Using Technology to Optimise Franchise Operations

Communication and the manner in which we engage with each other has fundamentally changed in our “new normal”. Channels of open communication have been required during the pandemic, and franchisors who stuck their heads in the sand did their franchisees and their brand no favours. E-mail is a necessary evil but it is not always the most effective form of communication – it can be impersonal and important information ends up lost in the grey noise of spam. Franchisees who were flooded with communication from various departments or sources eventually lost interest, or found it difficult to sort through what was critical and what was not, and thus failed to prioritise accordingly. Access to relevant information from a single and reliable source has become essential, not just an advantage.

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Working from home – Checks and Balances for the new normal


Working from home, checks and balances for the new normal.  It is no secret that 2020 has been a difficult year. Not only has the Covid-19 virus disrupted the economy but it seems it will also be set to be part of our lives for the near future until everyone has been vaccinated. This will in turn change how we interact not only with family and friends, but it already has had an effect on how employers and employees render services to clients and on the fulfilment of job responsibilities.

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Education in the 21st Century, preparing your child for the future

Marisa van der Merwe of Mini Chess talks about the future of education, the challenges facing teachers and the current education system that is not working.

Education, as we know it, is changing forever.  MiniChess dived in with both feet to meet the challenge head on when lockdown kicked in.

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Tips and tricks when attending a virtual meeting or webinar

virtual meeting

Whether now or in the future when attending virtual meetings or hosting a webinar one should follow these guidelines to make a good impression:

  • Decide where you are going to position your laptop so that you sit comfortably at a desk or table
  • Make sure the area where you are conducting virtual meetings is noise free or noise levels are low
  • Consider the view behind you – ensure it does not detract i.e. movement in the background – and looks professional i.e. consider personal pictures/paintings on the wall behind you.
  • Place your laptop on a stack of books for example to ensure that the laptop’s camera is at your eye height when seated – no one wants to look up your nose!
  • Adjust your laptop’s screen towards you so that the ceiling above your head does not form a large part of the on-screen area

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Business trends to watch out for in 2020

2020 Trends

The changing face of customers

The days of marketing all things to all people are gone – technology provides statistics to business owners to understand the buying patterns of their customers to be able to customize and personalize products or services to suit every customer. Whilst this provides the perfect e-commerce solution that streamlines the route from production, marketing, data capturing through to payments, it can never replace the personal service that will make the difference at the end of the day.

Whilst consumers have embraced APP technology they still want to feel they are being treated as individuals and given special and personal attention – especially if they encounter problems when things go wrong on the AI automation side.

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You have been replaced


The obsolescence of the middle class never hit home before as much as it did when I read ‘Choose Yourself’ by James Altucher. He describes in his book how robotics and technology are set to take over most of the jobs performed by the middle class and coined the phrase ‘you have been replaced’  by robots – many people just don’t know or realize it yet.

He believes that unemployment should be around 50% as most employable people should be entrepreneurs and/or outsourcing their skills to various clients. Yet in South Africa, many young people are looking for jobs and one wonders what jobs they had in mind. It seems robots over time would take over the performance of most repetitive or mundane tasks – or even highly skilled tasks – like taking over agricultures’ crop production by analyzing, for example, soil for crop optimization. Another example that comes to mind is the surgeon performing precision and detailed procedures that robots can do better than humans.

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Reflect, re-energise and re-group for the decade ahead

Businesses keeping their doors open

As we sit on the cusp of a new decade and head into the throes of the 4th Industrial Revolution, never before have we questioned our place in the new world order or have had to reassure ourselves that we can still be effective entrepreneurs.

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Customer experience at the heart of franchising

Happy customers

We are living in an era where Customer Experience (CX) plays a significant role in the success of a brand/business. It is now a topic of discussion in many boardrooms and CX has become a strategic measure on most business plans. FASA service providers The Franchise Firm is holding an interactive session of Customer Experience Journey mapping on Tuesday 15th October 2019 highlighting the moments of truth and the moments that matter. Find out more about the dynamic CX Mapping process that will allow your teams to view your CX journey from the Customer’s Point of View.

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Plant based burgers – meatless burgers the new trend


When is a burger not a beef burger? Well, when it’s a burger with the same look and texture and tastes better than the real thing? That’s what the makers of this latest fast-food trend are telling us and everyone, it seems, is climbing on the plant-based meat substitute burger bandwagon – and loving it! So much so that leading manufacturer Beyond Meat, the beef- substitute maker, posted a record-setting 192% rise from its IPO price of $25 per share in its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange. Backing by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and actor Leonardo Di Caprio helped the shares soar along with a growing consumer appetite for meat alternatives.

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The Extinction Rebellion, going green revolution has begun


The Extinction Rebellion climate-change protestors over the Easter week-end in London brought the city to a standstill as demonstrators showed their determination to influence climate-change and the excessive use of plastics which ruin our oceans and clog our rivers. The focus, both for individuals, business and governments is to find solutions to cut back on pollutants. Whilst South Africa may not be at the forefront of change, developers and retailers are starting to take the threat seriously.

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