It’s a logical progression: If you’re thinking of making the switch from local mom-and-pop operation to friendly franchise with a wider reach, the obvious next step is general expansion. And no, we don’t just mean expansion in terms of hiring new staff or adding a new wing to your store; we mean expansion as in more locations in more cities with access to broader demographics.
This concept may seem daunting at first…and rightfully so. A larger enterprise translates to a larger stock intake, a larger customer base and, ultimately, a larger pool of employees to manage. Effective supervision of the expansion process will no doubt take a considerable amount of time and effort.
Or will it?
Not necessarily. If you’re ready to plant seeds and watch your business grow, a complete POS and inventory management system may be just the thing to ensure the growth spurt doesn’t get out of hand.
Trouble choosing the right system for your organization? Consider this: Erply software comes fitted with an extensive array of tools to help your business achieve its fullest potential—whether you’re planning on staying small or setting your sights on upsizing in a big way.
Here are our picks for the top six advantages to choosing Erply software for your expanding retail company.
You’ll be able to add to your real estate holdings without adding stress to your backend operations.
Don’t get us wrong: Adding locations to your business always requires at least some work. But with Erply software systems, the onboarding of new storefronts and the implementation of both POS and stock management procedures can be a lot less taxing than you’d expect. Erply systems can be integrated across any group of locations in which you hold stock and can also be programmed to address the individual inventory needs of each storefront site—freeing you from endless hours of tedious employee training and from a relentless routine of constant stocktaking.
Let’s break it down.
Benefits to Erply when adding new locations include:
- Staff can be granted access to registers at various locations, eliminating the need to familiarize employees with a new system each time they pick up a shift at different store.
- Centralized controls will also allow you to update information in real time as products move between locations or as staff members apply for POS security clearance at more than one site.
- And—perhaps most importantly when it comes to saving time—registers and mobile devices can be outfitted with enterprise-wide POS software that can accommodate each specific store (that is, POS devices from a single location can be coded so that they only deal in stock assigned to their respective storefront—a sale on the east side of town will no longer affect levels on the west side).
Retail growth may be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Erply systems can help you get your new locations online as quickly and as painlessly as possible, allowing you to get back to the business of bringing in sales.
You’ll be able to watch over new employees in a respectful and constructive way.
As your business stakes a bigger claim over the retail landscape, you’ll most likely be looking for more employees to help you handle all that new real estate. But the more employees you hire, the harder it will become to keep track of their day-to-day activities and ensure they’re working as efficiently as possible. A big staff requires a comprehensive employee management plan.
But never fear: Erply has you covered here as well.
Erply systems come standard with a wealth of employee management features designed to facilitate easy oversight and boost staff performance. Benefits include:
- Simple procedures for establishing employee software user permission, enabling you to assign specific tasks to specific staff members (while limiting access to sensitive information whenver necessary).
- A “user groups” feature for organizing staff into teams, allowing you to structure your sales around a “divide and conquer” strategy and offering you the chance to track each team’s progress over time.
- The ability to review sales performances, award commissions and provide incentives for each individual employee.
- A time clock feature that can help build trust between you and your staff; you’ll most likely rest easy knowing your personnel won’t be able to claim unearned wages, and your employees will likewise be reassured that an hour worked will convert to an hour paid.
You can keep an eye on your customers—even if you have too many to count.
Ideally, when your business expands, your customer base expands with it. And while your organization may pride itself on its excellent customer service and its down-home feel, a cozy, one-on-one approach gets more and more difficult to maintain as your holdings increase and you’re forced to man your business offsite.
Let Erply help your business stay true to its smaller roots, even as it branches out and draws in a larger consumer base. Our software deftly synthesizes customer data across all of your retail locations, resulting in benefits such as:
- Actionable analysis of customer demographics (including purchase histories and customers’ preferred locations).
- Enhanced oversight features that let you place consumers into “groups” by name, address, frequency of store visits or any other category that may give you insight into customer behavior. (Got a few repeat offenders who buy bread every Tuesday? Assign them to a customer group all their own and monitor that Tuesday trend throughout the year.)
