Managing a business — franchise or otherwise — is a lot easier with the right technology in place. All of the following tech tools are affordable, and remember: investing in them is investing in your business for the future.
Here’s what you should consider for your business:
1. Point-of-Sale System
Most franchisors have requirements about the type of point-of-sale system you implement in your franchise. But if you have the choice, look for those that best fit your needs. Do you need your system to be able to scan SKUs? Accept reservations? Take credit card payments?
You want your POS to be easy for every employee to use, offer great customer support, and get frequent updates to stay on top of added features.
2. Scheduling AppsIf you have employees whose schedules you have to juggle, it’ll be a lot easier with a mobile scheduling app. With this technology, you can see at a glance who is available to take a given shift, and you can email or text your staff their schedules.
No more paper schedules and wasting hours every week!
3. Credit Card Swiper
Again, if you have a franchise, you might be required to use a particular brand of credit card machine. But if not, there are lighter and more nimble versions than the old-school bricks that sit on the counters of retail stores everywhere.
If your business is mobile, look at Square. You accept credit cards by affixing a small swiper onto your phone or tablet, then swipe. It’s easy, and the fees are low.
4. Accounting Software
If you’ve been managing your finances in a spreadsheet or — gasp — on paper, it’s time for an upgrade that will make your life easier. Accounting software like FreshBooks simplifies managing your income and expenses, creating financial reports, and sending invoices. Then, come tax time, you’ll be set up to make it easier to file and pay your small business taxes.
Look for programs with add-ons like accepting payments online or payroll services so you’ve got everything you need with one company.
Keep your eye out for new technology that your brand can benefit from. After all, technology is designed to make your life easier, so take advantage of it!
Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, a marketing firm specializing in content writing and social media management. She’s written three business books, including How to Get More Customers With Press Releases, and frequently blogs about small business and marketing on sites including Forbes, AllBusiness, The Marketing Eggspert Blog, and Tweak Your Biz. Follow her on Twitter @eggmarketing.