build your experience base, and create templates so the each new opening becomes that much easier.
Perfect your franchise opening template and those 5, 25, or 100 stores you plan to open this year doesn’t seem so daunting.
- Create an many store opening templates as you need. Have one for each store/franchise type (mobile, kiosk, high-street, shopping centre) and one for each country/state/location.
- Create as many store opening tasks as you like. Define each task as being due a set number of days/month before/after the opening date.
- Allocate your tasks to staff members. Create attachments and task notes.
- Create new store opening project plans in a few button clicks.
- Manage an many store openings as you require.
- Create and track key milestones as you go.
- Generate PDF reports to track store opening progress and view gantt charts to track overall status of milestones.
- Automatically receive email notifications of upcoming and overdue tasks.
- Customise the module in any way required to match your business processes.
- Allow external resources, such as shop-fitters, to login and view their tasks and progress.
- Build reports to track progress.