By Natalie Veli
With the end goal for franchisees to be effective at managing and operating their franchise, they must undergo well organised, formal franchise training.
Why do Franchisors need to provide training?
To help your franchisees lay solid foundations on which they can build their businesses, you will have to put them through a formal initial training programme, with regular ongoing training and/or refreshers to follow.
The training needs to be provided to create a consistent, sustainable replication of the franchisor’s brand and corporate values as well as be financially fruitful on every level of the business. Not only do new franchisees need to undergo training, even experienced businesspeople or previous owners of similar franchise systems need to have training, as not all franchises are the same.
All franchise systems are different in terms of:
- The unique culture and values of the company
- Product and service offering
- How products and services are marketed
- Their brand requirements
- How they are positioned to consumers
- Prescribed methods and procedures of how the franchise operates
- How site selection takes place
- What POS and IT systems are used and how to use them
- What initial and ongoing training and support is conducted
How should the Franchisor conduct the training?
An initial training programme needs to be created and conducted, just like a structured admittance or inducation of sorts to ensure consistency of training of all franchisees and staff regardless of when they came on-board. No two franchises are completely alike and hence difference training is conducted that is aimed at the specific franchise. Training is generally a combination of classroom and practical in-store training.
Initial training occurs before the franchise operations commences. Training requirements will be summarised in the franchisor’s Disclosure Document and Franchise Agreement.
Generally, franchisors should provide initial training to the franchisee and their staff. Some franchises could also include a train-the-trainer programme for the franchisee, allowing them to train their staff, depending on the level of skills required to operate effectively It is in the franchisor’s and the franchisee’s best interest to have as many people trained as possible – directly from the franchisor. It is quite common for the franchisor’s support team to assist the franchisee during the opening period of their franchise.
Business methods and requirements need to be taught in great detail and sufficient time needs to be given in order for the franchisee to absorb and understand the elements of the franchise. Training content and delivery thereof needs to enable the franchisee that effectively manage the franchise with confidence. During the training programme the franchisee’s knowledge and understanding of material should be evaluated.
The franchisor needs to ensure that all franchisees successfully complete the initial training programme to a satisfactory level and that they are fully equipped and competent to operate and manage the franchise.
The importance of the Franchise Operations and Procedure Manual as a training tool
The franchise operations manual will lay out the operations standards expected by the franchisor. It is a critical tool for development and operations that franchisees can refer to continuously when they first open their doors and grow the franchise business.
A franchisor should provide new franchisees with a thorough operations manual. This manual should outline all aspects of running the business in detail. Nobody can be expected to remember all the training, so this should be given in the initial training and can be referred to through ongoing training too. For Operations Manual information and assistance please click here .
Training should not end once the initial training programme has been completed. It is a continual process for the franchisee and their management team and staff. Franchisors need to develop an ongoing annual training curriculum, which can be divided into relevant training needs throughout the year.
Franchisors should provide system-wide training programmes when new products or services are introduced and field consultants to observe the franchisee’s staff during their intermittent visits to their location. This will help the franchisor assess the quality of their franchisee’s employees and, when necessary, help them improve their performance.
Support should take the form of regular visits, phone and conference calls, email, franchise Intranet sites, newsletters, satisfaction surveys and even franchise advisory groups. Successful franchisees take full advantage of these resources.
Ongoing training can cover soft skills such as:
- Customer service and care
- Selling skills
- Conflict handling
- Company philosophy
And practical skills such as:
- Product and service knowledge
- Installation skills
- Merchandising techniques
- Marketing, advertising and promotions
- Inventory management
Annual refresher training is a chance to guarantee that your group is kept up to date with market or product advancements in your franchise industry. This is an opportunity to answer questions and provide reminders of how procedures and matters in the franchise are conducted.
Does the franchisee need to pay for the training?
All franchise companies provide training for their new franchisees and/or their staff. The cost of training, which can last from five to 30 days, is usually covered by the upfront franchise fee but franchisees pay for their own travel and accommodation.
Any additional training for new staff members after the above–mentioned initial training period, including the ongoing training will be for the Franchisee’s account.
Training is so much more than something that teaches individuals “how to get things done.” It is the soul and ultimately the fate of your franchise. Training gives your franchise a glorious and bright future. Through training you will thrive in light of the fact that your workforce will comprise of dedicated and enthusiastic staff who are learning, driven, and who love being a part of your franchise.
Franchisee Training offered By Franchising Plus
Provide the non-financial manager with insight into the complexities of finance, using finance as a management tool and the operational impacts of financials. Address the most important and common financial issues the non-financial manager might encounter. This should be a very practical part of training which should create awareness, understanding and appreciation of financial disciplines with the operationally orientated person.
Prepare franchisees for owning their own business such as preparing a business plan to obtain finance, marketing and operating the business successfully and also be able to analyse the operational and financial performance of the business.
If you require assistance with the development of your franchisee training programme, let us know