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Franchisee Advice

Reducing Your Cash Risk – The How And Why

From the moment cash is received from a customer to its final deposit in a bank, there are steps that business owners can take to make sure their cash is handled and processed as safely as possible.

Entrepreneur

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From all-inclusive cash management systems, to simple safety steps at each point of cash’s journey through a business, there are many ways that business owners can improve the safety of their enterprises when it comes to cash handling.

For a cash-heavy business, the best place to start is to interrogate what happens at every stage of the business’ existing cash handling. Some helpful questions include:

  • Are the people that work with cash properly vetted in terms of credit and criminal checks and, if so, how often?
  • How much cash is kept in each till before it is cleared to a cash office or safe?
  • How is the clearing done — is it the cashier alone or are they escorted by security?
  • Are there cameras that allow the cash to be tracked from the floor to the cash office?
  • What type of access control is there for the cash office?
  • Is there camera coverage in the cash office and is the cash always under camera surveillance?
  • How is the cash counted and made up and who checks the deposit — is there dual control?
  • How do cashiers balance the till sales?
  • What happens to the cash once it’s been counted and prepared for deposit — is it secured in a safe?
  • What category of safe is used and who holds the keys to the safe?
  • Are there alarms covering all external access points (including the roof) of the premises and the cash office?

Related: Sidestepping Common Franchisee Mistakes

Vet your staff

One of the biggest areas of weakness in cash handling is untrustworthy staff members having access to and control over cash. From pilfering of the odd amount of cash here and there, to negligence when securing cash for transfer, or organised theft and sharing of safety information with outside parties who plan robberies, staff can undermine the safety of a business and its long-term profitability. The best way to mitigate this is to implement thorough and regular staff vetting.

From a management point of view, business owners can also reduce their cash risk by keeping the right amount of cash on hand and having cash collection or depositing systems in place that work for their size and type of business.

The amount of cash that is kept on hand for floats often depends on the type of business being run. A supermarket for instance, will generally need more coins and R10 notes, while wholesalers will need more notes than coins for customer change. The key is to find a balance between not holding too much cash on hand, while still ensuring that the business doesn’t run out of change.

Cash reconciliations should be done daily at the close of business to make sure that all takings are accounted for. To ensure independence, the reconciliation should be done by someone who is not involved in handling the physical cash during the day.

In addition to specific changes to different parts of the cash management process, business owners can also opt to implement an all-inclusive cash management system.

Reduce internal cash handling

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Cash management systems can vary, but most often include an automated device that counts, validates and verifies each note that is deposited. The device is linked to an electronic, often web-based system that allows the user to view all transactions that have been deposited and enhances the balancing and reconciliation process.

These systems are generally paired with a cash-in-transit service that can provide bank account credits as soon as the cash is collected. This allows the retailer to reduce the amount of internal cash handling and transfers risk to the third party security services company.

Cash management systems may even include closed till solutions where the cash is actually banked at the till and in certain instances, the staff never handle cash — cash is only handled by customers, who even directly receive their own change.

Related: The Legal Requirements For Your Business’ LifeStage

Strengthen security and efficiency

Unless the franchisor dictates the cash management policy for its franchise branches, there are many options available to franchisees to manage their bulk cash handling in a safe and secure manner.

Whether it’s an overhaul of the entire cash management process or modifying and improving a single aspect of a business’ cash handling, the benefits of increased security and efficiency are immense, not least because they can improve the success rate of sales made and cash reflecting in a final bank account.

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Franchisee Advice

Develop Digital Marketing Competency In 3 Simple Steps

Conquering the digital revolution needn’t be daunting. Polish up your tech skills and watch your digital marketing prowess increase throughout your franchise.

Diana Albertyn

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As a franchisor, digital marketing may be proving to be a challenge due to the unique structuring of the business.

“The very nature of franchises is ‘structured’, however, when it comes to marketing, that structure often lacks,” says Marcela De Vivo, Founder and CEO of Gryffin Media.

Franchisors and franchisees often struggle to reach common ground when looking to achieve different marketing goals. While the franchisor needs to control the brand in its entirety, the franchisee wants to market their business using particular strategies suited to their location.

Research has found that smartphones are the biggest influencers of 82% of users when they make their in-store purchase decisions while. It’s for this reason that the importance of digital marketing for franchises has increased.

Here’s how to harness its power of influence, amplify foot traffic and solidify brand loyalty:

1. Recruit digital natives and early adopters

As much as you’re the leader of your franchise network, there are franchisees in your chain you could learn from. The global increase in millennial franchise owners means it is highly likely that you’ll be able to identify early digital adopters within your franchise network.

“The best people to learn from are those who have been in your shoes before,” says Matt Forman of the Franchise Centre at Griffith University.

“Encourage and support their efforts and use them as case studies to demonstrate to the rest of your franchisees the value of digital marketing, and how to do it right.”

2. Invest in training your team

“Each digital competency level requires more education and resources in order to integrate digital marketing with your physical stores,” says Forman. For this reason, regularly investing in continuous training for your team so as to ensure they keep abreast of any new and emerging trends.

Proactivity and adapting to the constantly evolving digital landscape led KFC to open a LinkedIn account for its founder and mascot Colonel Sanders. KFC’s out of the box tactic is a fresh approach to what has long been considered a B2B platform, under-utilised as a B2C platform.

3. Apply custom targeting techniques

The discovery of new and small businesses is being fuelled by Google searches, social media and online reviews, making these platforms a goldmine of invaluable tools.

