The Wall Street Journal had an article where franchisees used computer technology to monitor their franchises from home, meaning they seldom had to visit the physical location of the franchise. What do you think about this trend?
I’d like to have seen the article to understand the kind(s) of ventures it described. Certainly the multi-unit franchise owner creates an entirely separate tier of management to oversee their complex operation, and that “headquarters” cannot reside in each location, but a staff of competent managers will be onsite to see that controls (quality, financial, etc) are maintained. However, short of businesses that are primarily focused on vending or cash deposited for product, I am not attuned to single unit operations that do well without supervision.
On the other hand, new technology such as POS (point of sale) system has created tremendous cost saving steps in terms of accounting, reporting, and inventory control. “Absentee ownership” in and of itself however, is a difficult scenario at best, especially when customers/client require attention and cash is changing hands.