- Easy setup of reward points systems and discounts that cater to customers and their unique tastes (Those Tuesday bread buyers mentioned above? You can program our systems to offer them a special carbo-loading discount every other Tuesday.)
You can maintain brand continuity on a broader scale.
It’s been heavily implied already, but we think it deserves its own shout out:
A major advantage to Erply software is that it can help standardize your brand, no matter the location.
No one’s impressed by a store chain that fails to present a unified front. Think about it: Employing different checkout or customer service procedures for different stores is a policy that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence—in fact, this kind of disorganization probably sends up “buyer beware” red flags. Conversely a familiar customer interface and a reputation for continuity of operations can go a long way toward improving your standing in the retail market. And with Erply, you can be sure all storefronts will be on the same page—practically as well as aesthetically.
We offer a singular system that can be adapted to each store, lending your overall business an air of professionalism and further strengthening your brand in the eyes of potential buyers. In addition, our Customer Display feature (for Berlin POS only) allows you to customize your digital user interface so that your one-of-a-kind business logo will greet customers when they make a purchase on an outward-facing monitor or sign their name to a sale on a mobile device register. Erply can also configure customizable printouts for back-office functions, which means your brand can present a united front behind the scenes as well (a move that will no doubt be appreciated by your partners and investors).
You’ll have our full attention if you need to troubleshoot.
We get it. Tech can be complicated—especially if you’re preoccupied with a million other details that can affect your bottom line. And much as we strive to streamline your POS and inventory management tech processes for you, we know that new locations, new staff members or new lines of merchandise essentially give you more to think about…at least initially.
In cases where you find yourself at sea (such as when you need to onboard a newly acquired storefront to your POS but you’re not sure how to integrate your new inventory into your existing systems or when your sales reports aren’t formatting in exactly the way you’d like) Erply offers hands-on training and troubleshooting. Your Erply account entitles you to one hour of individual training—that’s for you and up to four of your colleagues—covering a total of four topics of your choosing. Forget something once the hour’s up? Supplementary documents pertaining to your chosen topics can be emailed to you and your team. Oh, and you can also request a recording of your session to review at a later date (just remember to put in your request before the session begins). Need another refresher a few months down the road? Check out our new interactive training manual, learn.erply.com, which features online tutorials and quizzes.
Should you have any further questions, our support agents work on an extended schedule (that means we’re here after 5 pm) and can be called upon for one-on-one help as required. It’s a “fix it and forget it” approach—we handle your queries in a timely manner so you can let go of all that stress, refocus your attention on sales and keep on expanding.
You can avoid “helicopter franchising” but still remain in control.
Heard of helicopter parenting? Well, a similar phenomenon exists in the retail world. Turns out there are franchisors that can stifle the creativity of their franchisees by constantly hovering and micro-managing daily processes down to the last detail.
Don’t be one of those franchisors.
That said, don’t be too passive either. As you hand over the reins to a new branch, your ideal approach should be to maintain a healthy give-and-take between you and your franchisees: give them the space they need to handle their own sales and attract their own customer base, but take care to ensure your overall vision for your company remains intact.
And guess what? Erply has your back in this department, too.
Our evolutionary franchise management software comes equipped with services designed to sustain an easy flow of data between franchisor and franchisee without stepping on either party’s toes. Benefits of the software include:
- A “Master account” setup that enables speedy data transfer to all franchisees whenever corporate policies change or HQ decides to launch a new marketing campaign. Storeowners likewise get their own Erply accounts that can sync to info provided by the Master. (Need to update your shipping schedules? Do it just once in the Master account, and the data goes live in all franchise locations.)
- Implementation tools for franchisees that give storeowners room to spread their wings…within reason. You provide Erply with a set of guidelines as to which business functions are mandatory, which are editable and which are optional, and we train your franchisees accordingly.
- Detailed reporting from each franchise location so you can get a sense of the big retail picture without having to bug your franchisees on a regular basis.
Skimmed over our “top six” list and feel like taking that next retail step? Great. Business expansion isn’t for the faint of heart, but we’re sure you’re up to the task. And if you hit any speed bumps, Erply will be there to help.
Questions on how Erply can ease the growing pains? Don’t hesitate to ask.