“Out of intense complexities, intense simplicities emerge.”
The words of Winston Churchill ring just as true today as they did nearly a century ago. For modern leaders seeking to grow a successful chain or franchise, the complexities may feel greater than ever. Many multi-unit businesses have spent recent years stuck in neutral; paralyzed by a swirling force of economic, social justice, and public health issues. Yet others have managed to thrive amidst the tumult.
The key difference? The latter has focused on intense simplicities vital to their success and driven them at scale. That’s produced greater revenue per location and more lucrative opportunities for expansion. Yet embracing simplicity isn’t easy.
The scale of a multi-unit business model drastically increases the probability of information overload. Fragmented and/or underpowered tech stacks often exacerbate the issue. Indeed, it’s never been more difficult to find a signal amidst the noise.
What growth-minded independent chains and franchise operations require are solutions that help them seamlessly measure KPIs, deliver higher ROI training, and create a culture of continuous feedback.
1. Take the Guesswork Out of Growth
Guesswork and revenue growth go together like oil and water. When we’re left to guess, cognitive biases often cloud our judgment. While you may believe senior leadership is immune to these systematic errors in thinking, you’d be mistaken — a recent research paper from the Wharton School of Business found that CEOs are equally vulnerable to such biases.
“These are mistakes that even the most sophisticated, most educated people make,” co-author Marius Guenzel said in an interview on the Wharton Business Daily show. “This really speaks to the hard-wiring of biases in people, and that biases are significant elements of human decision-making.”
In other words: everyone in your organization, from fry cook to CFO, can fall victim to cognitive biases. Cognitive biases lead to poor decisions. Poor decisions suppress revenue. The best way to combat cognitive bias is to change how you utilize data.
Most multi-unit businesses have enough data. The real issue is how (and how often) their data is tracked, integrated, shared, and displayed. Attempting to analyze a mass of disorganized, incomplete, and/or outdated data does little to counter our flawed thinking. But how might the trajectory of your sales change if, rather than acting on stale reports and intuition, you and your team had access to KPI scorecards that tracked performance in real-time?
TruOI is the only real-time operational intelligence platform on the market today. The platform easily integrates and organizes real-time data from your existing tech stack; including your POS systems, CRM, loyalty programs, royalty applications, legacy software, customer service, accounting systems, marketing, inventory, labor, time management, payroll, Excel, and any other strategic source of information you have at the corporate or unit level. With just a couple of clicks, you can pull new reports and drill down by location, region, manager, function, historical context, and much more.
Multi-unit businesses who adopt TruOI Operational Intelligence Platforms often quickly discover simple fixes worth thousands or millions of dollars in new profit and/or revenue. When the most important aspects of your business are consistently measured, leaders know exactly what to manage.
2. Raise Your Training ROI
Independent chains and franchise operations find themselves caught in an unprecedented talent turnover. Many veteran team members are retiring or switching professions, while a tight labor market has made it exceedingly difficult to find plug-and-play talent.
As a result, many members of your current workforce may require extensive training or re-training to succeed in their roles. Oftentimes, locations with the least experienced staff drive the lowest amounts of revenue. Yet traditional training models often fail to move the needle. Common pitfalls include:
- Training misaligned with the daily demands of the role
- Training too broad in both target and scope
- Training disconnected from major revenue drivers
- Training is too sporadic to make an enduring impact
Instead, multi-unit businesses should adopt training models centered on a dynamic skills strategy. “The most effective HR functions use a dynamic skills approach focused on structuring HR and the organization — people, systems and strategies — to respond dynamically to changing skills needs,” write analysts at Gartner who’ve conducted extensive research on employee training.
“When HR uses the dynamic skills strategy, employees apply 75% of new skills learned … The dynamic skills approach also boosts other key talent outcomes, resulting in a 24% improvement in employee performance and a 34% improvement in discretionary effort (where employees go above and beyond at work).”
Better ROI on training starts with improving your ability to sense skill gaps in real-time. TruOI Operational Intelligence Platform is the simplest way to gain this visibility. By translating fragmented spreadsheets and data dumps into intuitive, easy-digestible dashboards that update in real-time, both executives and unit team members can quickly identify the highest-value training opportunities.
3. Create a Culture of Continuous Feedback
As the scale of an organization increases, the amount of meaningful feedback often declines. Medium and large-scale enterprises often resort to quarterly or yearly performance reviews as their primary means of delivering feedback. Yet both executives and unit team members quickly come to dread this formalized, bureaucratic process.
Research from OfficeVibe highlights the gap between current and ideal systems of feedback:
- 65% of employees want more feedback
- Only 58% of managers feel they provide enough feedback
- Employees are 30x more likely to be actively engaged at work when managers focus on employee strengths
- 43% of highly-engaged employees receive feedback at least once a week, compared to just 18% of employees with low engagement
Delivering feedback cannot be seen as just another event on the company calendar. It must be continuous, genuine, and rooted in the daily demands of the business. TruOI Operational Intelligence Platform highlights team, unit, and employee performance on a daily basis, creating explicit opportunities to deliver meaningful feedback.
While addressing underperformance is vital to enforcing best practices, positive feedback is among the most powerful tools for revenue growth. In a global survey by McKinsey and Company, respondents rated both “praise and commendation from (an) immediate manager” and “attention from leaders” as more effective motivators than performance-based cash bonuses. When organizations lose talent, lack of recognition is often the culprit— a survey by Achievers found that among employees looking to change jobs, lack of recognition and engagement ranked as their number one cause.
TruOI is an Operational Intelligence Platform that integrates all software, measurement, coaching, and training systems under one umbrella application to understand and manage your true operational intelligence. This platform serves as a central command center for decision-makers at the executive and team unit levels. Built with a complete data warehouse and a powerful analytics engine, TruOI Operational Intelligence Platform syncs information from sources like POS, accounting, inventory, payroll, marketing, labor, customer service, and Excel systems to optimize your organization from bottom to top. Make the complex simple, grow revenue, and watch your culture transform with the help of truOI.