Best business practices for managing multiple locations
Expanding your small business to running multiple locations is an exciting milestone, though not without its challenges. Whether you're looking to expand your business reach, get more clients or simply feel that it's time to expand, managing multiple business locations is not a decision that is reached easily.
And when it comes to managing multiple locations, knowing what to expect with regards to the new logistics will help ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible.
This is especially true when you're running an appointments or schedule based business, such as a fitness or activities business, or even a beauty or services based business.
Typical headaches when operating multiple locations are managing schedules and appointments across diverse locations, coordinating additional staff schedules, and handling elements, such as advance payments. Because you can't be in two places at once, these tasks all become exponentially more complex.
However, with the right strategies and tools, you can turn these intricate tasks into a streamlined process, driving your business forward without missing a beat.
So let's help you find out how to manage multiple business locations without too much stress...
How do I manage my business with multiple locations?
While operating one location cultivates strong skills in organization, customer service, and problem-solving, expanding to multiple outlets introduces an extra dose of complexity. From keeping track of varying schedules, or managing disparate teams, to ensuring consistent client experiences across all outlets.
Not to mention processing payments and ensuring your stock and equipment is managed effectively.
It all amounts to a substantive administrative task.
Managing these complex demands needs the power of technology, such as business management software. In these situations, software becomes more than just a tool, but a trusted partner that helps facilitate smooth operations, no matter how many locations you are overseeing.
We'll take a look at how technology can help you streamline and manage multiple business locations.
Update your online profile
A key part of any expansion into multiple locations is to update your online profiles with the correct information. While this might sound obvious, it's sometimes the simplest tasks that get neglected.
The first thing to do is to update your Google My Business profile with your new location, or locations.
This is easily done and ensures that when potential customers are searching either for a service or your specific business location, the right information is displayed. This is especially key if your business relies on being found in Google Maps.
In addition to Google My Business, you'll also need to update:
- Your website contact and location details
- Any social media platforms with locations
- Email signatures
- Details on directory sites, review sites or other online platforms
Put this at the top of your to-do list before you do anything else!
Online booking and scheduling portals
An online booking portal not only offers convenience to your clients but also brings much-needed order to your scheduling process across every location. Whether running a fitness studio, a beauty salon, or an activity center, such web portals simplify the process of booking appointments, making reservations for classes, and registering for events.
Advanced business management software like Arboxapp.com allows clients to book their appointments at their convenience, reducing the burden on your staff. It also ensures appointments and classes are appropriately scheduled across all your locations, avoiding double booking or overbooking.
What's more, Arbox will seamlessly integrate with your website architecture, reducing the chances of friction as you expand your business locations.
Paying in advance for classes or appointments means that there is less need for cash handling, or taking payments at multiple locations.
Integrating your payments with your booking system ensures that as clients make a reservation or book an appointment, they can immediately make a corresponding payment. It drastically lowers the chances for confusion or payment-related disputes.
And because Arbox works with the most popular payment processing platforms, you can ensure that it will be business as usual across your new locations.
Team management across multiple sites
Team coordination is critical to smooth operation when running multiple outlets. Without clear, effective communication, the opportunity for essential information to fall through the cracks is high, which can negatively impact operations and service delivery.
Keeping communications open, having clear staff scheduling and keeping staff in the loop with up to date information means your business keeps moving in the right direction.
While there are many options for communications tools, a quality business management software suite can ensure team members remain connected and informed.
Arbox provides a unified platform where staff members can check schedules, update availability, communicate with other team members, and understand the demands of their roles across different locations.
And when you're managing multiple locations, making sure all your employees know what is going on is the first step in avoiding problems.
Communication is key
Effective communication is not just necessary among your team; it's also a cornerstone of a positive relationship with your clients. Regular updates and information should be disseminated, keeping your clients in the loop about your new business locations, as well as classes, appointments, changes, and any new developments.
Make sure you choose robust communication tools that aid in keeping all your stakeholders in the loop. This means options for sending SMS, email notifications, newsletters, and even in-app notifications through your booking portal, can significantly improve your business communications.
Arbox offers a full suite of tools to manage client communication, and also integrates with popular tools such as Zapier and Mailchimp.
Plus with great in-built tools, Arbox keeps your communication channels open and effective.
Data analysis and insights
Businesses thrive on data and, whatever your business, having insight into your performance will help improve your business performance.
From busy booking times and attendance, location popularity or even service quality, having access to this type of data will help you make important business decisions down the line.
And when managing businesses with multiple locations, you need to know how specific sites are performing.
This is especially important with a new location, as you'll be needing to pay attention to performance, both in the early days and the long term.
Prioritize data security and safety
The safety and protection of your client's information is not just a legal obligation, but a matter of maintaining trust. And when it comes to managing records across locations, you need to be extra careful to keep data secure.
Cloud based software such as Arbox is designed to keep the details and records of your customer base and activities secure. Of course, you also need to ensure that there are processes in place that maintain the integrity of your business security and data.
- Training your staff in correct data management.
- Using external cybersecurity to protect your data from hackers.
- Not sharing passwords, login details or other sensitive information.
Business management software is a tool that can greatly help you manage multiple locations, but you do need to take extra care with security when there are more potential leaks.
Using arbox to manage multiple business locations
Of course, when you add multiple locations to your business, you should also hope to attract more customers too. And this is why having a robust business management software suite is going to be key to long term business success.
And when you can't be there in person, you do need a solid tool for communications, scheduling and payment processing, among other things.
Arbox is a complete business management tool, designed for businesses of all sizes. It's absolutely perfect for small business owners who are stepping up their business model and expanding into other locations.
It integrates with the most popular communications tools, payment processing platforms and website builders to easily manage and streamline business operations.
Whether you're running a gym business, managing a yoga studio, expanding your beauty salons or opening a new activity center, Arbox will help smooth the challenges of running multiple stores or locations.
Join a live demo to learn how Arbox can help get organized and provide an amazing client experience.