Managing multiple locations efficiently can be difficult if you don’t have systems in place to help. Since each organization is unique, you will have to develop a system and set of performance metrics that works for you. However, each company should have the same standards for each location so that managing all locations is a similar process. It also makes evaluating and comparing store performance significantly easier. Once you have this process down, adding new locations to your business will be a smooth transition.
When setting your company-wide standards for managing multiple locations, remember that a major part of your operations are your store employees. There should be a heavy focus on communication, training, and task delegation. If you can get your employees to work for you as a tool for improving both effectiveness and efficiency, you will be able to do a lot less managing of your individual locations and focus more on addressing higher-level business needs and decisions.
Communication. Although you are cities, states, or even oceans apart from a majority of your employees, you should still be able to have clear communication with them. Remember communication only occurs if both parties understand one another. Making it as easy as possible for store staff to understand your initiatives, projects, and tasks will increase efficiency in completing them. This could mean providing photo examples, and clear and concise questions for each task. There should also be a simple way for employees to give you feedback and ask questions. This will help you refine your questions in the future.
Training. Although you spend a lot of money training your employees, you should really look at training as an investment. If you don’t spend the time initially to ensure your employees can handle daily operations on their own, you will spend a lot of time later correcting mistakes. Not to mention those mistakes are likely to happen over and over again. Implementing an extensive training program for each position in the store reduces the number of mistakes made and resulting required management intervention. This will also help your company provide the same experience to customers regardless of the time of day and what shift is working at that time.
Task delegation. By delegating tasks to particular employees or roles, you will not only help ensure that tasks get done, but you will also be able to hold the right people accountable for their responsibilities. Task delegation allows you to assign more duties to store staff so you can focus on major initiatives while also giving employees a clearer picture of what they need to do to be successful at their jobs. From assigning these responsibilities, employees will feel a sense of ownership of their tasks that in combination with the skills they gained during training will help them go above expectations.
Aside from improving your employee relationships, putting a system in place for communications, training, and task delegation will help you achieve multi-location efficiency. Your employees will spend less time completing tasks and more time driving sales. You will spend less time managing individual tasks and employees and more time perfecting your next initiative.