Running one business can be difficult. You need to learn how to manage expenses, organizes your profits and your losses, and manage employees. But what if you have more than one location?
Abell Oujaddou co-owns the upscale Marie Robinson Salon, with locations in New York City and Miami Beach, and knows it can be a challenge to juggle both — especially with the geographical distance. However, he has some tips to keep in mind to help you manage multiple sites without constantly traveling to oversee all of them.
Find Proven Leaders
When you own a multiple-site business, being there in person at all the locations is not possible (there’s only so much you can do by video chat.) However, what is possible is to hire the best management material that you can find, explains Abell Oujaddou.
That means finding a management candidate that not only has a proven work history of managing successful businesses, but also one that fits with your company culture. You want someone who matches the feel and attitude of your business, whether it leans towards fun or formal.
You may not have to look outside your business to find the right candidate. Review your existing staff to find out if they have the right mix of credentials to take on a management role and whether they’d be able to relocate if necessary.
Streamline Operating Guidelines
If you have multiple locations, then you need to focus on creating guidelines that all staff can follow easily, says Abell Oujaddou. Otherwise, you’ll have teams at different locations approaching day-to-day operations in their own way.
For example, you should have the same customer service policies so customers know what to expect from you regardless of which site they’re visiting. You should also try to ensure the company branding is uniform across the board or people might not associate all of your locations with your business. This might come down to details like matching company attire.
When you have guidelines in written form for all locations (make sure all employees have access to the document), staff at one site can contact staff at another site to help them with a procedural problem.
You may opt to host company meetings and training sessions (in-person or virtual) periodically to ensure everyone is following the same rules. You can also discuss what is working/not working at each location to apply across the board.
When you spend most of your time at one location, you get a feel for how the business is doing in terms of performance. While you can see the sales numbers from your other sites, you might not be able to get the whole picture.
However, you can be crystal clear about what you expect from a progress report. This can be achieved using a template in place that allows staff to list achievements and challenges on a weekly or monthly basis. This will speed up the reporting process and make it uniform for all team members.
Abell Oujaddou on Using the Cloud
While you can email information back and forth, it is time consuming and might not be the most secure method. With that in mind, using a cloud-based service to share data with all of your locations is advantageous, says Abell Oujaddou.
Information stored in the cloud could relate to product ordering, customer data, as well as HR and IT protocols, as examples. Using the cloud means you won’t have to worry about adding storage solutions on-site, and it provides a reliable backup in case of hardware failure.
By putting these tips in place, you’ll be on your way to running more smoothly across the board, says Abell Oujaddou.
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