Running a multi-location business is a lot like conducting an orchestra. Every player (or in this case, location) needs to be in perfect harmony for the symphony to hit all the right notes. However, dealing with multiple contacts, such as store employees updating hours or requesting website changes, and managing multiple vendors can often lead to discord and inefficient coordination. This could result in inconsistent customer experiences and a dilution of your brand image.
Have you recently come across any of these scenarios?
- An employee updates the store hours for one location but fails to notify the central team, leading to miscommunication and confusion
- A location manager requests website changes, but there’s a delay in implementation due to a lack of coordination with the web development agency
- Multiple vendors managing different aspects of your business often lead to overlapping tasks and wasted resources.
- You request an update to an online listing, but no one knows who owns or manages the profile, leading to a game of telephone and a lot of wasted time.
If you’ve experienced any of these issues, you’re not alone. In this article, the next in our series about common multi-location pain points, we’ll discuss how to address the challenge of inefficient coordination.
Implement a unified communication platform and process
The first step towards efficient coordination is to have a unified communication platform. This could be a shared workspace like Slack or Microsoft Teams, where all updates, requests, and changes can be communicated in real-time. It ensures that everyone involved is on the same page, and any changes can be tracked and implemented quickly and efficiently.
While asynchronous communication is usually the most efficient, it can also be useful to have real-time touchpoints to push past blockers and seek clarification. A standing biweekly or weekly meeting with the key stakeholders is a great start.
Assign a central point of contact
Having a central point of contact who coordinates with all parties can significantly improve efficiency. This individual or team can manage communication, delegate tasks, and keep everyone accountable to their commitments. They can also be the point of contact for vendors, making sure there is no overlap in tasks and that all work aligns with the overall business strategy.
Centralize your marketing efforts
Conflicting marketing campaigns can confuse your audience and dilute your brand’s message. To avoid this, centralize your marketing efforts. Have a unified marketing calendar that is accessible to all locations and vendors. This way, you can ensure that all marketing campaigns are aligned with your overall business strategy and that no two campaigns conflict with each other.
Moreover, use this centralized approach to share marketing materials, campaign ideas, and other resources. This not only ensures brand consistency but also saves resources by avoiding duplication of efforts.
I’d recommend having a couple touchpoints per year to plan out the upcoming strategy.
Using technology to automate tasks can significantly improve efficiency. For example, use scheduling tools to update store hours across all locations at once or use project management tools to track progress on website changes. This can reduce the burden on individual employees and ensure consistency across all locations.
Efficient coordination is not just about harmonizing the symphony of multi-location operations. It’s about orchestrating a performance that leaves your audience—your customers—wanting more. By implementing these strategies, you can alleviate undue stress, minimize errors, and ensure all your locations work as one shared brand.
With less time spent putting out fires and dealing with the fallout of inefficiencies, you can focus more on what truly matters, driving your core business goals forward.
At seoplus+, we understand the unique challenges that multi-location businesses face and the significance of efficient coordination. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help streamline your operations, reduce stress, and help your multi-location business stride confidently towards success in the digital age.