3 Ways to Automate a Mobile Franchise Business and Enable Growth

Mobile franchising is experiencing spectacular growth and savvy franchisors are using automated business processes to enable their expansions and improve their service and operations. 

There are a number of ways that mobile franchises can add automation to their businesses, but for the sake of this article, we will look at the three that can have the most impact on your quality of service and your bottom line: booking, appointments, and payments. 

service business

Mobile Franchising is So Hot Right Now 

Mobile franchising is currently one of the hottest business sectors, due in large part to the changes in the business climate that have been occurring over the past year. Franchisees can often buy in at a lower cost, operating with only a company vehicle, their job tools, and a home-based office. The market for these types of businesses is heating up for two key reasons.  

The massive shift to work-from-home for a lot of workers is causing a corresponding spike in the demand for home services. More of us are spending more time at home, so we are also renovating, cleaning, building home office spaces, and causing more wear-and-tear in our living spaces. 

The economic recession, meanwhile, is highlighting a lack of job security and other uncertainty among ambitious middle-management types, who are buying into the concept of being their own boss as franchisees. The lower barrier of entry and lower startup costs, along with the support of a parent brand with existing successful systems in place, is driving a lot of growth across the whole sector. 

Automation Enables Growth

The mobile franchises experiencing the most growth are also the ones who are adopting processes that improve their level of service. As they continue to reach new economies of scale, it becomes more prudent to find efficiencies, reduce errors, and leverage technology to offer better service and reduce friction wherever possible. 

At the franchisor level, there are a number of key ways that you can take advantage of automation and have big impacts on both your level of service as well as your profitability. Here are three ways to automate your processes using technology, along with a few words about the kind of impact they can have. 

  1. Centralized Online Booking

Online booking offers the customer at home to make a booking on their time, on their terms. Offering an online booking option is becoming the norm, as tech-savvy, convenience-seeking customers often prefer to opt for the easiest solution. 

Online booking also reduces errors (customers rarely get their own addresses wrong) and saves on administration costs, as customers do the work themselves, at any time of day. Franchisors can take this one step further and relieve their franchisees of the burden of booking entirely, using centralized online booking as part of their franchise management software

When a customer makes a booking, they do so through the franchise brand’s main website. The booking is automatically routed to the franchisee based on the customer’s ZIP code, and scheduled based on the franchise’s real-time availability. The job then appears on the franchisee’s calendar, visible on any device. Until they respond or head to the customer’s location to complete the job, the booking process does not require any human action other than that of the customer. 

  1. Appointment Confirmations, Online Quotes, and Invoice Reminders

No-shows and work delays cut deeply into a franchisee’s profitability. Confirming appointments, communicating arrival times, and issuing special safety instructions can take a lot of time. Automating the process of reminding customers about appointments and confirming a crew’s arrival times will save everyone a lot of time and energy. Perhaps best of all, customers love it. Your driver and their customers will appreciate that extra level of service. 

The fact that you are automating these messages and making them a fixture in your service offering only serves to make you come across as more professional. Franchisees can still make contact with customers directly but the kind of administration that all jobs require, including any safety precautions or other notices, can be handled automatically. 

2021 has further emphasized the importance of delivering a great customer experience to your customers with convenience and safety at the helm. Online quotes allow your customers to approve quotes online in the comfort and safety of their own homes. Sent as a link by either email or text message, customers can approve a quote remotely at their convenience. They approve the quote, confirming with their signature along with adding additional notes. It helps you get quotes approved faster while improving the customer experience. With quote and invoice reminders, set up automated email reminders for outstanding quotes and invoices. Configurable by client type and service type, these reminders are flexible and powerful to help you book more work and get paid faster.

  1. Payments and Accounting

Both for franchisor and franchisee, cash flow matters. The easier you can make the payment process, the faster you can receive payment, and that matters. Automating the invoicing process and accepting online payments can help to speed up payments. Online payment pages enable your customers to pay invoices online in an easy and branded experience.

Once your techs have completed a job, an invoice can then be emailed to the client. Whether they’re on a smartphone or computer, customers are presented with a consistent and convenient payment experience. Upon making the payment, an automated email is sent to the client with their payment receipt. And in today’s new normal, it’s most importantly a contactless payment method that allows customers to pay in the safety of their own property.

We like that it’s convenient for our customers, but best of all it has reduced the time that it takes for invoices to get paid,” says Chris Aconley, Men In Kilts COO. “The easier it is for customers, the better it is for our franchisees and techs in the field. We’ve been paid even before we’ve left the job site.”

 For mobile franchises, your franchise management software can handle the booking, messaging, and payments processes and then sync with QuickBooks to automate the accounting process as well. Connecting the two will enable easy receipt capture and allow you to track your transactions, expenses, taxes and more. 

Not only will automation save you money and step up your service game, but it can also give you a clear picture of your financial position and performance. Between the work performance measurement in your franchise tools and the financial reporting available through Quickbooks, you can enjoy end-to-end visibility and even identify where you can make improvements. 

Reducing Busywork Frees Up Time for Analysis and Growth

Imagine that instead of being held back with administrative work that can all be automated, you could free up time throughout your organization that can be used to analyze your existing performance and make improvements. 

How smooth could your company operate, indeed how much faster could your brand grow if you had that kind of visibility and forward-thinking? 

Want to learn more about how to automate your mobile franchise business? Book a free, private demo of Vonigo