5 Questions Every Franchise Should Ask Before Investing in Franchise Management Software

Every day we walk franchise owners through our product demo and answer common questions about how we can help their franchise businesses grow. However, there are some less common questions we wish more franchises would ask us! Before you commit to a franchise management software, here are some questions we recommend asking potential vendors to ensure you’ve got your bases covered.

  1. Do you have experience in the franchise business?
    Sometimes franchise management software is just business operations software that has been adapted (or even just marketed) as a franchise management software. So, make sure you know if you’re buying a franchise-specific product or not. Software like Waterstreet has been built specifically for franchises by franchises. You’ll realize the benefits in the detailed features that make your life as a franchisor easier, automatically. You’ll also join a knowledge base filled with input from fellow franchisors.  

  2. Can you provide an overview of your pricing model?
    What will you really be paying when you sign on the dotted line? Here are some questions to help you figure out the real cost:

    a. Are you a cloud-based, month-to-month subscription service?

    b. What is the monthly fee? Monthly fees may be split up per:

    • Module subscription fee
    • Territory license fee
    • User license fee

    c. Are there setup fees?

    At Waterstreet, we follow a month-to-month Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) delivery model. Our monthly subscription fees vary and are based on the modules deployed. Our pricing is centered around charging by franchise location rather than by user. We also do charge a one-time setup fee based on the modules deployed which includes white-labeling the application to your brand, application configuration and training.

  3. What software packages do you integrate with?
    This question is important because you’ll need your franchise management software to integrate with the other software products you already use—or risk having to migrate everything to new systems. For example—if you use an accounting software like QuickBooks, you’ll need the invoices and payments handled by the franchise management software to share that information with a QuickBooks integration in order to do your taxes.

    At Waterstreet, we currently have integrations with the following third-party applications, and we’re always adding more:

    • QuickBooks Online (QBO)
    • Payment Processing (WorldPay)
    • Business Intelligence with Report Builder (Xerva)
    • Customer Engagement & Sales Automation (Client Tether)
    • Customer Loyalty Program (Listen 360)
    • eMarketing (Constant Contact)
    • Route Optimization (Google Maps)

  4. Can you customize the software if you need something specific?
    This is a good question to ask because there might be one small thing holding you back from choosing an otherwise perfect solution. If that’s the case, see if the vendor can add this feature in for you. After all, every business is unique and a couple of feature requests can likely be accommodated by an inhouse development team. At Waterstreet, we offer both software customization and application development services as needed. Our software can be tailored to the unique characteristics of your brand as identified in our needs analysis process.

  5. What is your product roadmap?
    The franchise business is always evolving and so is technology. How will your franchise management vendor keep up and stay relevant against future competition? Asking about the vendor’s vision for the future is a great way to find out. At Waterstreet, we continue to work with like-minded service providers and seamlessly integrate their technologies to enhance the capabilities and feature sets available within Waterstreet Franchise Management Software.

Improve Your Franchise Evaluation Process

It’s straightforward to compare solutions feature to feature, but harder to contrast what may set vendors apart. Next time you’re evaluating franchise management software, ask these 5 important questions to help franchise management software vendors point out their key differences for you. You can also use our franchise evaluation template to help compare features.

For more information about Waterstreet, sign up for a demo now.

Hands down, one of the best software companies we have worked with. Waterstreet’s Field Service Management software provides The Maids with the core tools and technology to better manage our franchise system.

Paul Andersen, CFO
The Maids International

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