9 Industry Trends and Insights Multi-Unit Franchisees Need to KnowJan 16, 2024
I’m sure one of your 2024 resolutions as a multi-unit franchisee is leading your business in the right direction. To be able to stay competitive, you need to be aware and take advantage of the trends that are shaping the industry and how to maximize them in 2024.
In this blog post, we’ll review nine of those trends and some insights that multi-unit franchisees need to know so you can find opportunities and ideas on where your focus should be in the coming months to elevate your organization to the next level.
Trend #1: Embracing technology
From AI to robotics and platforms that facilitate everyday operations, the technology continues to revolutionize the way businesses operate. Especially when it comes to product ordering systems, and delivery products and platforms to help you improve labor costs and cost of goods, customer service, and customer experience.
All of those kinds of technology can help you be more efficient, optimize your processes, and do more with less. This is critical considering the challenges related to the labor force. Because even though the staffing crisis is now getting better, many business owners have learned to operate their businesses with fewer people, with positive results. And one of the ways they can do that is through technology.
Insight: be friends with technology! It will allow you to achieve your objectives more easily by not fully depending on human beings to do some tasks that technology can do for you. The sooner the better… technology will continue to go in that direction and it probably accelerate in the future.
Trend #2: Focus on sustainability
Another trend that is happening in the franchise industry is the focus on sustainability. This is no longer a buzzword but rather a significant factor influencing both consumer and investor choices. Even potential employees consider this as a factor when applying for a job.
Why? Nowadays, people are more conscious and very aware of which businesses are making an effort and contributing to a better future with whatever they do on a day-to-day basis. If you want to be ahead of the competition, your organization should be more environmentally focused.
Insight: there are many things you can do! From finding energy-efficient equipment to reducing waste in your business, and even having more eco-friendly packaging. As a franchisee, you may not be able to implement these practices on your own, but you could influence your franchisor to look into that.
If you manage to make some positive changes to become more friendly to the environment, communicate your efforts to your consumers! That will help you increase their visit frequency and loyalty to your brand.
Trend #3: Rise of delivery and takeout
When 2020 hit, it accelerated delivery because the sanitary emergency that kept us locked down made everyone order things to be delivered to their homes, creating a huge boom and interest in that area.
Yes, our ability to leave home and go places is long gone, but the desire to have delivery services, easy takeout, or pickup is very much there. But you have to be sure you are providing a seamless and convenient experience to your customers.
Insight: maximize your delivery business channel so you can increase your revenue year over year. You can either explore partnerships with popular delivery platforms or encourage your franchisor to develop an internal delivery infrastructure.
Trend #4: Personalization and customization
AI and technology are helping things to become more and more personalized. Why not transform anything that you do for your customers in that direction? Any personal touch that you can do to make your customers feel special will do wonders for your business’ image and customer experience.
Don’t forget that consumers increasingly seek personalized experiences and products tailored to their preferences. How can you discover what those are? Once again, you can take advantage of technology to get to know your customers a little bit better, whether when’s their birthday or what are their preferences.
Insight: Why not even leverage customer data to understand individual preferences and deliver targeted marketing campaigns? You can also design a loyalty program to reward customer loyalty and provide personalized offers based on their needs.
Trend #5: Health and wellness
Nowadays, customers want to live healthier and have more wellness in their personal and work environments. Even if you are not in the health and wellness industry, there are ways you can help them accomplish these goals. For example, you can:
- Promote healthier options within your menu of products or services
- Look for local suppliers and organic alternatives
- Share messages about the importance of having good mental health
- Foment activities around hobbies like gardening and active meditation
Insight: By demonstrating a commitment to health and wellness, you can attract a broader customer base and capitalize on the demand for healthier choices.
Trend #6: Enhancing the customer experience
Another 2024 resolution you can work on is to improve the customer experience. Anything that you can do to give the customers a better experience, from training your employees and creating a very strong business culture to leveraging on technology to provide a better service, will have you win their loyalty.
You can also personalize the interactions you have with customers who buy from you, and gather their feedback with surveys to detect areas of opportunity and how you can improve your operations. Also, implement loyalty programs, promotions, and experiential marketing initiatives to create memorable experiences for your customers.
Insight: Not everybody's doing this! So those companies that focus on enhancing the customer journey across all touchpoints will be the ones that are going to win.
Trend #7: Leveraging social media and influencer marketing
These two activities play a significant role in shaping consumer perceptions and driving purchasing decisions.
Aside from the efforts the brand executes to have a strong social media presence, you can expand your reach and engage with your target audience by using these platforms to build brand awareness and loyalty. It could be something as simple as actively responding to customer feedback and inquiries, or a more elaborate strategy developing creative and shareable content.
As for influencer marketing, this normally implies hiring certain people with a large follower base to talk about your product or service. Your franchisor is probably taking care of this marketing action already, however, if there are specific influencers in your state or even in your city, you can assign part of your local store marketing budget to have a business relationship with them to bring attention to your business.
Insight: The influencer’s brand must match your franchise brand. There has to be congruence between the type of branding that you want to have and what this person represents so that you don’t share opposing messages with your customers.
Trend #8: Stay informed
One of the great benefits of being a multi-unit franchisee is to be a part of a business network and even industry associations where you can have access to best practices and knowledge sharing. If nothing else, at least having business support is huge!
A lot of business owners are reaching out to online networking organizations that can help them thrive and attending business conferences to connect with other business people and obtain valuable insights and networking opportunities. Don’t miss those tremendous opportunities!
Building relationships within the franchise community can help you stay informed, gain support, and foster collaboration.
Insight: The American Franchise Academy is one of them. Our Masterminds is one of the most favorite things that our clients enjoy because they get to connect with people throughout the country, even internationally, who have the same goals and objectives, so they have great value with those best-practice sharing and exchanging.
Trend #9: Prioritize learning and innovation
Just as it is wise to actively expand your networking, you also must reach out for knowledge and learn how to, for example, better manage your labor, do local store marketing, and be innovative within your constraints.
Stay curious, seek out educational resources, and invest in ongoing training and development for yourself and your team.
Insight: It is important that as a multi-unit franchisee, you keep a growth mindset and expand your knowledge to have better operations, better management, better leadership, and better customer experience. All of those things are only going to improve your business.
Being aware of industry trends and insights is essential for remaining competitive and driving success in the multi-unit franchise world. The American Franchise Academy can help you stay informed and proactive so you can position your business for long-term success.
Learn more about what we do and how we can give you not only support on all the trends we reviewed but also the knowledge so you can implement best practices, systems, and processes to elevate your business to the next level.
- Are you a friend of technology or you are not taking advantage of what it has to offer?
- What sustainable actions can you implement in your organization to be more eco-friendly?
- How much are you maximizing the delivery business channel?
- How are you making your customers feel special within your business?
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