Leveraging certain custom targeting techniques like easily searchable keywords and exposure on other reputable and high-traffic websites, gives your franchise’s digital marketing efforts a boost. This results in an effective campaign, favourable reviews and meaningful and lasting interactions with consumers “whether it’s a reply to a Facebook comment or a retweet,” says Entrepreneur’s Emily Conklin.

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Franchisee Advice

How To Hire Skilled Workers For Your Franchise

Your staff run your business – you just have to show them how. This is why employing the best people for the job is essential.

Diana Albertyn

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According to the Franchise Association of South Africa (FASA) 2017 Franchisor Survey, one of the main challenges facing franchisees is finding the right staff.

“Staffing your franchise can be one of the most challenging parts of running a successful business. Without a great team of employees, you cannot run your business effectively,” says Saxon Marsden-Huggins, founder of WebRover.

These three tips could help you find the best employees for your franchise outlet:

1. Don’t hire in haste

While you may be rearing to go and keen to fill gaps to speed up profitability, research your candidates thoroughly.

Related: Insights On Recruitment That Could Affect Franchise Performance

As the job applications keep flowing into your inbox, keep in mind that not all of them qualify for the positions available – it may even be a small percent who are actually viable candidates. This is why your hiring process should include:

  • Taking the time to thoroughly screen CVs to develop a short list
  • Creating a carefully crafted list of interview questions
  • Setting aside adequate time for thorough interviews
  • Getting to know the candidates through a second round of interviews to confirm your choice.

Giving the hiring process dedication and attention will ensure you get the cream of the crop, contributing to the long-term success of your franchise.

2. Demonstrate support in the workplace

While you can instil the necessary skills into new recruits, it’s difficult to train for culture. This is why choosing the right employees from the beginning will make the rest of your franchise management system will run more smoothly.

“The manner by which you run the franchise will influence employee perceptions of the brand as well,” says Hireology’s Erin Borgerson. “Your staff must become ambassadors of your franchise system to attract the target consumer market.”

The best way to do this is encouraging staff to give you their honest feedback. Your commitment to creating and upholding a positive culture will result in increased loyalty from your current staff and a superior pool of applicants.

Related: 3 Things You Should Consider Before Buying Your First Franchise

3. Offer appealing incentives

When advancement opportunities are clearly communicated, staff is keen to hear how they can get there, as they have career goals of their own. Encouraging this ambition will draw good employees to your franchise.

“Helping employees understand the steps to advancement helps them to view their current job as an important part of a career with an upward path, not just a pay cheque for this week,” say financial reporting technology experts at Qvinci.

Performance bonuses and employee benefits incentivise staff’s efforts, therefore increasing their income alongside the profit of the business. “This serves to make employees a part of the business and not merely people ‘who work there’,” they explain.

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Franchisee Advice

3 Ways Communication Helps You Run Your Franchise Better

Managing your business as an independent owner may have been challenging at the beginning, but – as you’ve come to realise – the successful operation of a franchise network requires an extended set of skills.

Diana Albertyn

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“When it comes to a multi-location business such as a franchise, effective communication is vital,” says Dani Peleva, Managing Director at online marketing agency Local Fame. “So what happens when you’re struggling to connect with the franchise network you have in place?”

It may be time to upgrade your franchise management skills, because the success of your franchise network has a direct correlation to how you integrate feedback systems into your management processes.

Have a clear comprehension of the challenges your franchise encounters, keep an open chain of communication between yourself, franchisees and managers, and maintain regular interactions between everyone in the network. These are some of the most crucial aspects of successful franchise management:

1. Understand the challenges you face

A thorough understanding of your business requires dedication to regular and consistent groundwork for first-hand experience on how the day-to-day operations of the business are conducted.

Related: 3 Core Strategies For Building Successful Franchise Organisations

“Seeing and talking to the people that make your business will help you understand the challenges that franchisees face and the systems they need to drive higher profitability and growth,” says Rosie Niblock, Marketing and Communications Manager at Proactive Marketing.

“That way you can work more effectively to make improvements to franchise management systems logically and within the financial grasp of all franchisees.”

2. Get personal through regular visits

You never want your franchises to feel neglected. It’ll demoralise them and possibly drop sales, profits and their ability to keep the business running as you intended. Maintaining regular contact and sharing as much information as possible – when you can – fosters strong relations with your franchisees.

Empowerment through information and communication makes a difference in the business and helps franchisees make decisions in favour of the business and to make sure that they all pull in the same direction in terms of customer satisfaction, says Alan van der Westhuizen, executive manager of new business sales at Fournews, a 20-year-old franchise holding company for News Café, Krispy Kreme, Moyo, Brooklyn Brothers, Smooch, Cafe Fino and Go! outlets.

Ensure your response to these concerns is swift. “If not discussed they could fester ad create undesirable rumours,” says Niblock.

Related: How To Write An Operations Manual For Your Franchise

3. Create events for network collaboration

One of the most important aspects of managing your franchise is meeting with all your franchisees, at least annually. “Franchise conventions are almost certainly the biggest tool when it comes to building profitable engagement,” says Peleva. “They’re one of the most important things to focus on when you’re considering how to lead your franchise network.” According to her, a successfully attended and executed convention will let you:

  • Boost your network-wide productivity
  • Hugely increase your profitability
  • Drive passion for your brand

Communicating with your franchisees is the best way to identify problems, work towards solving them, and building a pleasant and fruitful relationship with your owners.

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