Regardless of how you got them – through growth, merger, or acquisition – managing multiple locations can be a terrific thing and a headache at the same time. Having a presence in different neighborhoods promotes your brand. But you can’t be in each location personally to oversee things.
Lots of businesses operate in more than one place. They must know a method for making it work, right? Any method that works must have some basic concepts that help businesses get on the right track. So what are those basics?
Making multiple locations work for you boils down to three basic concepts:
Each location has different people and physical space; however, standard business processes should be followed. Areas where a standard process really helps are sales, ordering, inventory management, accounting and reporting. Standardization is not only easier to follow and manage; it makes anomalies that could be errors more obvious to the owner or manager.
Use technology wherever practical and connect it to all locations. Tools like shared drives and automated workflows really save time and reduce errors. For example, entering an expense reimbursement online and having it approved and sent for payment via automated workflows is a lot quicker with fewer chances for error than doing it all manually.
Make sure that team members in each location are trained to perform their job duties. Writing procedures also helps the team work consistently across all locations. Getting feedback about how things are going is important, too. Use reports, conversations, and other methods to get a view of how each location is doing.
Growing your business from one to multiple locations is exciting. Make that growth work for you instead of against you by following three basics. Standardizing, automating, and communicating will help multiple locations operate together, increase profits, and avoid headaches.