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Data protection in franchises – being sure your franchisees are protecting personal data
We were recently approached by a franchise operator who wanted assurance that their franchisees were doing the right thing with the personal data they used. We look at the pitfalls in data protection in franchises, and how franchisors can use it as an opportunity for their business.
Pitfalls in data protection in franchises
- Losing control
Like many other elements of franchising your business, there’s a risk that the franchisee doesn’t follow the same rules and procedures that you apply in the main business. There are often many things they must focus on at once – customer service and business performance are top of the list – but remember that good data protection is part of customer service.
- Knowing that everyone’s trained up and working well
Again, you’re probably keen to make sure the franchisee’s staff are geared up and ready to serve customers. They’re excited to get stuck in to selling your offer too. Once again, it can be easy to overlook training in data protection.
- Knowing that everyone’s operating to the same standards
When you get a good army of franchisee businesses it can be tough to know that they’re all working in the same, efficient way. This means it can also be unclear to identify the best performers from the ones that are lagging behind.
Opportunities for best practice in data protection in franchises
- Help your franchisees get set up on GDPR
Put a simple system in place to help your franchisees understand their data protection obligations. Are they a controller or a processor? Make sure it’s clear, and that together you have the right contractual controls in place for the way data is transferred.
- Help your franchisees train their teams to the same high level
The easiest way to do this is to provide them with training from your centrally-approved system, the same way that you probably provide common training for other elements of the business. Online is easiest – Astrid’s training programme can be completed in under an hour and covers all the essentials that new starters (and refresher trainees) need.
- Develop a common system for reporting and update tracking
When everyone’s implementing the same system and reporting in the same way, it makes life easier for both the franchisees and the franchisor. It’s also easier to share best practice from your leading franchises to the ones that are just getting started or need a bit of a hand.