A critical, yet often overlooked, aspect of the franchise system is a comprehensive franchisee training process. Franchise training and support is a way of helping franchisees learn more about an industry they may have limited experience in. It will also introduce them to your unique business model. Don't skimp on franchise training!
1. Introductory Training
This is the stage where franchisees are first introduced to the formal training process. It happens immediately after signing the contract. The franchisor will usually provide a pre-training manual that has important information about operational methods, legal issues to be aware of and performance indicators. This stage is about guiding a franchisee as they adapt to your franchise system.
2. Formal Training
This stage may last up to several months and is usually conducted at the main franchise office headquarters. It is a more comprehensive training experience that exposes the trainees to topics revolving around issues within the industry. They'll also get the chance to meet the entire support team.
Training at company HQ is usually followed by on-site training. On-site training is much more personalized and hands-on. They'll be able to use and practice all of the things they learned at HQ but in a less strict environment.
3. Post-Training/On-Going Training
Knowledge acquisition doesn’t end at formal training. It continues months after the initial training concludes. It is important for the franchisees to get as much counseling as they need. They will often have a lot of questions before they finally feel confident enough handling serious projects on their own. Post-training is a way for them to review things they learned during formal training and receive a helping hand from an industry expert.
4. Advanced Training and Certifications
This is a separate aspect of on-going training that takes franchisees through new programs. This teaching happens occasionally and usually includes industry certification or career development programs. It could also occur when your business is updating its systems and the franchisee needs to learn the new systems fast to avoid operational hiccups.
What Does Franchise Training and Support Cover?
Franchisees that are entering the industry have high expectations and many pressing questions. An important part of the training process is identifying the specific needs of franchisees. Once that happens, it becomes easier to tailor the lessons to meet those needs. It is not uncommon for the trainees to forget what they have been taught. The important thing is to keep them on their toes. Here are some additional things to include in your training sessions:
Grand Opening Ideas
Anyone who is passionate about franchising should understand how to start one in the first place. A franchisee should know the best way to hold a grand opening event. How can a new business attract a large customer base during the first few weeks? What are the most successful grand opening ideas? These are the types of questions that should be answered by the franchise training and support team.
It is good to occasionally test your franchisees. Don't assume they remember everything they've learned. You can give them practical exams after completing individual topics/units during the training process, as well as a final exam towards the end of formal training. Tests can also be a good way to evaluate your training process and receive feedback from the franchisees.
A competent franchisee must be able to demonstrate their sales skills, accountability, and focus. These traits can increase their chances of success in a competitive industry. If you spot deficiencies, be sure to address them quickly. It is easier to deal with issues during the training process rather than after opening a business. Also, let the training staff take full responsibility for the training.
Motivating the Team
A motivated franchise team is critical to the success and development of your company. You need a team that is committed and energized and that's where a franchise training and support system can come in handy. This ensures that franchisees have someone to guide them.
Assess all prospective franchisees before signing a franchising contract, then find out what level of support they need. From there, specific training depends on the size of the company and specialization. It is the responsibility of franchisees to research your company before they choose it. By the time they come in for training, they should have a good idea of what to expect when it comes to support service offered. Make sure communication is open and clear and regularly ask for their feedback to improve your franchise training and support system for future franchisees.
If you would like to improve your franchise's training and support system, contact Synuma today!