Franchisee training can be tricky. New investors expect to be taught everything they need to know to run their business unit effectively - and they’ve paid for the privilege. There are various ways to do franchisee training, so let’s run through them.
Franchisors might feel tempted to try to get new business units up and running as fast as possible, but rushing through the franchisee training scheme is counter-intuitive. An effective programme will help investors succeed in the long term.
Franchisors can choose between several franchisee training methods. Often, the best way forward is to implement them all and place a greater focus on the most helpful phases for your business. Keep reading to find out more about the different approaches.
The top 5 franchisee training methods
Although you may not think of paperwork as a training method, it is an opportunity for investors to become familiar with a franchise’s business model.
The Franchise Disclosure Document and agreement will cover a lot of important information about the company, which entrepreneurs can read at their own pace before they become a franchisee. By the time they are ready to initiate their formal training, they should already understand the franchise’s culture and the skills they need to develop.
Once investors have signed the franchise agreement, they’ll be able to dip into the franchisor’s operations manual. This document goes into great detail to explain how franchisees should run their units. An easy reference tool, the operations manual will ultimately become the franchisee's ‘bible’ during their official training.
If franchisors want to give franchisees a gentle introduction to the franchise, they can start the official training scheme with a pre-training session. Usually, coaches ask investors to complete relatively straightforward tasks on their own to help them start to develop their knowledge and understanding. Franchisees might have the chance to do reading assessments or take part in an online course.
During this phase, franchisors could also assign new franchisees a business mentor. Often, existing franchisees make great supervisors, as they can offer practical advice based on their own experiences. Seminars or webinars are also great ways to get conversation flowing.
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3. Classroom training
Most investors get the opportunity to take part in classroom learning at the franchisor’s headquarters. This training method is usually based around the operations manual, giving franchisees the chance to take a closer look at every element. It can take several days or weeks, depending on the franchise and the franchisee’s previous experience.
The course might begin with a tour of the premises and an introduction to team leaders. Then, franchisors can cover the franchise’s history and culture, strategies and business set-up. Franchisees will need to know about finding a suitable location, negotiating a lease, daily operations and insurance and permits, to name just a few topics.
During the coronavirus pandemic, many franchises have used technology and online software to help franchisees gain qualifications remotely. For example, TaxAssist Accountants reorganised its six-week training scheme into a four-week virtual course in November 2020. There are several benefits to completing the classroom training online:
- Franchisees can fit in learning throughout their day, wherever they are
- Franchisees can learn in bite-sized chunks to avoid becoming overwhelmed
- Franchisors can save money on training costs, once the virtual courses are set up
- Franchisors can deliver consistent training
- Franchisors can measure the results through online tests and assignments
4. On-site training
On-site training is all about making the franchisee feel more comfortable and confident with the day-to-day running of their business. By delivering this phase at an established franchise unit and running through a typical day, franchisors can help investors overcome any potential problems before they open for business.
The nature of on-site training will vary depending on the type of franchise in question and the investor’s level of expertise. It’s particularly relevant for businesses with a hands-on element, such as those in the cleaning and home improvements sectors, van-based organisations, restaurants and gyms.
This stage can take anything from a few days to a couple of weeks, but should be flexible and tailored to the individual. It’s the trainer’s responsibility to recognise the franchisee's abilities at the start and adapt the remainder of the course to best meet their needs.
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5. Ongoing training
Training doesn’t end when the franchisee successfully launches their unit; franchisors must continue to provide high-quality support throughout the franchise contract term. They should stay in touch with investors to provide insight on changes to the business or industry, as well as market research and new systems and software. Regular refresher courses can help franchisees keep operational best practices in mind and avoid letting standards slip.
Also, if the franchisee has taken responsibility for training their employees, the franchisor should keep a close eye on things and provide onboarding support. Taking this step will make sure employees learn consistently and work to the franchisor’s specifications.
An investment worth making
It’s in a franchisor’s best interests for their franchisees to be properly trained to own and operate a successful business. If a franchisee training programme is of poor quality or rushed, the investor risks damaging the reputation of the brand as a whole. As a result, it’s vital franchisors carefully plan and design their induction schemes and make improvements whenever necessary.
If you’re in the process of welcoming new franchisees into your business, you can find out how to create a training programme for new investors . We cover all the training best practices and tips franchisors need to know to share their wisdom effectively.
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Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©