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Unlocking Growth — The Power of KPIs in Driving Franchise Brand Success Why it's critical to track your franchise goals and objectives.

By Stephen Galligan Edited by Carl Stoffers

Key Takeaways

  • By developing a clear and well-thought-out KPI strategy, businesses can keep their main objectives front and center.
  • The concept of SMART goals ensures that businesses establish clear, realistic, and measurable objectives.
  • Leveraging professional expertise and technology enhances the efficiency and accuracy of KPI tracking.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Any brand leader or business owner will tell you that one of the most important aspects of the job is setting and measuring growth goals. Tracking growth isn't just good for your bottom line; it's critical to staying responsive and relevant, and one of the best ways to establish, manage, and harness your brand's growth is to use key performance indicators, or KPIs.

Related: Considering franchise ownership? Get started now to find your personalized list of franchises that match your lifestyle, interests and budget.

KPIs measure performance of some sort to gauge the success of processes, campaigns, strategies, and more. They track progress toward a specific goal over time, helping to keep the most important objectives of your business front and center. Setting and tracking KPIs not only helps you determine exact numbers but also gives you a clearer understanding of how well your brand or franchise is doing. Because KPIs are so useful, it's vital to develop a KPI strategy that will help yield the expected results.

Developing your KPI strategy

Creating a KPI strategy starts with identifying which indicators you want to track and measure. It's important to narrow them down, and depending on what kind of business you run or what industry you're in, your KPIs will differ.

Setting your KPIs will also depend on your goals, so it's important to establish those first. That can be done by being SMART about it. No, I'm not trying to be clever — SMART stands for:

  • Specific: Well-defined goals will be easier to measure over a finite amount of time. The more specific you are, the easier it is to track progress and determine success.
  • Measurable: Goals that are hard to quantify, like brand awareness, customer satisfaction, or team performance, will be more difficult to measure than hard numbers for things like sales, clicks, inquiries, and more.
  • Attainable: You want to reach your goals, not constantly strive for them, so it's important not to set the bar too high. Focus on those that are actually attainable, and think bigger down the line if you want.
  • Realistic: Yes, you want attainable goals, but they also need to be realistic, and that will depend on circumstances, resources, outside influences, and more. Your brand or business doesn't operate in a vacuum and is affected by factors you can't always control.
  • Time-bound: Set deadlines for when you want to hit your marks and be as specific as possible. A deadline for every goal is essential because it not only helps you measure growth but holds anyone responsible for it accountable — for good or bad.

Related: 10 Growth Strategies Every Business Owner Should Know

Choosing your KPIs

The KPIs you decide to track will be a reflection of the goals you've set and will depend a great deal on how long you've been in operation and what type of business you run. Because there's a lot riding on KPIs, many brand leaders and business owners turn to professionals to help them establish and track them.

For instance, professionals can help you appreciate the difference between lagging KPIs — hard numbers, like revenue growth, deals signed, or customers added over a given period — and leading KPIs— actions like website visits, form fills, phone calls, and more. Leading indicators lead to lagging indicators, and both are crucial to track if you want to get a comprehensive sense of your business' growth.

Professionals can also help you make better sense of the benefits of KPIs, including the ability to set benchmarks, which can help businesses evolve, scale, and refine processes, for improved cost-effectiveness. Other valuable benefits of utilizing KPIs include the following:

  • Better communication: Monitoring KPIs can provide insight that helps the people within your organization understand and internalize your growth goals, which can ultimately enhance communication across teams.
  • Better productivity: Keeping a pulse on KPIs can help you set actionable goals that will motivate staff, which in turn, can increase productivity.
  • Better innovation: Tracking KPIs lets you and your team spot trends or patterns that you otherwise might not notice, allowing you the potential to improve innovation and build brand awareness.

Depending on who you partner with, professionals can be an invaluable asset to your KPI strategy, in part because they have (or should have) access to technology — a digital dashboard that ties everything together and that will allow you and your team to track your KPIs holistically and make adjustments accordingly. This, in turn, can lead to quicker and more robust results.

Related: 3 Ways to Differentiate Your Business in a Competitive Market

Some common franchise development KPIs

Over the years, I've helped dozens of franchise brands and hundreds of franchisees set and track important KPIs that have allowed them to refine their sales approach to see meaningful growth. Experienced marketing teams can help brands broaden their reach by identifying the right KPIs, which may include the following:

  • Sales volume by location
  • Competitor pricing
  • Client engagement
  • Sales cycle length
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Cost per lead

The right team can help your brand harness the value of KPIs by using them strategically; professionals can help you define your SMART goals and pick the KPIs that will help you track your path toward them. Carefully chosen KPIs can help you identify problems and make course corrections, analyze patterns over time, and monitor the health of your business or brand. When so much of life can leave us guessing, it's nice to know KPIs can offer your business real insight into what's working — and what's not.

Stephen Galligan

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor


Steve Galligan is CEO and co-founder of Integrated Digital Strategies. IDS is a digital marketing company focused on franchising. For the past four consecutive years, IDS has been at the top of Entrepreneur magazine's ranking as a leading supplier serving the franchise community.

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