Why training is so crucial for a franchisee

11/07/2018 08:00 | Start a business

Franchisee training

Ask a franchisee the reason why they chose to make a franchise investment rather than starting a business from scratch, and most will say the training that the franchisor provides. Good franchises give aspiring entrepreneurs with a variety of skills from a wide range of different backgrounds the chance to start their own business without any previous experience.

In return for the franchise fee, you can expect to receive initial and ongoing training in all aspects of the business operation. This is because the franchisor knows everything there is to know about how the system works. They developed and refined it over the years, and now its time to share this know-how with you as a franchisee.

Here is a rundown of the training that should be included as part of your franchise investment and why each element is so crucial to your success.

Technical training

Your training will most likely be based around the contents of the franchise operations manual. The operations manual with become an essential document when you start your business. It consists of the standards expected of you by the franchisor. Good franchises put time and effort into making the operations manual very detailed and so its a good foundation for the structure of your training.

Initial technical training tends to take place in a classroom environment and provides you with the knowledge and skills that you need to run your franchise successfully. There is no set amount of time that your initial training should take. Depending on the complexity of your franchise, it can last anywhere from a couple of days to several months.

To ensure that you have all the necessary technical know-how, the classroom training is usually followed by on-site training. This could be at your new location or within an existing franchisees business. Being able to put your learning into practice is invaluable. Take advantage of this hands-on training so that you feel prepared as possible for your grand opening. Don't miss this opportunity to ask as many questions as you can.

Non-technical training

Of course, as well as being able to operate the business from a technical perspective, you also need to manage the business too. Youll be responsible for the day-to-day running of the franchise, and so you'll need non-technical, business-related training too. Skills such as business planning, budgeting, accounting, recruiting and managing staff need to be learnt.

The franchisor may choose to outsource this part of the training because it is generic regardless of what type of franchise youll be running. Its still the responsibility of the franchisor to ensure that you receive this training though and its equally as important to your ability to succeed as a franchisee. Its this element of the training that many first-time franchisees value the most because it allows them to become the boss without having had previous experience of being a business owner.

Ongoing support

When you get your franchise up and running, your training shouldnt stop there. Good franchises understand the importance of supporting you throughout the critical early days and beyond. After all, its in the franchisors best interests for you to do well so they should provide you with all the ongoing training and support that you require.

You may find that once you've been running your franchise for a while, that there are some aspects of the initial training that you need to freshen up on. This is understandable. The training that you receive right at the start of your franchising journey covers such a wide range of topics it can be difficult to absorb all the information being given. But ongoing support goes further than just offering refresher training.

The franchisor or the support team that they hire should also take on the role of a mentor, providing emotional support as well as practical business skills. Franchisors that are focussed on the development and wellbeing of their franchisees understand that theres more to running a franchise than following the operations manual.

Your ongoing training should be concentrated on helping you to become a leader. For your franchise investment to pay dividends, you need to be able to create an attitude and culture within your franchise, taking direction from the franchisor. If you're ready to lead, rather than just manage your employees, it will show. If your staff are happy, theyll offer an improved level of customer service which will keep customers satisfied and loyal too.

Marketing support

You know how to run your business, you've got a great support system in place, and your staff are happy. However, if you don't tell prospective customers why they should visit your franchise and that you're open for business, you're unlikely to be profitable.

But marketing can be intimidating and confusing, especially for new franchisees. Unfortunately, the brand name that the franchise fee gave you the rights to use sometimes isnt enough. No matter how recognisable the franchise is, competition can be intense, and customers have seen it all before.

As part of your ongoing support, your franchisor should supply you with promotional templates and local marketing ideas to help you with the launch of your business. Theres no point trying to reinvent the wheel. The franchisor will have opened many franchises before and should be an expert in grabbing the attention of your target customers. They may even send a member of their team to offer advice and guidance leading up to your opening day so that your business gets off to the best possible start.

Remember, its the franchisor's responsibility to provide you with the tools to make your business a lucrative one, and you must to use them. For the continued success of the franchise network each franchisee should receive comprehensive training initially and extensive support after that. If you feel that you're not getting the help you need then may sure that you raise it with the franchisor. You paid the franchise fee, so make sure you get your moneys worth.

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