Setting up new franchisees for success is extremely important, and one of the best ways to do this is through franchisee training. Each franchise operation will offer its own level, type and depth of training, but every franchise operation should be using training to give franchisees the tools they need to succeed. Here’s why.
In this article, you’ll discover what franchisee training usually entails, why it matters, and what the best practices for this kind of training are. Whether you’re a franchisor about to onboard your first franchisee, or a franchisee about to take the investment plunge, it’s time to understand the huge value of a comprehensive, quality training programme.
What is franchisee training?
Franchisee training is a term which refers to all the teaching that new franchisees receive from their franchisor ahead of launching a franchise unit, and in many cases, continue to receive on an ongoing basis. As a franchisee, you’ll have access to a business model of proven success, along with all the marketing materials, ancillary services and training that you need to thrive [British Franchise Association].
Franchisee training provides franchisees with support, and prepares them for the realities of running their franchise business. There’s no set timeline for how long this kind of training will take, as it will vary so much from franchise to franchise. Franchisee training covers all kinds of topics, some of which will be sector or franchise specific. Generally speaking, though, it will cover:
- Operating standards and procedures
- Marketing, advertising and PR
- Financial management, budgeting and accounting
- Business administration and planning
- Point of sale systems and approved suppliers
- Recruitment, training, retention and management of employees
Of all the tasks that befall the new franchisor, perhaps none is as important as the role of training. If the brand is the heart of any great franchise, training is the physical conditioning that keeps that heart beating strongly and consistently.– Mark Siebert, Entrepreneur
Why does franchisee training matter?
Franchisee training is actually one of the biggest advantages to starting a franchise. Starting a business from scratch, you won’t be given any of the training and support you’d receive as a franchisee, and you’ll find it harder to succeed. In franchising, development and training opportunities are built-in to the experience, allowing you to learn and grow both before you begin and as you work. A long-term research project found that out of a wide sample of 4,300 workers, 74% felt they weren’t achieving their full potential at work due to a lack of development opportunities [Middlesex University]. Lack of training at work can result in:
- Unhappy employees
- Lowered productivity levels
- Ineffective staff management
- Loss of employees
- A bad brand reputation
That’s why franchising has proven to be a great option, and a lucrative career change, for so many people. In franchising, these issues are rare, because with the type of robust training and support programme common to the industry in operation, franchisees can feel supported, valued and confident. As a result, these franchisees will be more inclined to work hard for the success of their franchise, and by extension, the overall business. They’ll also be more inclined to continue working with their franchisor in the long term.
3 franchisee training best practices
As a franchisor, building an effective franchisee training programme should be a priority. If you get it right, you set franchisees up for success. If you get it wrong, you risk damaging your business’s reputation and financial situation. Best practice suggests splitting your training into three key sections to ensure you’re covering every base.
1. Initial training
Many franchises advertise opportunities to franchisees without any experience. If you’re one of these franchises, initial training will be doubly vital to ensure that all the people you onboard know exactly what they’re doing, and understand everything they’re faced with. As you’ve probably guessed, initial training happens at the beginning, before your franchisee has opened up shop or started working under your name. Initial training shows your franchisee how to replicate your business model, and equips them with the knowledge that they need.
Training will help [new franchisees] acquire the skills and knowledge they’ll need to succeed in their new job and contribute to the organization.– John Sherman, Go1
2. On-site training
With initial training successfully completed, many franchisors will then need to take things on-site, whether this is to a franchise location, or, for van-based franchises, to a customer home for a job. During on-site training, franchisees will receive firsthand experience of what they can expect the role to realistically entail.
This type of training won’t always be suitable - some franchise types won’t need to take this step - but for those that do, on-site training will be an invaluable opportunity. A chance for franchisees to dip their toes into the water before taking the full plunge that will be their first day on the job, after the doors to their franchise are open. On-site training can be tailored and carefully matched to the needs and concerns of the franchise, and encourages safer working practices.
3. Ongoing training
The biggest mistake that a franchisor can make is to forget about training once a franchisee has been onboarded. Ongoing training is proven to be one of the best ways to ensure franchisee success, but it has to be thought about and prioritised on a continual basis. Nurture the development of your franchisees, prevent standards from slipping over time, and ensure they’re up-to-date on any changes occurring in your industry of operation.
To minimize the erosion of system standards over time through lack of training, you should develop an effective training program[me] that requires ongoing certification on core competency issues for franchisees and their key staff members.
– Mark Siebert, Entrepreneur
>> Read more:
- 5 Tips for Developing Your Employees into Future Franchisees
- Being a Successful Franchisee Means Adopting an Entrepreneur Mindset
- 7 Common Habits of Successful Franchisees
- Mythbusters: Common Misconceptions About What Makes a Successful Franchisee
- Five Tips for Boosting Your Self-Confidence as a Business Owner
- Traits of an entrepreneur
The importance of training new franchisees can’t be overstated
Over the course of this article, you should have gained a clear picture of the immense value that good franchisee training programmes can provide. If you’re an almost-franchisee ready to take that plunge, browse available investment opportunities via Point Franchise’s UK franchise directory.
If you’re a franchisor looking for more tips and tricks, stay on Point Franchise and find out how to prioritise franchisee satisfaction, or discover the four tough business decisions you’ll eventually have to make.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©