If you’re considering adding a second location to your business, you’ve probably weighed the pros and cons to decide if it’s a viable and wise decision. While plans rarely go as smoothly as we want them to, there are measures you can take before you launch your second storefront to help the process go more smoothly.
Here are some of the pain points you may encounter when expanding:
As you have likely concluded, recreating the success of your first location will require a different approach. You can, however, replicate your business’ POS (point-of-sale) experience from one place to another if you are equipped with a cloud-based system. This will make the transition easier, and if you are considering upgrading to a cloud-based POS, the best time to do so is before you move, not after.
Your POS system captures and stores important information such as past transactions, inventory count, loyalty card holder information, staff login records and more. Upgrading from a legacy POS (where all the data is stored locally) to one that stores data in the cloud (thus being accessible from any location), will make setting up at your new location easier.
Your most loyal customers will be excited to hear about your second location, so don’t be shy about spreading the word. Most modern POS allows you to capture customer data at the time of sale, including email addresses. As the countdown to your second launch draws closer, drum up some excitement with an email marketing campaign letting your existing fans know about your new venture. Your customers will also have expectations of the new place based on their experience at your first; this is especially true of loyalty programs, sales and discounts. With cloud-based POS, all registers have access to the same data, accept the same barcodes and can apply the same discounts.
With a modern POS, the interface experience is the same no matter the location it’s set up in. POS software is stored in the cloud, making it accessible from anywhere. Plus, most systems run off smartphones and tablets, which means the tools you need to set up new terminals are very accessible.
Your catalog or menu will also carry over from one location to the next, meaning you won’t have to set up an entirely new catalog if you don’t need to. If your locations have differing menus, such as one offering a local specialty that doesn’t apply to the other location, you can customize that way as well.
Standardizing your operations is crucial for a timely second opening. The operations and procedures you have in place at home base are part of what makes your business successful and being able to translate those actions to new staff will help them train in more efficiently. Having a POS that carries over from one location to another will help immensely with standardizing procedures, as the functionalities are the same. Plus, existing staff won’t have to receive training on a new system, extending your opening deadline.
Opening a second location is going to take a lot of teamwork, so you will likely be recruiting staff from one location to work at the other, even if temporarily. A modern cloud-based POS doesn’t care if an employee is logging in at one location or the other; the login credentials and user permission will stay the same. A grand opening might also create a demand for overtime; a cloud-based POS system will deliver real-time staff reports from both locations so you can monitor your labor budget from anywhere.
While the success of your second location can be influenced by preparedness and planning, it ultimately comes down to you taking the experiences you gained while turning your first location into a success and applying those strategies to a new venture. A second location is well within reach when equipped with clear objectives, informed passion and the right tools.
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